In the first reading today we find Queen Esther preparing to embark on a dangerous mission. She had asked all the Jews in the region to fast and pray on her behalf and, “seized with mortal anguish,” she prayed to God: Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, …Turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.”
I think we can all think of very serious situations where we, like Queen Esther, pray with everything we have. We ask everyone we know to pray for us, and we make promises and offerings to God. In today’s gospel we hear, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Yet, sometimes we ask but we do not receive; sometimes we seek but we do not find; sometimes we knock but the door remains closed.
St. Peter Julian tells us, “Sustain me, Lord, by the grace of your Holy Spirit. Strengthen me interiorly by your grace… Give me, Lord, heavenly wisdom, so that I may learn to seek you and to find you, to enjoy you and to love you above all things, and to count the rest for what it is, according to the order of your wisdom.”(NR 44, 42)
A friend once told me, “Thank you for making me pray.” Just like Queen Esther moved many to turn to God in prayer, when we ask others to intercede to God for us, we are helping them remain in relationship with God. It is in that conversation that we will find the One our hearts seek, even when we think we are seeking something else. And when we find him, he will then “turn our mourning into gladness, and our sorrows into wholeness.”
Have you asked someone to pray for you today?
Let us pray:
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.
(From today’s Responsorial Psalm)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)