Posted by: livingscripture | February 25, 2010

First Thursday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

 Blessed are You, O Lord, my God!  Help me who am alone and have no help but You, for I am taking my life in my hand.

                                         Esther 12: 14-16, 23-25

 How should we live this Word

 Queen Esther of Jewish descent addresses this beautiful prayer to God before she exposes herself to danger in the attempt to save her own people from the threat of death.  Even though her position as the wife of the King can protect her from hostile machinations that wish to eradicate the Hebrew people, she does not hesitate to be in solidarity with her kinsfolk.  Their danger is her danger; their lot is her lot. 

She knows that Persian law allows no one to appear before the king unless summoned and those who transgress incur the death sentence.  However, the people are in danger and, in her generosity, Esther feels called upon to help and therefore makes this fatal decision. 

It may seem that this situation has nothing to do with today, but read in depth, it reveals quite an affinity.  There is no lack today of entire ethnic populations threatened by the economic and political ambitions of a few.  In fact, the entire planet is at risk.  We cannot minimize the destruction wrought by the diffusion of ideologies that are devoid of a future and therefore incapable of transmitting values and of infusing trust in life. 

It is the human family itself, of which we are all members, that is at risk.  Christians need to feel themselves involved as Esther did.  We cannot remain impassive or limit ourselves to recriminations.  Our vocation commits us to raise up to God the cry of a humanity deprived of the meaning of life.  We must cry out and do all that we can to resolve this situation.  And we must do this even if we must pay a personal price.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will meditate on Esther’s resolve, courage, and total dependence on God’s help. 

Lord, free me from the temptation to close myself in an egoistic rapport with You.  Grant that I may feel deeply the anxiety and the anguish of my sisters and brothers.  Grant that I may be a voice for their suffering, and pray for their consolation.  Grant me the strength and courage to help them.

 The voice of Oscar Romero, Martyred Bishop

There is a dangerous spirituality of our times that says to the Church:  you must preach only of the spiritual world.  You must only speak of God, of the Kingdom of Heaven.  You must not preoccupy yourself with the earth.  Thus we are dividing the Gospel.  Christ came to save humans paying attention to their bodies as well.  Thus, there cannot be a dichotomy between God’s rights and those of human beings.  When we speak of human rights, we are thinking of a being that is God’s image; we are defending God…

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