Father David's Reflection for First Thursday in Lent
The Responsorial Psalm gives us confidence in dealing with God: "O Lord, on the day I called for help you answered me!" (Psalm 138).
Esther C (after chapter 4): 12, 14-16, 23-25 shows us Esther risking her life on the basis of what she "used to hear from the people of the land and our ancestors. that you fulfilled all your promises to them." Because she listened, believed and acted on what she heard she became a hero. She saved her people.
In Matthew 7: 7-12 Jesus encourages us: "Seek... Knock.." If we do, we will find what we are looking for (or more than we dreamed of). And a door will be opened for us to enter. He says the Father is eager to "give good things to any- one who asks him." But we have to ask. And we have to accept what we receive and act on it. The grace to do this will also be given us if we ask.
What are you seeking? What do you ask God for most often? What door do you want God to open for you? Where do you want to go with your life? How high have you set your sights?
If up to now you have asked mainly for things that satisfy nothing more than natural, human desires - health for yourself and your family, prosperity, success, protection from physical dangers - you might use the time of Lent to work on a conversion to higher desires. Be more ambitious! Ask God for more than what a good, enlightened government might provide. Ask God for divine gifts. Set your heart on a life enhanced as only the life of grace, lived "to the full," can enhance it.
Is your family life perfectly satisfying? Is it all you dreamed of? Does your student or professional life excite you so much you can't wait to get to school or work? Is your social life something that builds you up in every way instead of tearing you down? Do you think that interaction with Jesus Christ can raise all these areas of your life to a new level? Do you really?
An obvious way to interact with Jesus is as a Teacher. This - "Rabbi" - is what his disciples frequently called him. He came to save us by teaching us how to live and empowering us to live by his teachings. But to profit from a teacher we have to read, listen and think. Do you believe that if you "call for help" by doing this, God will answer you? Jesus said it: "Seek, and you will find." "O Lord, on the day I called for help you answered me!"
Initiative: Be a disciple. Seek greater knowledge and understanding of Christ's teaching. Ask him to open for you the way to a fuller life, based on his guidance. Believe that if you seek you will find. Set aside time to read the Scripture.