22 December 2016
Thursday, 4th Week of Advent
1 Sm 1: 24 –28 / Lk 1: 46 – 56
[Misa de Gallo. White, with Gloria]
From the 1st Reading: 1 Sm 1: 26 – 28
Hannah exclaimed, "Oh, my Lord, look! I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to Yahweh. I asked for this child and Yahweh granted me the favor I begged of him. Now, I think Yahweh is asking for this child. As long as he lives, he belongs to Yahweh." And they worshipped Yahweh there.
From the Gospel Reading: Lk 1: 46 - 49
And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God my savior! He has looked upon his servant in her lowliness, and people forever will call me blessed, The Mighty One has done great things for me, Holy is his Name."
Hannah is Elkanah's favorite wife, but barren. The other wife, Peninah, was fertile and had children. Peninah often taunted Hannah for being barren and childless, a disgrace in Hebrew society. Thus, Hannah was often sad and wept, even though Elkanah tried to console her, "Hannah, why are you crying and why are you not eating? Am I not more devoted to you than ten sons?"
But Hannah was not consoled and begged the Lord for a child, The Lord granted her request and now that she had weaned her child, Samuel, she returns her only child to the Lord. She returns with gladness the gift she had received. She breaks into song (1 Sm 2: 4 – 10), very much like Mary's Magnificat in today's Gospel reading. Mary's song of praise was in response to Elizabeth's greeting, of Elizabeth who had also been barren, though now with child even in her old age. The disgrace of Hannah and of Elizabeth for being barren and childless has now been taken away.
Hannah's child Samuel will be the great prophet who will eventually usher in a great king, David. Elizabeth's son, John the Baptist, will eventually usher in a greater king, Jesus, descendant of David.
Taking a long view, considering the centuries past between the two once-barren-then-fertile mothers and their sons and their prophetic vocations, we are filled with awe at the faith of those who connect these stories as one continuing and saving act of God.
Have you had a similar experience of being taunted, made fun of, of being disgraced? And have you experienced this disgrace overturned and become a saving action of God? If you do, you can join Hannah's song of exultation as well as Mary's Magnificat in thanking and praising God for having turned your disgrace into grace.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Christian Joshua E. Acero
Christopher E. Reyes
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Tan Siu Go
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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