December 22, Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Daily Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-28 & Luke: 1:46-56
As we draw closer to Christmas, the readings are joyous ones. They invite us to accompany the two women whose deep trust in God brought new life, hope and joy despite what seemed impossible.
Hannah, who was childless, went to the temple where she prayed for a son. She cried out to the Lord and wept bitterly. She was so upset that she made a promise to the Lord in her request for a son, she said: "Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head" (1Samuel 1:11)
After she said this prayer aloud,, she continued to pray in her heart but her lips moved. She was seen by the priest, Eli, who accused her of being drunk. She explained that she had not had any wine nor strong drink and that instead, she was deeply distressed and was praying to the Lord. Eli told her to go in peace and also asked that the Lord would grant her request. When the child was born she called him Samuel which means "asked of God."
In thanksgiving for her son Samuel, Hannah presents him to the Lord in the temple in Shiloh. She shares with Eli how she stood near him as she prayed for the child and how the Lord had granted her request. In turn, she offers him to the Lord, saying, "As long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.”
The Responsorial Psalm expresses Hannah's joy at the birth of Samuel.
The Gospel has the beautiful song of Mary, the Magnificat, as she greeted her cousin Elizabeth. The Magnificat is based on the Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-10) and describes God's favour toward Israel and especially the poor and lowly. We learn from this, how Mary knew so well the history of her people and was familiar with the song of Hannah. Both songs overflow with gratitude to God.
Both Hannah and Mary rejoice in what God has done for them.
Reflect on what God has done and is doing for you.
- Take a little time today to thank God for all his goodness and how he has blessed you.
- Try writing your own Magnificat - your prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God.
- Pray for an end to injustices in our world.
Take the following words and prayer of Pope Francis: Look to Mary, our Mother, and allow her to look upon us, for she is our mother and she loves us so much; let us allow ourselves to be watched over by her so that we may learn how to be more humble, and also more courageous in following the Word of God; to welcome the tender embrace of her Son, Jesus, an embrace that gives us life, hope, and peace.
'You are all-beautiful
Hear our prayer, graciously hear our plea:
May the beauty of God's merciful love in Jesus
abide in our hearts, and may this divine beauty save us and the entire world'
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.