Today is the feast of St. Lawrence, the patron saint of deacons, but it is also the birthday of my grandfather, who passed away a little over a year ago. I find it amazing that God always picks the perfect day for each person to be born. My grandfather was meant to be born on this day; the readings for it depict him exactly.
The responsorial psalm says, “Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.” For my entire life, I saw my grandfather live according to this quote. He was one of the most giving people I ever knew, and he gave without hesitation. He gave without expectation, concern for his own needs, or second guessing; he just opened his hand or his checkbook or his wallet, and he gave all of himself. It didn’t matter whether the recipient was a family member, friend, or stranger–he gave his all to all he met.
Scripture passages can come alive for the people who read them in many ways, but scripture can also find life through the lives of people who read them. My grandfather brought these passages to life because he is the man described by them.
“Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 6-8
“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” John 12:26
The word of God is living and breathing. These scripture verses were breathed into my grandfather at his conception, and now thanks to his example, these scriptures live within me.