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The king delights in Esther above all the others, and chooses her to be queen. But he doesn’t know that he’s choosing a woman from among the Chosen People.
We can think of Esther as one of us — the best and most beautiful among us, sure, but still one of us. That’s what Mary is, too. A “mere” human, like us. Close and understanding.
Thanks to Esther being so close to the king, she is able to save her people from Haman, starting with her uncle Mordecai.
“Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this,” Mordecai tells Esther.
If Esther shows us the role of Mary and the Church, Haman shows us the role of Satan.
When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance to him, Haman was infuriated. But he thought it beneath him to kill only Mordecai. So, having been told who Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
Pope Francis likes to remind us that Satan glories in persecuting God’s people: “The Devil is behind every persecution, both of Christians and all human beings,” the Pope says. And when we feel his attack, we should go to our Mother Mary, he recommends.
Esther and Mordecai are supported by the prayer of the whole people, and defeat Haman and his conspiracies.
As we enter into the last days of this short Advent, let us draw two lessons from Queen Esther.
First, let us be united with our queen in prayer for all our people, all the little ones of every place who need the King’s mercy and protection. Let us be united with the universal Church in prayer for all the needs of the world.
And secondly, let us trust that our queen will obtain for us all that we need. If we feel the attacks of the Devil, let us turn to Mary and remember that we have a queen who is just like us, advocating for us in the presence of the King. And like the king promised Esther, we can hear God say to Mary, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you.”
[The Aleteia community is joining the journey of an Old Testament pilgrim each day this Advent, as they lead us to the Christ Child in this holy season. Find the daily reflections here.]