When reading today’s Gospel, the first thing I thought of was my mom. Throughout my life, every time I go to her and say, “Why didn’t this happen even though I prayed for it? I thought it was the right thing” her response would be one of two things: “God’s delay is not God’s denial” or “Thank God for unanswered prayers”. As a kid, it was sometimes hard to hear. Heck, as an adult it’s still a hard thing to hear. But I know she’s right.
The Gospel comes from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount and he tells us to do three things: Ask, Seek, and Knock. He is telling us to be persistent in our faith, to not stop at asking God for His help but rather, to continue searching for Him and for His presence in our lives until we know truly know Him. By seeking Him in this life, the doors to Heaven will be opened for us. In the responsorial psalm we say, “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me” and in the first reading, we hear Esther’s lamentations and petitions to God. She is vulnerable before God and asks his forgiveness, knowing that He will listen to her pleas. Her faith in God and His mercy allows her to sincerely ask for and seek Him.
At the end of the Gospel Christ says, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” The Golden Rule. We’ve all known it ever since elementary school but how often and with what disposition to we go about implementing this in our daily lives? We should always strive to be Christ to others. Not just so that others are kind to us, or show mercy to us, but so that we can share our faith by way of example.
So often we grow frustrated when God’s answers to our prayers and to our petitions don’t come in the form we expect. Perhaps when we take a closer look at our lives we will see that God has, when we ask with a pure heart and genuine spirit, answered all our prayers. May we use this Lenten season to grow in fortitude and continue to persevere in our faith. May we also use this time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to be Christ to all those we encounter.
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO is studying for her Master’s in Spanish, and loves her job as an elementary school librarian. She is engaged to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.