HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK OF LENT.
BY: Fr Francis Onwunali.
The theme of today’s liturgy is: “Prayer”. Prayer to a loving and caring God who always responds to those who call upon Him. Effective prayer stems from a loving relationship grounded in trust and faith.
The first reading (Esther 4: 17) presents us with the famous prayer of Queen Esther on behalf of her people. Faced with fear of annihilation by the King, Queen Esther decided to risk her life and advocate for her Jewish brothers and sisters. She, however, turns to God to give her the correct words to appeal to the king. “King of gods and master of all power, put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion.”
Jesus in the gospel (Matt 7: 7-12) affirms God’s willingness to answer those who seek His help in prayer. Jesus said: “Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. ” Jesus uses the analogy of parents’ loving concern for their children in portraying how God, our unconditional loving Father, will show concern for us, His Children.
Dear friends, Queen Esther’s prayer is given to us today as a model. She prayed for help according to God’s promise to be faithful to His people. God wants us to remember and rely on His promises and count on His help when we pray. So when I pray, do I Ask, Seek, and Knock, believing in God’s promises with an expectant faith?
I pray that as we journey in life today, we will pray with confidence and boldness. May the words of the Psalmist be ours: “I thank you, Lord, with all my heart, you have heard the words of my mouth… on the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul (Ps. 138: 1-3). Have a prayer-full day!
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