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Refuge in the Lord
Gospel Reflection 3/2/2023
"Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, fled to the Lord for refuge. Then she prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, saying: “My Lord, you alone are our King. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you." (Est C: 12,14)
We have all felt alone at times in our life, and in the first reading, we read how Queen Esther, like many of us, does not always have proper human consolation. However, Esther turned to the Lord, and her faith in God gave her the strength to be free from her anguish. We, as Christians, can relate to Esther's situation of feeling alone, and at times loneliness can take its toll. Mother Teresa writes, "there is a therapy or medication for every sickness, but not for loneliness, not for the people no one wants. This is the leprosy of the west." Indeed, this quote hits home for many of us, and although it is not unique to only the west, we here in the west must be careful not to lose our community and connection with people.
For lent, one of the things I gave up was my Twitter account, and this was the best decision I had made in a while. Now, this may not be for everyone, but I was starting to feel as though I was not making real bonds, and in some ways, I was feeling lonely being on my computer and phone so often. Not to mention my time was being misused, but most importantly, like many of you, I was searching for deeper, more meaningful connections to discuss more important matters. Community is vital to our faith, and although social media platforms offer much good in this area, there is nothing like calling a close friend willing to lend an ear for support.
Like Esther, we should not be afraid to knock and search for God. He is always waiting for us and wants to bring us into a life of peace. If you or a loved one is dealing with loneliness or anxiety, please pray to our Lord to enter each of our lives. I hope this prayer to St. Jude will help someone who might be struggling with loneliness or heartache today.
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St. Jude, friend to those in need, I am weary from grief, without joy, without hope, struggling to find the light I know is in my soul. I turn to you, my most trusted intercessor. Take away this emptiness and the pain of my broken heart. In your compassion, help my tears to lead me to a place of peace in my heart. Too long have I forgotten the goodness of God’s world. Heal me. I yearn to feel light, to feel joy. Envelop me in brightness, and do not hold back. And I promise, if I receive these gifts, I will share them always in your name. Amen.