THURSDAY, FIRST WEEK OF LENT (Bl. Rani Maria Vattalil, Martyr)
Reading 1: Est 4:17 (C:12, 14-16, 23-25) Queen Esther presents a beautiful lesson in prayer.
Gospel: Mt: 7:7-12 Jesus’ prayer likewise teaches about prayer, with special emphasis on perseverance in prayer.
WE ARE HIS SANCTUARY; WE ARE HIS LIGHT
Think of the most perfect earthly father you can possibly conjure up in your mind. Multiply the goodness of that person a million times and you still have not begun to understand the depth of the love that the Heavenly Father has for you and me. The one and only thing he concerns himself with is how to distribute good things to his children. He knows all about us and is always there for us. Our own petitions reveal how much we truly believe in him and are ready to be dependent on him, humbly acknowledging that we can never succeed on our own.
Queen Esther was afraid of being put to death. In her anguish she took God for her helper and clung to him. Her prayer was heard and her enemies were destroyed. Following this, she did not fail to lift up her heart in prayer to God in thanksgiving and praise. God responds when and in the way that he feels best; however, if we cannot hear him responding to our prayer, could it be that we are lacking in the way we have prayed?
True prayer is a groaning of the Spirit within us, as St Paul says. For this groaning to open a path through our stony hearts, we often need repetition. Even a simple repetition of an Our Father and a Hail Mary with perseverance, can lead us towards orienting ourselves to God’s will and word. God is concerned and takes utmost care of every detail of our lives.
Let us be assured of his unshakable gaze and constant presence. May we remain supple in his hands, co-operating with his grace even when seemingly evil things come our way, through sickness, loneliness, persecution, etc.
May the humble prayer of petition well up spontaneously in us when we feel threatened, drawing for us fresh grace and help. Said St John of the Cross: “In tribulation, immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 138:1-3, 7-8 On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord.
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