March 14, 2019
I must confess, I had to read all of Chapter C in the Book of Esther as well as an overview of it I found online to better understand today’s reading. Known as ‘Esther’s Prayer,’ it describes her actions of speaking up to the king in order to defend the people of her heritage, who were Jewish. The penalty for doing this was death and she knew that no one could save her except God. For me, this story reflects strength and courage and prompted me to ask myself if I would have the ability to do this if I were Esther? I’d like to say yes, but I’m not sure I would? I also saw a parallel between her suffering and fear of certain death for her actions and Jesus’ suffering on the cross in that they both turned to God for comfort and solace. This reading is a great reminder for me to remember to trust only in God in all things which is easier said than done – but I want to keep trying!
I didn’t have to research the Gospel reading for today. It is a scripture I am very familiar with and I think it represents the simplicity in how God would like us to interact with Him. In my youth, I talked to God about this reading and basically said, “I have asked you for many things but you didn’t give them to me?” “Why?” It left me thinking He doesn’t hear my prayers or that He does hear me but doesn’t like me very much! As I grew up in age, I grew in faith and have received a clear answer to my question. Because of this, I’ve learned to pray for God’s will for me rather than “please make this happen at this time” (smiley). I also realize that while I may not receive something I’ve asked for, I trust God has His reasons and what He wants for me is way better than what I think I need!
In closing, this time of Lenten sacrifice gives us all an opportunity to look closely at ourselves and to see what changes we may need to make in order to live our best lives going forward. Please pray for me and I will pray for you.
St. Anthony Parishioner (Minister of Holy Communion and parish representative for Vision 20/20)