Thursday, December 22, 2005

Refelction on today's readings

Todays' readings (if you are reading today you can click on the 'Today's Readings' link to the left and see them) have much joy and sadness in them.

Reading I
Sm 1:24-28

In those days,
Hannah brought Samuel with her,
along with a three-year-old bull,
an ephah of flour,
and a skin of wine,
and presented him at the temple of the LORD in Shiloh.
After the boy's father had sacrificed the young bull,
Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said:
'Pardon, my lord!
As you live, my lord,
I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the LORD.
I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD";
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD.

She left Samuel there.

Lk 1:46-56

Mary said:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior;
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

In the first reading, I find it extaordinary that Hannah, after she prayed to God for Samuel and he granted her request, that she was able to "give him back to God". I am unsure, since I have not read the rest of the scripture following the reading, if that is a metaphor for dedicating him to God, or if she meant it literally. In any case, she left Samuel there. I have a hard time leaving my kids with a sitter much less alone next to sacrificed animals. How great her trust in the Lord must have been! I long for that level of trust, but I fear I am too controlling.

The second reading is really one of joy and sorrow. How wonderful Mary must have felt knowing she was chosen to give birth to God the Man! How EXCITED she must have been! And also, how sad she must have been knowing what lay ahead for her only son. How much suffering he would endure. I know there is no love like that a parent has for the child. How great her love must have been for God, whom she trusted entirely, and whom she gave her life to.

Both readings illustrate the high and low of giving of oneself to God. How can I ever reach that level trust and surrender? How interesting it is that God not only calls Mary to give her life in bearing and raising Jesus. This is something he cals all of us to do - to give of ourselves willingly and freely and totally.

But, how many of us would be able to give up our children as well? It is in that message I think God is asking more of us...

1 comment:

Anne said...

I believe you are correct when you say in the last line the "God is asking more of us." We have been taught that to trust God, to know that God is in control and not us, and to totally surrender to Him is to HAVE FAITH, NOT FEAR. It sounds simple. As our spiritual lives mature, this becomes easier and before we know it, those four words become our mantra.