Providing the Word of God.

March 9, 2017


When All You Have Left…

Reading 1 – EST 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.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 138:1-ABb, 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.

Verse Before the Gospel – PS 51:12A, 14A

A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation.

Gospel – MT 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”

Reflection

My friends, too often in our hurry, even as we listen to the Sacred Scriptures, we miss the real-life drama that is taking place right before us….and therefor miss the application to our own pain and struggles as we carry the cross.

Let’s take at this again: “Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the LORD…She lay prostrate upon the ground (day and night)…Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.”

The prayer of this woman is so moving, made even more powerful because we know and trust how it will be answered.

Jesus completes the narrative for us when he teaches us on prayer: “…how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”

The Church invites all followers of Her Lord Jesus to engage in three major expressions of the life of prayer which have been named as vocal prayer, meditation and contemplation. Here is how the Catechism describes each:

2722    Vocal prayer, founded on the union of body and soul in human nature, associates the body with the interior prayer of the heart, following Christ’s example of praying to his Father and teaching the Our Father to his disciples.

2723    Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. Its goal is to make our own in faith the subject considered, by confronting it with the reality of our own life.

2724    Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery.

We could summarize this way: The one who seeks the truth through reading the Scriptures will find in mediation; and the one who knocks in mental prayer will find in contemplation.

Our Father The Second Petition of the Our Father: “Thy Kingdom Come”

By the second petition, the Church looks first to Christ’s return and the final coming of the Reign of God. It also prays for the growth of the Kingdom of God in the “today” of our own lives. (CCC 2859)

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