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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Samuel 1,24-28

When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, as well as a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and took him into the temple of Yahweh at Shiloh; the child was very young. They sacrificed the bull and led the child to Eli. She said, 'If you please, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood beside you here, praying to Yahweh. This is the child for which I was praying, and Yahweh has granted me what I asked of him. Now I make him over to Yahweh for the whole of his life. He is made over to Yahweh.' They then worshipped Yahweh there.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The passage we read follows the fulfilment of Hannah’s prayer requesting a child. So when she returned home, "Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her." Prayer prompted the Lord to turn his gaze towards this woman. The reference to Christmas we are about to celebrate is evident. In Hannah’s prayer there is along list of the poor and the weak and of the entire humanity invoking salvation. The Lord listens to the prayers of those who turn to him with faith. Hannah is heard and receives from God the son that she had "asked for." She called him Samuel, meaning "asked of God." Samuel is truly the child of prayer. Hannah keeps watch over him like a precious gift. That is why she lets Elkanah go on a pilgrimage to Shiloh alone. She tells her husband: "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there for ever." It is impossible to stand in the presence of God without understanding at least a little of the mystery, without sensing that holy fear that should be felt in front of his greatness. Therefore, when the child was weaned, Hannah made the pilgrimage to Shiloh with him and presented him immediately to Eli. She wanted to fulfil the vow that she had made to the Lord. Aware of the great mercy that the Lord had shown her and mindful of the benefits she had received, Hannah does not keep the child for herself but entrusts him into the Lord’s hands, as she had promised. She had experienced the Lord’s power, and she was certain that her son was in stronger and safer hands than hers. She repaid God’s faithfulness to her ("The Lord remembered her") with loyalty to Him ("the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him). This woman stands before Israel and us as an example of a believer. In her we can see the very meaning of the covenant that the Lord established with Israel. She knows, and now so do we, that Israel’s new life comes from God’s very power, a power that is inexplicable and irresistible as well as strong and concrete. What is surprising is that this power is raised up and provoked by the prayer of humble Hannah. She did not have any particular skills or pretensions, she simply persevered in prayer, accepted God’s blessing, and put the fruit of her womb in God’s service.


12/22/2015
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


Calendar of the week
NOV
27
Sunday, 27 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
NOV
28
Monday, 28 November
Memory of the Poor
NOV
29
Tuesday, 29 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
NOV
30
Wednesday, 30 November
Memory of the Apostles
DEC
1
Thursday, 1 December
Memory of the Church
DEC
2
Friday, 2 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
3
Saturday, 3 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday