First Reading | Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Esther had a task that is a matter of life and death—to go into the presence of the king without his invitation. She knew this as God’s will for her so she was prepared to go ahead. Like Esther, are we willing to put ourselves on the line to follow Jesus? May we have the courage to go wherever the Lord sends us to proclaim the Gospel.

12 Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the Lord. 14 She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, 15 for I am taking my life in my hand. 16 As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O Lord, always free those who are pleasing to you. 23 Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O Lord, my God. “And now, come to help me, an orphan. 24 Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish. 25 Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.”

Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 7-8

R: Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

1 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; 2 I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name. (R) Because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. 3 When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me. (R) Your right-hand saves me. 8 The Lord will complete what he has done for me; your kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands. (R)

Gospel | Matthew 7:7-12

When you knock at a door, you have to wait for someone to answer. Is there anyone home? Then you knock a second or third time. When we knock at God’s door, we must be willing to wait for Him to answer. His answers come in His perfect time. Sometimes, He does not answer to test us or when we are not yet ready for His answer, so He needs to prepare us first.

Gospel Acclamation

A clean heart creates for me, God; give me back the joy of your salvation.

7 Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, 10 or a snake when he asks for a fish? 11 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. 12 “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”