Day 278: Power in Weakness

Nehemiah 10:1-39 All the people ratified the covenant and committed themselves anew to keeping the Law. They also promised not to allow intermarriage with non-Jews and to provide material support for the priests. It is incumbent upon the faithful to provide material support for the ministers of the Church. (CCC 2122)

Esther 15:1-16 [Greek] Esther completed her days of mourning, re-adorned herself as queen, and went to the king. Ahasuerus offered her his golden scepter, which was a sign of the king’s favor. Esther appeared more vulnerable and had fainting spells before the king. Initially in a foul mood, Ahasuerus’s disposition, through divine intervention, quickly changed to one of compassion. In this version as well, it was reported that Ahasuerus offered Esther the scepter. This passage is an expansion of the Hebrew text (5:1-2): On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace; and when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she found favor in his sight and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter. 

Ch 5:3-14 Esther invited the king and Haman to a dinner party, which pleased Haman. Haman and his wife devised a plot to have Mordecai killed.

Ch 6:1-14 Reminded of Mordecai’s exposure of the plot against him, Ahasuerus decided that Mordecai had not been properly honored for his deed. When Haman appeared and suggested that the king honor his most favored member of the court, thinking of himself, he was appalled and humiliated to have to carry out the pop and ceremony in honor of Mordecai. Haman’s own wife and advisors warned him that he would not prevail over Mordecai. This advice implies a tacit recognition of the power of the God of Israel. 

Ch 7:1-19 Esther’s dinner party went just as she had planned: She petitioned the king to spare the Jews and exposed the insidious cruelty of Haman. In a bit of irony, Haman was hanged on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai’s execution.

Proverbs 21:13 We see this proverb at play in Christ’s parable of Lazarus, the beggar spurned by the rich man, who was comforted in the afterlife while the wealthy man suffered eternal torment (cf. Lk 16:19-31). (CCC 1021, 2463)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much. Father, just we ask that you please, in the name of your Son Jesus Christ this day, receive our thanks. Receive our praise. Receive the glory and honor that is yours. Thank you for bringing us once again to a new day. And thank you for your Word. Thank you for speaking to us and thank you for calling us to renew our relationship with you, to renew the Covenant that you established in the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name, we pray. Amen.”