Daily Reflection
March 4th, 2005

Deb Fortina

Academic Affairs
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Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 81: 6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
Mark 12:28-34

Hosea 14:2-10 “…I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily…”

Psalm 81: 6c-8a,8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17 “…I am the Lord you God: hear my voice...”

Mark 12: 28-34 “…The Lord our God is Lord Alone!…You shall love your neighbor as yourself….And Jesus says to the scribe’You are not far from the Kingdom of God’...”

Today's saint is St. Casimir 1458 -1484 – Prince of Poland, grandson of Wladislaus II Jagiello, King of Poland who introduced Christianity into Lithuania. Other family members were also Royalty and defenders of Christianity. All of he and his brothers’ training was the responsibility of Father Dlugosz , a deeply religious man, and also a statecraft. Casimir’s youngest brother Frederick eventually became a Cardinal. His other brothers all became kings of various countries. St. Casimir was noted for his great justice and chastity. Even at the age of nine he was known for his ardent piety. His father tried to arrange a marriage for him, but he chose not to marry. He is the patron saint of Poland Lithuania.

Do you ever have days when your wake up call comes in the reading of the Word? I had gotten to the point that I could not fit one more square inch of anything into my life, barely time for a plea here-and-there; Please Lord help me get all of this done. As I listened to the words in today’s Lenten readings, I expected to be listening to a call to come back. I didn’t expect to see how out of balance my life had become. I heard the words “I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots.” (Hos 14: 6). Yes, I had been experiencing the ever so faint help from the Lord as dew sustains life when there is no rain. In the Psalm reading I heard the most basic of our belief in the passage, “There must be no foreign god among you; you must not worship an alien god. I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” (Psalm 81:10-11) And I thought of my schedule and what all I was putting before spending time with the Lord. And in the Gospel Jesus answers a Scribe's question, “What is the first of all commandments?” Jesus says, “The Lord our God is Lord alone!…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:28,31)

When I stopped to look at what all my activity was about and how it served the Lord, the image was very faint. I have a hard time saying no to people’s invitations and to the duties that are mine because I volunteered to do them. It all just leaves me ragged. And I couldn’t help but think if I could just squeeze a little more time to be with my God, I would do a better job of seeing what is important, and what is not to be done that day. At the end of the gospel, Jesus listens to the Scribe who responds to Jesus, “You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he.” And Jesus tells him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”(Mark 12:32 & 34) And I know that is where I want to be.

So thank you Lord for the wake up call. Your timing is perfect here during Lent, that wonderful time of preparation for remembering Your Passion, Death and Resurrection which will be recognized and remembered in a short while now. Let us all take a lesson from St. Casimir, who more importantly than being of noble birth, was known from an early age for his ardent piety.

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