09 Mar Give Me Courage
Lent Day 9
The prayer of Esther, a Jewish heroine who rose to distinction at the majestic courts of the Persian king, is one that casts light on her desperate situation. Like the Martyrs who risk everything including their lives for the triumph of the Gospel, she puts her life at risk also to prevent a genocide.
Esther had learnt about the decree from Haman to wipe out all the Jews [without exception]. Her dilemma was how to appear before the king without his summons yet her inaction will bear a collateral damage considering the vast number of Jews in the Persian Empire. A very striking point in the prayer of the Jewess was “give me courage King of gods and Ruler of every power”; hanging unto God’s strength to accomplish this daunting task.
The season of Lent is a period to fervently ask for courage because it guarantees the willingness to walk this path of purification and cleansing without being overwhelmed by the length of time, and the demands accompanied by the season. It takes courage to truly and deeply examine ourselves, to search deeply into the recesses of our hearts, to crush ourselves that the juice of purity and the fragrance of love may be extracted, it takes courage to make a resolution never to be untrue to the Holy and Blessed identity given us by God, it takes courage to make a sincere confession in the Sacrament of Penance.
Pray therefore like Esther to the King and Ruler of every power, for this gift of courage.
Prayer: Lord, bestow on us all the strength for this journey with you, that I may not surrender abruptly but to surrender only in you. Amen.
Fr Victor Okhiria