THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT MARCH 14, 2019
A reading from the Book of Esther C:12,14-16,23-25
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said: "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you. Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O LORD, my God. "And now, come to help me, an orphan. Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness."
REFLECTION: "Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand."
Pride or self righteousness prevents us from seeing our need for help, from seeking the merciful face of God. When we get our way, or speak with eloquent words, does that mean we were correct? Does that mean God was on our side? Does authority or power over people, put blinders on us, so that we never see what others are going through? Are we willing to malign, gossip, put down those whom we disagree with?
When bad seems to be winning, when we find ourselves isolated and with no recourse to undo what is happening, we should, with unshakable confidence, not forget that God will provide in His mysterious ways of holy providence to those who seek Him.
Queen Esther was face to face with evil and her people were depressed, despairing and oppressed. She found the courage, but most of all the faith, to go to God and ask Him to put eloquent words in her mouth and the courage to risk her life to save her people.
God is waiting for us to Ask, Seek and Knock for His help out of a sincere love for Him. Mary ( fictional name but true story ) was diagnosed in 2000 with pancreatic cancer. She underwent therapy and had her church, her friends and her doctors all praying for her healing. When she would come for her checkups she would praise the Lord and His will. In 2019 Mary still sings praises of her Lord and her recovery from pancreatic cancer.
This Lent let us slow down, stop, be still, be silent and see the many graces and miracles God has in store for us.
Pray that our Priests will have courage and faith to speak up against evil.