Posted by: frburke23 | February 25, 2015

Thought for Thursday, 1st Week of Lent

Esther 4:12, 14-16, 23-25

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 forefathers
that 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 lion
and 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 gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.”


The basic fundamental that we are going to discuss today as we continue our spiritual spring training is intercessory prayer.  Do I recognize the power of asking God for something from the depths of our hearts?

Today we hear from the book of Esther.  This is a great story of Queen Esther begging God to save her people from destruction.  She lay prostrate on the ground and asked all her handmaids to storm heaven along with her.  She truly believed that God hears those who are pleasing to Him, and of course, He does answer her prayers.

She is a great example for us who seek the Lord’s blessings.   This goes along with the Gospel today, which tells us to seek, to ask and to knock.  The Lord wants us to trust Him completely.  He wants us to come to Him with our needs.  And He wants us to live in His grace, to be pleasing to Him with the way we live our lives.

So I think there are two areas of our lives that we should contemplate:

1) Am I living my life according to the Lord’s commandments? Am I living in God’s grace?  Queen Esther prays, Lord you “free those who are pleasing to you.”  Is my life pleasing to the Lord?  Or is there something in my life that I need to turn around?  

2) Do I go to the Lord with my needs? Do I trust the Lord with every part of my life?  Or do I try to do everything on my own?  Queen Esther turned to the Lord and trusted Him with her supplication.  When was the last time that I begged the Lord from the bottom of my soul for something?  Would I be willing to prostrate myself in humility before the Lord?

God does not always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered or in the timing we desire.  However, God knows the desires of our hearts.  And like a good Father, He gives us what we truly need, not always what we want.

Have a blessed day.  Be confident in the Lord and ask Him for your needs.  And live according to His ways.


Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

ESTHER 4:12, 14-16, 23-25

En aquellos días, la reina Ester, ante el mortal peligro que amenazaba a su pueblo, buscó refugio en el Señor y se postró en tierra con sus esclavas, desde la mañana hasta el atardecer. Entonces suplicó al Señor, diciendo:
“Dios de Abraham, Dios de Isaac, Dios de Jacob, ¡bendito seas! Protégeme, porque estoy sola y no tengo más defensor que tú, Señor, y voy a jugarme la vida.
Señor, yo sé, por los libros que nos dejaron nuestros padres, que tú siempre salvas a los que te son fieles. Ayúdame ahora a mí, porque no tengo a nadie más que a ti, Señor y Dios mío.

Ayúdame, Señor, pues estoy desamparada. Pon en mis labios palabras acertadas cuando esté en presencia del león y haz que yo le agrade, para que su corazón se vuelva en contra de nuestro enemigo, para ruina de éste y de sus cómplices.
Con tu poder, Señor, líbranos de nuestros enemigos. Convierte nuestro llanto en alegría y haz que nuestros sufrimientos nos obtengan la vida”.


Lo básico que hoy vamos a discutir a medida que continuamos nuestro entrenamiento espiritual de primavera es la oración de intercesión. ¿Reconocemos el poder de pedir algo a Dios desde lo profundo de nuestros corazones?

Hoy escuchamos del libro de Ester. Esta es una gran historia de la reina Ester rogando a Dios que salve a su pueblo de la destrucción. Ella se postro en el suelo y pidió a todas sus esclavas asaltar el cielo junto con ella. Ella de verdad creía que Dios escucha a aquellos que le agradan a Él, y por supuesto, Él responde a sus oraciones.

Ella es un gran ejemplo para nosotros los que buscamos las bendiciones del Señor. Esto va de la mano con el Evangelio de hoy, que nos dice que busquemos, pidamos y llamemos. El Señor quiere que confiemos en Él completamente. Él quiere que vayamos a Él con nuestras necesidades. Y Él quiere que vivamos en Su gracia, para ser agradables a Él con la forma en que vivimos nuestras vidas.

Así que creo que hay dos áreas de nuestras vidas que debemos contemplar:

1) ¿Estoy viviendo mi vida de acuerdo a los mandamientos del Señor? ¿Estoy viviendo en la gracia de Dios? La Reina Esther ora, Señor “salva a los que te son fieles.” ¿Es mi vida agradable al Señor? ¿O hay algo en mi vida que tengo que darle la vuelta?

2) ¿Voy al Señor con mis necesidades? ¿Confío en el Señor con cada parte de mi vida? ¿O trato de hacer todo por mi cuenta? La Reina Esther recurrió al Señor y confió en Él con su súplica. ¿Cuándo fue la última vez que le rogué al Señor por algo desde el fondo de mi alma? ¿Estaría dispuesto a postrarme humildemente ante el Señor?

Dios no siempre contesta nuestras oraciones de la forma que queremos que sean contestadas o en el momento que deseamos. Sin embargo, Dios conoce los deseos de nuestros corazones. Y como un buen Padre, Él nos da lo que realmente necesitamos, no siempre lo que queremos.

Tengan un día bendecido. Tengan confianza en el Señor y pídanle por sus necesidades. Y vivan de acuerdo a Sus leyes.

Padre Burke



  1. I want to thank you for your posts and most especially this one–the Holy Spirit is clearly working through you and today you have helped me immensely. We are going through a crisis with one of our children away at college. Today has been difficult and earlier I was on my face on the floor for a half hour begging for God’s help and intervention. I needed to pull it together and make a phone call. When I finally sat down in the office to call, I thought I would first pull up my email and see if God had anything to say to me through you or C.S. Lewis (the two daily emails I receive–see what excellent company you have!) 🙂 I pulled up your email and felt that the Word was crying out with me and then encouraging me with the truth of God’s promises. Thank you and if you would pray for Julia I would be grateful–pray for health and well being of body, mind and spirit and that she would receive the Holy Spirit and ask Him to direct her life and that the only influences allowed near her are those that would keep her in God’s will for her life. Kristen

    Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:48:05 +0000 To:

  2. I could not find this passage in my Bible which does not have the Apochrypha. I know there are second canon books but are there additions like this to books in the first canon (appropriate terminology?) that are part of the second canon as well? (hope my question makes sense) If so, I assume that is what ‘C’ means? Originally I thought that was a typo. Kristen

    Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:48:05 +0000 To:

    • Kristen, thanks for your question and thanks for catching my typo. This should read Esther, chapter 4, not C.

      Regarding the Apocrypha, I recommend this following Catholic source:

      Basically, the Catholic Church has accepted the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, that includes 7 books not found in the Protestant OT. This would include a longer version of Esther. The Protestant Bible accepts the Jewish version of the OT, which would not include these 7 books. Therefore the Protestant OT has 66 books while the Catholic OT has 73 books.

      There has been much debate on this topic through the years. Some say the Catholics added these 7 books. Catholics say the Protestants took out the 7 books. Ultimately, the Bible does not define itself. The Bible was formed by the Church and needs an external authority, we would say the Church, in order to define the canon of Scripture.

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