Friday, December 21, 2018

Nothing is sweeter than the joy of answered prayer.

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request."
(1 Samuel 1: 27).

Friends, let me share with you frankly. There is nothing as sweet in religion as the joy of answered prayer.  If you have experienced it, you know what I mean. If not, ask yourself why.  Among my favorite Bible characters, Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel stands close to the front of the line. She is a woman of great faith and power, generosity and humility.  The Evangelist Luke must have been inspired by her personality in crafting the profile of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is not an accident that the two most powerful women in salvation history are featured in today's Mass Readings just 3 days to the Solemnity of Christmas.

Speaking of the radical generosity of Hannah and Mary, read the word below and consider how many women you know who could make such offer to God.  Give away their only son?
"Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” 
(1 Samuel 1: 28).

Mary and Hannah are spiritual warriors and winners.  Let us savor the Responsorial Psalm of today's Liturgy taken from the Song of Hannah and be blessed by the word of God.

"My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."

“My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in my victory.”

“The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength. The well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.”

“The LORD puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts.”

“He raises the needy from the dust; from the dung heap he lifts up the poor, to seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.”
(1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8).

"O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!"

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