Meditation for Thursday of the 1st Week of Lent

First Reading: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 7-8
Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12
The story of recorded in Esther is a story all too familiar to the Jewish people – the threat of genocide.  So many times throughout history, including the past century, the Chosen People were chosen by evil men to be exterminated.  However, the history of the Jews is also sprinkled with people, often of other races or religions, who save the Jewish people at the last moment – people who "have come to the throne for just such a time as this." (Esther 4:14)
How is it that such "just in the nick of time" people come along?  Jesus tells us how: "Ask, and it will be given to you" (Matt 7:7)  Our Father in Heaven loves us even more than any earthly family or friends (who already do all they can for our good) do, and He is waiting for us to ask, to seek, and to knock. 
Esther and Mordecai (her adoptive father) did everything they knew to do that was in their power to do: they proclaimed a fast, prayed to God, and then went forward in faith that God would hear their prayers and turn their time of mourning into gladness.  When we do likewise – when we pray to God and do all that we can possibly do – God will make sure that events turn out for the best.  Note: things may not turn out how we would have liked in the short term – even Jesus had a request denied, when he asked in the Garden of Gethsemene that the cup pass from him – but in the long-term, all things work for the good of those who love the Lord.  God’s will is always done, and His will is that none of those entrusted to Him shall perish.  Even Jesus, who died on the cross, did not perish, but rather was raised up and "made great above all things" (Psalm 138:2b) so that we may say that the one who sits at "your right hand saves me" (Psalm 138:7b).
Think of times when things seemed darkest – when did God send someone into your life to help you at just the right time?  Did you thank God for that person being placed in your life?  When have you been that person in someone else’s life?

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