Memory of the Poor

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

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

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hannah's prayer was answered. So she returned home, “Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.” Prayer prompted the Lord to turn his gaze towards that woman. The Lord, indeed, is not deaf to the prayers of those who entrust themselves to Him. 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.