Thursday of the first week of Lent
A reading from Psalm 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8
R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. Your right hand saves me. The LORD will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O LORD, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
REFLECTION: Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I am not going to lie, this reflection was a challenge to me.
All readings today are about prayer: Esther praying for deliverance for her people, the psalm thanking God for answered prayers, and Jesus encouraging His disciples to pray.
I pray. And I have prayed. And some prayers have not been answered. Why has my child not being healed from her incurable disease? Why are my parents suffering so much in their old age? Why ? Why ? Why?
As a first world society, we feel entitled to live a life of comfort, and full of entertainment. This has made me expect God to answer my prayers the way I want them answered.
And that is the problem. We think we can manipulate God to our will. God wants us to ask Him for what we need, not what we want.
He always answers our prayers, but not in the way we think He has to. He answers many times in a different way, in the way that will teach us something, in the way where we will grow spiritually.
My prayers have been answered. Sometimes, I refuse to see how they have been answered. My child and parents have the best medical care possible. We are also together as a family and in faith, so we don't have to suffer alone, but support each other in company and love. We have friends and extended family that also support us. And we have never really suffered from want.
Thank you, Father, for answering my prayers. Thank you for leading me by the hand, as a child towards you. Thank you for showing me discomfort, so I can comfort those who suffer. Above all, thank you for the greatest gift you have given us; the Holy Eucharist, so we can draw closer to you.
Thank you for the anointed hands of the priests that consecrate the host in every Mass.
Thank you Lord!