Read 1 Sam.  1:24-28, 1 Sam.  2:1,4-8, Luke 1:46-56

“For this child, I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)

Life is full of ups and downs. However, there are certain painful experiences that make us wonder if being alive is a mistake, experiences that are, to say the least, simply unbearable. Such was the situation of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Hannah was the first wife of Elkanah but she had no child.

Perhaps, as a result of her inability to conceive, her husband Elkanah married another wife, Peninnah who was blessed with children. Peninnah took it upon herself to constantly provoke Hannah severely and irritate her. Despite being blessed with children, Peninnah was terribly jealous of Hannah because Elkanah loved Hannah more and gave Hannah double portions during the yearly sacrifice.

The tongue is one of the smallest organs of the body but is very dangerous if it is not properly handled. Sometimes, the insults of others (words) hurt more than physical injuries. In the midst of this storm, Hannah cried out her heart to God in prayer. She did not just pray, she made a vow to God that if she is blessed with a male child, she would offer him as a Nazirite to the service of God.

Hannah’s eyes were so red that when Eli saw her praying that morning, he thought she was drunk. Eli could not understand how a woman would be drunk so early and when he inquired, Hannah explained her pain. The most interesting part of this story is that after God heard Hannah’s prayer, she did not forget her vow. Our first reading today tells us how Hannah returned to the temple with her son, Samuel, to fulfill her vow.

Our responsorial psalm today, just like Mary’s song of thanksgiving in today’s Gospel passage, contains Hannah’s prayer of thanks to God for answering her prayer. In it, Hannah acknowledged that God favors the humble and brings down the proud: “Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. (1 Samuel 2:5).

Dear friends, let us examine our hearts. Are there promises you have made to God when things were rough for you, yet, long after God heard your prayer, you refused to fulfill your part of the promise? Do you even remember God when things are going well for you?

Lastly, are you currently going through a storm, don’t worry, storms do not last forever. Keep telling yourself, “This too shall pass.” Tough times don’t last but tough people do.

 Let us pray: Heavenly Father, may my soul continue to sing your praises. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (22 December. Bible Study: 1 Sam.  1:24-28, 1 Sam.  2:1,4-8, Luke 1:46-56)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu