Thursday of the First Week of Lent
Esther C: 12, 14-16, 23-25
All of us came to church today and prayed about something. Is God asking something of us that is difficult to do? Hopefully, we respond like the people in our readings today by going to God in prayer.
In our first reading, Esther a Jewish woman has become Queen of Persia by winning a beauty contest. It was said that she was so beautiful that the King made her Queen without knowing much about her. What is happening in our story is there is an edict to exterminate all the Jewish people from the land of Persia, and Queen Esther knows she needs to do something to save her people and herself. She has her handmaids, and herself lay on the floor face down praying with all there might that God will hear their prayers that the Israelite people will not be destroyed by the king. She prays for the grace to do be strong and to do her part and speak to her husband and leave the rest in God’s hands. Eventually, her prayer would be answered.
In our Gospel, Jesus is speaking with his disciples about prayer and says, “Ask, and it will be given you to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” To “ask” to “knock” to “seek” and to “act” are all things we are required to do on our part when we go to prayer. Let us not be so naïve to think all we need to do to get our prayers answered is pray with great intensity and do that for a long while. The “Good News” is that God already knows our prayer, and what we need.
God does answer prayer in three ways, the first way if he answers the prayer immediately when we ask him. The second way is not yet; we do not always like this answer because it demands more praying on our part. The last way is God saying to us, “I have a better idea.”
We come to the Eucharist to be reminded that our God is a God who does take sides! He always takes the side of the broken, the lost and the forsaken. Let us call upon the name of the Lord.