Day 9: God’s Good Gifts

God's Good Gifts

BY CATHERINE PUNSALAN-MANLIMOS | March 10, 2022
Today’s Readings

A woman of privilege is called upon to risk everything. Arguably, Esther could have ignored the plea to intercede on her people’s behalf. After all, she was already living in the palace, shielded from much of the danger that threatened her people. 

Or, she could risk not only her good standing, but her life, and act. She chooses to act, to plead her people’s case, whatever the cost. To prepare herself she fasts and prays and she asks her people to fast and pray with her. The first reading is her prayer.

God's Good Gifts
She brings before God, whom she has been taught to trust, all her needs. She speaks as a woman who understands her absolute dependence on God. She knows the political task before her and turns to God to give her the words she needs to make her case and save her people.

The past two years have sown doubt in the hearts of many, questioning whether or not we can truly approach God with what we need and expect a response. Today’s gospel reading makes no room for doubt. If we, who are wicked, know how to give good things, how much more will God, it asks. Of course, the passage does not say that you will get exactly what you ask for. The last word is not that God knows how to “give good gifts.” Instead it concludes with: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.”

While the readings invite confidence in approaching God with our needs, might their invitation be for us to step into the breach, like Esther? Are they a call to bring our community’s needs to God and be assured that, if we discover that we are the answer to that need, God, who “gives good gifts,” will be with us?

For Reflection: 

  • How are you being called to “step into the breach” during this Lenten season? 

12 replies
  1. Terry Griep
    Terry Griep says:

    As a person deeply concerned about racism and a white woman of privilege, I have been reading, participating in anti racism discussion groups and delving into our nation’s history of racism. It is time for me to act on what I’ve learned. I am making a conscious effort to have discussions about race, and to have the courage to speak up when I hear racist comments or witness a person of color being treated unfairly.

    Reply
  2. Dr Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    It is interesting during this Lenten season to S T R E T C H that is just a little more, just a little more challenge, a surrender to all that He wants from us. It includes the person who wants to talk to us for a few minutes, it is the person that needs our prayers, it is the mean spirited that we give our love and attention. It is the constant stretching to be aware of the needs of the other as we go throughout our day. It is the smile of welcoming that we give to those who are downcast. Being in the presence of God is a delight and we share that delight with others. So lets go our and S T R E T C H
    god’s word to others.

    Reply
  3. Mary Ann Vogel
    Mary Ann Vogel says:

    Let us all, like Esther, storm heaven on behalf of the Ukrainian people and plead with God to stop Putin’s destruction of their country and the heartless killing of innocent people.

    Reply
  4. Susan Maxwell
    Susan Maxwell says:

    Today’s combination of readings strikes a few chords about God’s gifts and God’s help that keep coming up for me in adult life, and heightened more during these years of Covid. One is that while I should have faith and comfort that those gifts and help will come, I do still have to ask, to seek, to knock – an ongoing process that can take many forms. The other is the reminder that God’s gifts and help very often come through other people, already close to me or strangers. If my eyes are open, that’s certainly true when I’m on the receiving end. So it’s also a challenge, both in everyday life and in crisis situations: for Covid impacts or Ukraine, etc. beyond praying for God’s help for them, here on earth I have to be one of the people bringing that support or relief from suffering into tangible reality.

    Reply
  5. Karen Pramenko
    Karen Pramenko says:

    What do we give to the Ukrainian people? They are asking us. Keeping the beatitudes in mind, What can we give? They are desperate. Some have fled to a safer land. Do we give arms to protect themselves?

    Reply
  6. Cathe Shoulberg
    Cathe Shoulberg says:

    Love todays readings! What I glean from them, when we take a risk on behalf of another, God is with us – and I believe, whatever the outcome, all will be well!

    Reply
  7. sonja
    sonja says:

    Just tending Mother Earth, working with plants brings peace to the soul. No matter what we do, however humble the task, we can emit peace and love out to the universe to be reflected down onto those in need of solace. May we all take time to be more present in everything we do, and everything we say, no matter who we are with.

    Reply
  8. Merle Harris
    Merle Harris says:

    How can I help improve our community ´s situation as I involve the experience and knowledge of the wise in it.

    Reply

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