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Thursday, March 4, 1999

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St. Casimir

Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1
Luke 16:19-31

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hard heart, burn

"If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead." —Luke 16:31

The human heart is so twisted and deceitful (Jer 17:9) that most of us, even in a world of instant communication, do not notice hundreds of millions of starving people at our doorsteps (see Lk 16:20). We have made our hearts so hardened that, even if someone were raised from the dead to warn us, we would not repent (Lk 16:31). If we ever change, it will be through God's word — from Moses' Pentateuch to the prophets and the New Testament (see Lk 16:31).

Jesus dramatically practiced what He preached in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. On the afternoon of the day in which He rose from the dead, He knew that His resurrection would be only the beginning of opening humanity's hardened heart. So the risen Jesus spent the first resurrection afternoon and evening interpreting "every passage of Scripture which referred to Him" (Lk 24:27) and opening His disciples' "minds to the understanding of the Scriptures" (Lk 24:45). 

At each Mass, the risen Christ continues to proclaim the Scriptures. Daily Mass is our best opportunity to let God change our hearts. Then we will love the poor and love the Lord. Expose your heart daily to God's word proclaimed by the risen, eucharistic Lord.

Prayer:  Father, may my heart burn and melt when I hear Your word (see Lk 24:32).

Promise:  "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit." —Jer 17:7-8

Praise:  As a teenager, St. Casimir lived his faith by mortification, even sleeping on the ground.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 23, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 1998