PRAYING ON THE EDGE.

Thursday of the First Week in LentLectionary: 227

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 138:1-2AB, 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.

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: PRAYING ON THE EDGE

“When I called, You answered me; You built up strength within me.” –Psalm 138:3
Queen Esther’s whole race was scheduled to be exterminated. The Jewish people were so pitifully weak that they couldn’t do anything politically or militantly to stop the genocide. They had “their backs to the wall.” They were alone and had no help but God (Est C:14). So Esther, on behalf of her people, prayed: “Save us by Your power, and help me, who am alone and have no one but You, O Lord” (Est C:25).
This Lent, many of us are facing major tragedies and challenges. We wonder if we will even make it through this year. We don’t know what to do. We are “crushed beyond our strength, even to the point of despairing of life” (2 Cor 1:8). The Lord is calling us to pray through our trials. He promises: “Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you” (Mt 7:7). He assures us: “If you, with all your sins, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to anyone who asks Him!” (Mt 7:11)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves” (Ps 34:19). “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rm 10:13). Jesus “is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He forever lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25). “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). Pray in pain. Pray through tragedies. Pray in glory.
PRAYER: Father, send the Holy Spirit to help me in my weakness so I will pray as I ought (Rm 8:26).

PROMISE: “Treat others the way you would have them treat you: this sums up the law and the prophets.” –Mt 7:12

PRAISE: St. Frances reconciled herself to God’s will and continued to thank Him even when her two young sons died.

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