March 9, 2017 – Thursday of the First Week of Lent
Saint Frances of Rome
Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
A Reading from the Book of Esther (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.”
Reflect: Help me, who am alone and have no one but you. Queen Esther is hard pressed. She and her people are under attack from many fronts. She recognizes that her only and best recourse is to whole-heartedly put her needs and those of her people entirely in the hands of God. In the Gospel today (Mt 7:7-12), Jesus reminds us of the Father’s utter care and devotion for his people: ask, seek, knock – you will find. During Lent, we are invited to be renewed in prayer. Maybe we have doubts about God’s willingness to hear us. Maybe we’re struggling with believing that God truly wants to be attentive to us. All of us in one form or another have hearts that are crying out to God in some way for some thing. What do we have to lose? Today, God invites us to let go and put it all out there into his hands: Help me, who am alone and have no one but you.
Questions: What is stopping me from asking, seeking or knocking at God’s door? Am I at the end of my rope? Might God be encouraging me to scream out to him today?
Pray: Loving God, help me. I am alone and have no one but you. Please come to my assistance. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.
A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation.
Saint Frances of Rome: died in 1440; noblewoman, wife, and mother; founded a religious community of Benedictine women oblates, committed to serving the poorest of the poor; patroness of widows and motorists.
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