The First Reading:
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,had recourse to the LORD.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,for I am taking my life in my hand.As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathersthat 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.
"And now, come to help me, an orphan.Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lionand turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.Save us from the hand of our enemies;turn our mourning into gladnessand our sorrows into wholeness."
Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25
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. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stonewhen he asked for a loaf of bread,or a snake when he asked for a fish? 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.
"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."
Lord Jesus Christ,
Help us to remember that you answer all the prayers of us, your faithful people. Help us to accept all your answers, especially when we may not understand them.