READINGS for 2009-03-05
PRayERS aNd aTTITUdES
“Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” – Matthew 7:7
Months before we take a trip abroad, we start praying for ideal conditions. When we went to see the autumn colors in the American West Coast in October a few years ago, they said we’d be too late to see the hues of fall. But autumn came late in that area, as if it was waiting for us to come. Friends also said that we would miss the thrilling boat ride to the bottom of the Niagara Falls but we caught the last voyage of the Maid of the Mist for the season.
But when we got to Washington DC, it rained hard during our stay. Still, it wasn’t enough to dampen our excitement. After all, we don’t always get all our prayers answered the way we want it to.
But the fact that we had put our trust in the Lord made us feel good about everything that happened during that trip, unfavorable conditions included.
In any situation, good or bad, the important thing is that we know that God is with us.Rolly España
Do you grumble at what life brings? Or do you find that trusting God makes your world a better place to live in?
Lord, we put our trust in You. Your grace is sufficient for us.
Esther has a death-defying task in front of her — namely to go into the presence of the king without his asking for her. Yet, she understands this as God’s will for her life and so she is prepared to go ahead. How many of us are willing to put our lives on the line like this in our faith response to Jesus? I hope and pray we all are willing to go wherever the Lord sends us to proclaim the Gospel.
Esther C:12. 14-16. 23-25
28 [C:12] Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, likewise had recourse to the Lord. 29 30 [C:14] She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, 31 [C:15] for I am taking my life in my hand. 32 [C:16] As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O Lord, always free those who are pleasing to you. Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O Lord, my God. 39 [C:23] “And now, come to help me, an orphan. 40 [C:24] Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish. 41 [C:25] Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.
P S A L M
Psalm 138:1-2ab. 2cde-3. 7c-8
R: Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me,
1 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; 2 I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. (R) Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. 3 When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (R) 7 Your right hand saves me. 8 The LORD will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O LORD, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. (R)
G O S P E L
One of the aspects of knocking on a door for it to be opened is being willing to wait for the answer. Maybe there is no one home? If that is the case, we usually knock a second or third time just in case the first knock went unheard. We need to be willing to wait for God’s reply to our knocking on His door! He has His own time frame in which He answers His people — sometimes to test us and sometimes it is simply because we are not yet ready for His answer; He needs to prepare us first.
7 Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, 10 or a snake when he asks for a fish? 11 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. 12 “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”
think: How many of us are willing to put our lives on the line in our faith response to Jesus?
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Psalm 33-36
People nowadays would prefer to accomplish many things within a short period of time. They treat time as something very precious and valuable. Some of them would even prefer to shorten their meal times by eating instant and ready-to-eat food so that they can save time. Students also have a quick, easy and instant access to information through the Internet. This would require them a smaller amount of time to spend in research. These are just some realities that make our lives more convenient. These realities spare us from waiting for a long time to accomplish things through the long and traditional processes.
But there are certain tasks in life that require us to take the long process and wait. And I think this is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “Ask and it will be given to you, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” When Jesus said these words, He does not mean that we can easily get what we pray for, just like eating instant noodles. When we come to meet Jesus in prayer and ask for something, He does not readily give us the answer to our prayer. Instead, He gives us certain situations in life that form part of the process in achieving what we pray for.
Why does God want us to undergo the long process? Perhaps it is because He wants to teach us something that we might miss if He would readily give us the answer to our prayers. It is the waiting and going through the process that matter most. We are not mere passive recipients. And this is what Jesus taught us. In the desire of God to save us from our sins, He chose to undergo the long process of becoming man like us. He chose to suffer and to experience the excruciating pains as He was nailed to the cross. God had the option to save us by just a single stroke of His hand. But He did not choose that. He chose to wait and to undergo the long and hard process so that people may truly learn and believe in Him. Fr. Joel O. Jason
How willing am I to wait and to choose the long process?
Lord, help me to learn Your ways. May I be patient enough to wait and to choose the long process so that I may learn more the lessons You want to teach me. Amen.
St. John Joseph of the Cross, Confessor, pray for us.
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