March 10, 2022 – Thursday of the First Week of Lent

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What are we supposed to ask actually? What is it that we should really seek? Wealth? Long life? Success and achievements in our careers? Happy family life? Peaceful life?

Jesus told us to ask and to seek. Yet, the invitation of Jesus is grounded on a deep faith and trust in the goodness of the Lord. The Lord does not say that whatever we ask and desire will be given to us immediately and absolutely. Rather, Jesus wants us to realize how important it is to pray and to be able to communicate with God, with all honesty and humility. A prayer that springs forth from intimacy and friendship.

Prayer, therefore, is not just about asking, seeking and desiring what we want for ourselves alone. This will only make us self-centered. Prayer is allowing ourselves to be more aware of God’s presence in our life, and more aware of the people around us. Prayer, then, builds up our faith and trust in God, but also, it brings us to be deeply in loved.

The story of Queen Esther in our first reading tells us about this. The Queen, in all humility, pleaded to the Lord God to rescue her people from death. She did not ask the Lord God to just secure her status, her title and wealth as Queen. She, however, became an intercessor on behalf of God’s people, the Israelites.

Queen Esther asked the Lord for courage and strength that she may be able to become a mediator between the people and her husband the King. She knew that this would be too risky as she might also lose everything she had as Queen. Yet, what she asked and sought from the Lord made her deeply in love with God’s people. Indeed, her prayer was answered because God found delight in her heart that was filled with humility and love.

This is Jesus’ invitation for us today as well, that our prayer becomes an opportunity for us to grow more in our love and concern for others. As we continue to journey in this Season of Lent may we also develop our friendship with God and with people around us, making our hearts more available for God and for others. Hinaut pa.


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