Thursday of the First Week of Lent

Official Translation

The first reading today from Esther is very strange. I have consulted the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and many translations, but cannot see how the ended up with the reading. Not even the NAB, the basis of the lectionary, has anything like it. So I collected a first reading from Esther that while a prayer by Esther is significantly different.

Reading 1 - Esther C.12, 14-16, 23-25 (14.1-2abd,3-5abc,13-14, 19)

Queen Esther was in fear of death
and resorted to the Lord.

She took off her splendid garments
and put on the clothing of weeping and mourning
and she utterly humbled her body
And she prayed to the Lord God of Israel, saying,
“O Lord, my only King.
Help me, who am alone, and have no helper but you.
for my danger is in my own hands.
Since birth, I have heard in the tribe of my family
that you, O Lord, took Israel out of all the nations.

Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion
and turn his heart to hate the man who fights against us,
so that he and those who agree with him may be finished.
Save us by your hand, and help me, who am alone
and have no helper but you, O Lord.

O God almighty,
hear the voice of the despairing,
and save us from the hands of evildoers,
and save me from my fear.

Responsorial – Psalm 138.1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8 Resp. 3a

R. Lord, on the day that I called, you answered me.

I will give you thanks with my whole heart.
for you have heard the words of my mouth
before the gods I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple,
and give thanks to your Name.

R. Lord, on the day that I called, you answered me.

Because of your loving kindness and your truth,
for you have exalted above all
your Name and your Word.
In the day that I called, you answered me.
You encouraged me with strength in my soul.

R. Lord, on the day that I called, you answered me.

Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will fulfill that which concerns me;
your loving kindness, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the works of your own hands.

R. Lord, on the day that I called, you answered me.

Gospel – Matthew 7.7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask, and it will be given to you.
Seek, and you will find.
Knock, and it will be opened for you.
For everyone who asks receives.
They who seek, find.
To the one who knocks, it will be opened.

Who is there among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
If you then, being perverse, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Therefore whatever you desire for humans to do to you, you shall also do to them;
for this is the law and the prophets.”

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