READING OF THE DAY: 4 MARCH, 2013

14289207-christian-holy-bible-with-crucifix-on-rosary

“Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: «Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.

Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.

It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.

Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.

They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.

But he passed through the midst of them and went away.” -Luke 4:24-30.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Commentary on the reading of the day provided by:

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Sermon on Elijah and the widow and almsgiving; PG 51, 348

~Welcoming Christ~
The widow of Sarepta welcomes the prophet Elijah with every generosity and expends all her poverty in his honor even though she is a Sidonian foreigner.

She had never heard what the prophets have to say about the merits of almsgiving let alone the words of Christ: “You saw me hungry and gave me food” (Mt 25,35).

What excuse do we have if, after such exhortations, after the promise of such great rewards, after the promise of the Kingdom of heaven and its happiness, we fail to reach the same level of goodness as this widow?

A Sidonian woman, a widow, burdened with the care of a family, threatened by famine and seeing the advent of death, opens her door to welcome an unknown man and gives him the scrap of meal she has left…

Yet we, who have been taught by the prophets, have heard the teachings of Christ, have the opportunity of meditating on what is to come, who are not threatened by famine and who own a great deal more that this woman, are we to be excused if we dare not lay a finger on our goods to give of them?

Are we going to neglect our own salvation?…

So then, let us show great compassion towards the poor so as to be made worthy of possessing good things to come for all eternity, by the grace and love for humankind of our Lord Jesus Christ.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 4 MARCH, 2013

San_Casimiro

SAINT CASIMIR
King
(1458-1484)

Casimir, the second son of Casimir III., King of Poland was born A. D. 1458. From the custody of a most virtuous mother, Elizabeth of Austria, he passed to the guardianship of a devoted master, the learned and pious John Dugloss.

Thus animated from his earliest years by precept and example, his innocence and piety soon ripened into the practice of heroic virtue.

At the age of twenty-five, sick of a lingering illness, he foretold the hour of his death, and chose to die a virgin rather than take the life and health which the doctors held out to him in the married state.

In an atmosphere of luxury and magnificence the young prince had fasted, worn a hair-shirt, slept upon the bare earth, prayed by night, and watched for the opening of the church doors at dawn.

He had become so tenderly devoted to the Passion of Our Lord that at Mass he seemed quite rapt out of himself, and his charity to the poor and afflicted knew no bounds.

His love for our blessed Lady he expressed in a long and beautiful hymn, familiar to us in our own tongue.

The miracles wrought by his body after death fill a volume.

The blind saw, the lame walked, the sick were healed, a dead girl was raised to life.

And once the Saint in glory led his countrymen to battle, and delivered them by a glorious victory from the schismatic Russian hosts.

One hundred and twenty-two years after his death the Saint’s tomb in the cathedral of Vienna was opened, that the holy body might be transferred to the rich marble chapel where it now lies.

The place was damp, and the very vault crumbled away in the hands of the workmen; yet the Saint’s body, wrapped in robes of silk, was found whole and incorrupt, and emitted a sweet fragrance, which filled the church and refreshed all who were present.

Under his head was found his hymn to Our Lady, which he had had buried with him.

The following night three young men saw a brilliant light issuing from the open tomb and streaming through the windows of the chapel.

(SOURCE::Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894])