Thursday, 25 February 2021 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Esther 4 : 17n, p-r, aa-bb, gg-hh (Latin Vulgate version – Esther 14 : 1, 3-5, 12-14)

Seized with anguish in her fear of death, Queen Esther likewise had recourse to the Lord. Then she prayed to the Lord God of Israel : “My Lord, You Who stand alone, came to my help; I am alone and have no help but You. Through my own choice I am endangering my life.”

“As a child I was wont to hear from the people of the land of my forebears that You, o Lord, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among their ancestors to be Your lasting heritage; that You did for them, all that You have promised.”

“Remember us, Lord; reveal Yourself in the time of our calamity. Give me courage, King of gods and Master of all power. Make my words persuasive when I face the lion; turn his heart against our enemy, that the latter and his like may be brought to their end.”

“Save us by Your hand; help me who am alone and have none but You, o Lord.”

Thursday, 5 March 2020 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Esther 4 : 17n, p-r, aa-bb, gg-hh (Latin Vulgate version – Esther 14 : 1, 3-5, 12-14)

Seized with anguish in her fear of death, Queen Esther likewise had recourse to the Lord. Then she prayed to the Lord God of Israel : “My Lord, You Who stand alone, came to my help; I am alone and have no help but You. Through my own choice I am endangering my life.”

“As a child I was wont to hear from the people of the land of my forebears that You, o Lord, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among their ancestors to be Your lasting heritage; that You did for them, all that You have promised.”

“Remember us, Lord; reveal Yourself in the time of our calamity. Give me courage, King of gods and Master of all power. Make my words persuasive when I face the lion; turn his heart against our enemy, that the latter and his like may be brought to their end.”

“Save us by Your hand; help me who am alone and have none but You, o Lord.”

Thursday, 14 March 2019 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Esther 4 : 17n, p-r, aa-bb, gg-hh (Latin Vulgate version – Esther 14 : 1, 3-5, 12-14)

Seized with anguish in her fear of death, Queen Esther likewise had recourse to the Lord. Then she prayed to the Lord God of Israel : “My Lord, You Who stand alone, came to my help; I am alone and have no help but You. Through my own choice I am endangering my life.”

“As a child I was wont to hear from the people of the land of my forebears that You, o Lord, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among their ancestors to be Your lasting heritage; that You did for them, all that You have promised.”

“Remember us, Lord; reveal Yourself in the time of our calamity. Give me courage, King of gods and Master of all power. Make my words persuasive when I face the lion; turn his heart against our enemy, that the latter and his like may be brought to their end.”

“Save us by Your hand; help me who am alone and have none but You, o Lord.”

Thursday, 18 February 2016 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Esther 14 : 1, 3-5, 12-14

Seized with anguish in her fear of death, Queen Esther likewise had recourse to the Lord. Then she prayed to the Lord God of Israel : “My Lord, You Who stand alone, come to my help; I am alone and have no help but You. Through my own choice I am endangering my life.”

“As a child I was wont to hear from the people of the land of my forebears that You, o Lord, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among their ancestors to be Your lasting heritage; that You did for them, all that You have promised.”

“Remember us, Lord; reveal Yourself in the time of our calamity. Give me courage, King of gods and Master of all power. Make my words persuasive when I face the lion; turn his heart against our enemy, that the latter and his like may be brought to their end. Save us by Your hand; help me who am alone and have none but You, o Lord.”

Thursday, 26 February 2015 : 1st Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Esther 14 : 1, 3-5, 12-14

Seized with anguish in her fear of death, Queen Esther likewise had recourse to the Lord. Then she prayed to the Lord God of Israel : “My Lord, You who stand alone, come to my help; I am alone and have no help but You. Through my own choice I am endangering my life.”

“As a child I wanted to hear from the people of the land of my forebears that You, o Lord, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among their ancestors to be Your lasting heritage; that You did for them, all that You have promised.”

“Remember us, Lord; reveal Yourself in the time of our calamity. Give me courage, King of gods and Master of all power. Make my words persuasive when I face the lion; turn his heart against our enemy, that the latter and his like may be brought to their end. Save us by Your hand; help me who am alone and have none but You, o Lord.”

Thursday, 13 March 2014 : 1st Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

We often forget, brothers and sisters, in our busy life and hectic schedules, that first and foremost, we should have no need to worry about this and that at all. We tend to forget this basic fact, and ending up to worry without end, and to fill our days with endless concerns and wants.

Brethren, our Lord provided us with all the things we need, and He provides us along the way, to help us with our respective lives. We may not realise this because He did so secretly, quietly helping us to make through things. It is often ourselves who screwed things up, because of our worries and concerns, which made us to take wrong decisions in life which may cost us dearly in the future.

And we know and should know that our Lord loves us very much, and He is willing to bless us and help us, but what He needs from us is that for us to ask Him and beseech Him for that help. It would be as simple as asking Him and knocking at His door, to seek for the Lord’s help, simple indeed or so it may seem to be.

But, we often forgot about this and did not realise this fact, and we often ended up depending solely on our own human power and based our decisions on our flawed judgment, which led to problems and uncertainties in our own lives. All these because we failed to recognise that in life, we cannot succeed if we do not depend on God, His love and loving help.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, God knows our needs and He will give us what is good, only if we go to Him and ask Him for it. He will not makes us to fall into a disaster or destroy us purposely simply because He cares and loves us very much. It is entirely against His character and will to cause trouble and problems for us. It is we ourselves who make problems for ourselves.

The Lord provides for all of His servants, to those who keep to His laws and commandments, for those who did not look away from His ways and keep themselves always in His grace. He gives all of them the best of His blessings and inheritance, as He had proven to the Queen Esther of Persia, His servant, when she asked Him for His help.

In today’s first reading, the prayer of Queen Esther, to put things into context, the Queen Esther of Persia, the wife of the then Emperor of Persia, Xerxes the Great, the greatest of the Emperors of Persia, was a Jew with a Jewish background, and a great enemy rose in the court of the Emperor, in the person of Hamman the Agagite, who despised Mordechai, the Queen’s uncle.

Hamman devised a plan and gained the heart of the king, and this plan, which was devised against all the people of Mordechai, that is the Jews, were to be slaughtered and killed without mercy and have their possessions taken away from them. This was where Queen Esther came into the scene, as she, as the Queen, tried to use her position and relations with the Emperor, to prevent that catastrophe from facing her own people.

That was what she was praying for, she prayed for strength, guidance and help, that she may be guided in her dangerous attempt to prevent the plans and devices of those who hated God’s people. And God heard her and the prayers of His people, by first destroying Hamman the great enemy, and by delivering the enemies of His people into the hands of justice.

Now you see how powerful God’s help is, and all we need to do is to sincerely and genuinely ask for His help, seeking for Him to show mercy towards us. If we do so, He will certainly come to help us, and provide us with all that we will need. May God help to open our minds and our hearts, that we may, in great humility, always seek for Him and ask for His mercy. Amen.