Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Thursday 1st week of Lent
March 9, 2006
Thursday 1st week of Lent - Yr II
ESTER 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."
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."
There are people today who discredit prayer of petition. They see
prayer of petition as a less worthy type of prayer, centered as it is
on the petitioner rather than on God and his kingdom.
Prayer of petition, however, has a long and honorable history in
Judeo-Christian religious devotion and practice. The psalms, for
instance, are for the most part prayers of petition. They ask for
protection against enemies, for help in time of crisis; they plead for
justice, for God to vindicate his people. They beg for restored health,
for mercy, for peace. The psalms frequently provide us with words that
express the most profound feelings of the human heart: pain because of
God's silence, fear because the future is dark and terrifying, anger
because the good suffer while the evil prosper.
Esther's prayer in the first reading is such a prayer of petition. The
King of Persia had chosen Esther as his queen. Some royal courtiers
hated the Jews and persuaded the King to set a date on which all the
Jews in his realm would be exterminated. Esther could plead with the
King for the lives of her people-but of course the King might be
angered by her effrontery and put her to death with the rest of the
Jews-or she could maintain silence and watch her people perished. She
decides to speak to the King. The first reading is the prayer of
petition that she addresses to the Lord, the God of Israel.
Esther is "seized with mortal anguish." She speaks from her heart out
of her helplessness. Recognizing that she may bring about her own
death, she prays that God will protect her and save her people. It's a
very beautiful prayer.
The refusal to offer prayer of petition in reality manifests pride and
a lack of love. One commentator puts it quite bluntly, "The best
attitude we can have toward God is that of a beggar who knows that he
is loved and called to Life-begging for oneself and for God."
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the safe travel of Angelo.
- for the personal intentions and good health of Tisha, Dino and Aidan.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Amparo Filio. Eternal rest
grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she and
all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for spiritual healing and guidance of Jonathan Salting.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Charles Arthur Lu
- Birthday: Brian & Rowena Lu
- Prayer Intention: Nañagas Family
- In Memoriam (+): Francisco T. Ong (1914-1983)
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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