Exodus 1:15-21; Psalm 16; Mark 12:41-44
It’s a quiet, cloudy Monday morning. When I come to write something to send around to all of you, it has a way of connecting me closer to God. I begin by thinking, what can I write today. The scripture of the day, something I’ve read, an event in my life or the world around us has a way of starting me along the path of sharing some thoughts and a prayer with all of you.
Today, when I went to check the scripture of the daily lectionary, I noticed a name at the top corner of the page of whom I had never heard, Zita of Tuscany. Today is her feast day on the calendar of saints. I found reading about her life interesting and even inspirational for our lives today.
Zita (c. 1212 – 27 April 1272) is an Italian saint, the patron saint of maids and domestic servants. She is often appealed to in order to help find lost keys.
Saint Zita was born in Tuscany in the village of Monsagrati, not far from Lucca where, at the age of 12, she became a servant in the Fatinelli household. For a long time, she was unjustly despised, overburdened, reviled, and often beaten by her employers and fellow servants for her hard work and obvious goodness. The incessant ill-usage, however, was powerless to deprive her of her inward peace, her love of those who wronged her, and her respect for her employers. By this meek and humble self-restraint, Zita at last succeeded in overcoming the malice of her fellow-servants and her employers, so much so that she was placed in charge of all the affairs of the house. Her faith had enabled her to persevere against their abuse, and her constant piety gradually moved the family to a religious awakening.
Zita often said to others that devotion is false if slothful. She considered her work as an employment assigned to her by God, and as part of her penance, and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and employed in prayer a considerable part of the time which others gave to sleep.
Considering such a life in light of the scripture list above, particularly the passage from Mark, it strikes me that it is the little things we do and say each day that makes a world of difference in the lives of others. Ask yourself, what is the little thing I can do today to make all the difference in the world in someone else’s life.
Merciful God, who has given to us all things necessary for life and godliness; Grant that we, like your servant Zita, may be faithful in the exercise of our duties and that, whatever you give us to do, we may do it heartily to you for the honor and glory of your Name; through him who has called us to virtue, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.