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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 02.03.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 02.03.2023

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ESTHER 14: 1, 3 – 4, 11, 13 – 14

In those days: Esther the queen, seized with deathly anxiety, fled to the Lord. And she lay on the earth together with all her maid- servants, 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 helper but you, for my danger is in my hand. I have heard from the books of my ancestors that you liberate all those who are pleasing to you, O Lord, until the very end. And now, assist me, who am all alone, and have no one but you, O Lord, my God. Come to my aid, for I am an orphan. Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of him and those who agree with him. But save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our affliction into well-being.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 138: 1 – 2a, 2bcd – 3, 7d – 8 (R. 3a

R/. On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord.

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
you have heard the words of my mouth.
In the presence of the angels I praise you.
I bow down toward your holy temple. R/.

I give thanks to your name
for your merciful love and your faithfulness.
You have exalted your name and your promise over all.
On the day I called, you answered me;
you increased the strength of my soul. R/.

With your right hand you save me;
the Lord will accomplish this for me.
O Lord, your merciful love is eternal;
discard not the work of your hands. R/.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
Psalm 51: 10a, 12a

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore to me the joy of your salvation.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“Everyone who asks receives.”
MATTHEW 7: 7 – 12

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Praying for the Will of God
March 2, 2023

“Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish?” (Matthew 7:9–10)

Clearly this is a rhetorical question by Jesus. No parent would hand their son or daughter a stone or a snake if they asked for food. But that of course is the point. Jesus goes on to say, “…how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”

When you pray with deep faith, will our Lord give you whatever you ask? Certainly not. Jesus did say, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” But this statement must be carefully read within the whole context of Jesus’ teaching here. The fact of the matter is that when we sincerely ask in faith for “good things,” meaning that which our good God wants to bestow upon us, He will not disappoint. Of course, this does not mean that if we beg Jesus for anything whatsoever that He will give it to us.

What are those “good things” that our Lord will most certainly give to us? First and foremost, it is the forgiveness of our sins. We can be absolutely certain that if we humble ourselves before our good God, especially within the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we will be granted the freely given and transforming gift of forgiveness.

In addition to the forgiveness of our sins, there are many other things we need in life, and there are many other things that our good God wants to bestow upon us. For example, God will always want to give to us the strength we need to overcome temptations in life. He will always want to provide for our most basic needs. He will always want to help us grow in every virtue. And He most certainly wants to bring us to Heaven. It is these things that we must especially pray for every day.

But what about other things, such as a new job, more money, a better house, acceptance into a certain school, a physical healing, etc.? Our prayers for these and other similar things in life should be prayed for but with a caveat. The “caveat” is that we pray that God’s will be done. Not ours. We must humbly acknowledge that we do not see the big picture in life and do not always know what will give God the greatest glory in all things. Therefore, it may be better that you not get that new job, or be accepted at this school, or even that this illness not end in healing. But we can be certain that God always will bestow upon us that which is best for us and that which enables us to give God the greatest glory in life. The crucifixion of our Lord is a perfect example. He prayed that that cup be taken from Him, “but not my will but Yours be done.” And, of course, the Father saw the great eternal value in the death of His Son on the Cross and answered that prayer of His accordingly.

Reflect, today, upon how you pray. Do you pray with detachment from the outcome, knowing that our Lord knows best? Do you humbly admit that only God knows what is truly good for you? Trust this to be the case and pray with complete confidence that God’s will be done in all things and you can be certain that He will answer that prayer.

PRAYER:
Dear Lord of infinite wisdom and knowledge, help me to always place my trust in Your goodness and care for me. Help me to daily turn to You in my need and to trust that You will answer my prayer according to Your perfect will. I place my life into Your hands, dear Lord. Do with me as you wish. Jesus, I trust in You.

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