Esther boldly reminds God that God has made promises and now is the time for God to be faithful. "Be mindful of us, O Lord. Manifest Yourself in the time of our distress and give me courage." Esther is at her wits end, but this is not despair; she is also at the brink of her being faithful as she turns towards God for help.
Matthew, in today's gospel, has Jesus schooling His disciples in the practice of praying in the time of need. He tells them that if they knock, seek, ask and all in faith they will be heard. They might not ask for what is good for them, so Jesus reminds them that a good father would not give His child something unhealthy even if they asked with tears for it.
The lenten lesson for us is to pray for what we believe would be good for us and what is good for us is what God, as a most loving parent, would give us. Uneasy lies our heads that bare so many needs and wants for ourselves and others. Queen Esther and we have this in common, that we love enough to care and this caring brings us to our knees before the promise-making promise-keeping God.
We have all prayed for things, knocked and it was not opened, sought and we did not find. We so desperately want to have a Gumball-machine god who comes forth with our request immediately upon hearing the desperate conditions which sponsor our requests. The lenten lesson, which we learn often and in which the church wishes to school us again is to deepen our faith so that very humbly we echo the words of Esther at the end of the first reading: "You know all things." Lord, help us learn this lesson.
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