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Today’s Readings – Thursday of week 1 of Lent - First Reading

Commentary on Esth C 12, 14-16, 23-25

Esther, a Jewish woman and queen to King Assuerus (in Greek, Xerxes) of Persia, used her influence to avert a massacre of her people by the Persians. As she prepared to enter the presence of the king she made the prayer in today’s passage.

She prays to God to stretch his protecting hand over his people and to help her particularly in the task she has to do. She acknowledges her weakness and that, without God’s help, there is nothing she can do. But she, so to speak, reminds God of the promises he made long ago to his chosen people, chosen as a “lasting heritage". It is a prayer of pure petition.

She knows that she and her people are totally in God’s hands. She does not threaten or try to manipulate God … Continue

Yesterday’s Readings – Wednesday of week 1 of Lent - First Reading

Commentary on Jonah 3:1-10

Jonah, probably not a historical figure, is one of the most attractive characters in the Bible. Although he is listed among the Minor Prophets, his book is more a cautionary tale than prophecy in the strict sense. There is an underlying humour … Continue

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