FIRSTREADING: EstherC: 12, 14-16, 23-25
QueenEsther, seized with mortal anguish,
hadrecourse to the Lord.
Shelay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
frommorning until evening, and said:
"Godof Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Helpme, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life inmy hand.
Asa child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, OLord, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Nowhelp me, who am alone and have no one but you, O Lord, my God.
"Andnow, come to help me, an orphan.
Putin my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
andturn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
sothat he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Saveus from the hand of our enemies;
turnour mourning into gladness
andour sorrows into wholeness.
PSALM: **Psalms 138:**1 - 3, 7 - 8
1I will praise thee, O lord, with my whole heart: for thou hast heardthe words of my mouth. I will sing praise to thee in the sight of hisangels:
2I will worship towards thy holy temple, and I will give glory to thyname. For thy mercy, and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thyholy name above all.
3In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me: thou shallmultiply strength in my soul.
7If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, thou wilt quicken me:and thou hast stretched forth thy hand against the wrath of myenemies: and thy right hand hath saved me.
8The Lord will repay for me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: Odespise not the work of thy hands.
GOSPEL: **Matthew 7:**7 - 12
7Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, andit shall be opened to you.
8For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth:and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
9Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread,will he reach him a stone?
10Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent?
11If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children:how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things tothem that ask him?
12All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you,do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets.