Saint Matilda (c. 895 – 968)
She was the wife of King Henry I of Germany. Saint Matilda interceded with the king on behalf of criminals, nursed the sick, taught the unschooled, and was generous in almsgiving.
To my words give ear, O Lord; give heed to my sighs. Attend to the sound of my cry, my King and my God.
Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord, a spirit of always pondering on what is right and of hastening to carry it out, and, since without you we cannot exist, may we be enabled to live according to your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Esther 4:17
Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words: ‘My Lord, our King, the only one, come to my help, for I am alone and have no helper but you and am about to take my life in my hands. ‘I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family, that you, Lord, chose Israel out of all the nations and our ancestors out of all the people of old times to be your heritage for ever; and that you have treated them as you promised. ‘Remember, Lord; reveal yourself in the time of our distress. ‘As for me, give me courage, King of gods and master of all power. Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion; change his feeling into hatred for our enemy, that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end. ‘As for ourselves, save us by your hand, and come to my help, for I am alone and have no one but you, Lord.’
Psalm 137 (138):1-3, 7-8
R/ On the day I called, you answered me, O Lord.
1)I thank you, Lord, with all my heart: you have heard the words of my mouth. In the presence of the angels I will bless you. I will adore before your holy temple.
2) I thank you for your faithfulness and love, which excel all we ever knew of you. On the day I called, you answered; you increased the strength of my soul.
3) You stretch out your hand and save me, your hand will do all things for me. Your love, O Lord, is eternal, discard not the work of your hands.
Gospel Acclamation: Joel 2:12-13
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks – come back to me with all your heart, for I am all tenderness and compassion. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. Is there a man among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! ‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Be merciful, O Lord, to those who approach you in supplication, and, accepting the oblations and prayers of your people, turn the hearts of us all towards you. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt. 7: 8
Everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Prayer after Communion
We pray, O Lord our God, that, as you have given these most sacred mysteries to be the safeguard of our salvation, so you may make them a healing remedy for us, both now and in time to come. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
May the mercy they have hoped for, O Lord, come to those who make supplication to you, and may the riches of heaven be given them, that they may know what it is right to ask and receive what they have sought. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus presents before us today the threefold invitation to ask, to search and to knock, which highlight boldness in prayer. These verbs do not point to people, requiring them to give what is asked of them, to find what is searched and to open when someone knocks; rather, they point to God. Their religious connotation is that a person, specifically a Christian, should ask God for something in his life, seek God and knock more often at the gates of divine mercy. The images of bread and fish, the staple food of the Jews, are used to demonstrate that our requests can be granted because God cannot led his faithful to go hungry, that is, without bread and fish. Furthermore, the Gospel teaches us that God the Father has more love and is more faithful to his promises than the fathers of this world.