In reading from Samuel I took note of the line, “In her bitterness she prayed to the Lord, weeping copiously.” I wondered about being bitter and how being in that state of mind might affect prayer. The prayer Hannah continues with sounds rather like bargaining… “if you give me a male child I will give him to the Lord for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head.” The story does remind us to trust and to go to the Lord with prayer. But for me, I have always felt that my prayer should not be in bitterness and should be more of a conversation with God expressing my fears, my longings, my desires and with out bargaining. “If you give me this then I will give you…” for God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful will provide for what it is I need.
The Responsorial Psalm seems to be reminding us of the power of God. As I read the Psalm it reminded me to put my trust in God, to believe that God does have my best interest in mind and to remember that I can and that I should relinquish control over the “trying” life situations. I am reminded of my wonderful gift of faith, my trust and my belief in God. I love the phrase, “If God has brought me to it, God will bring me through it”.
I have often wondered what the people of Jesus’ day thought about him and His New message. Jesus certainly shook up people in authority, asking them questions and teaching a new way of being in community with others. Can you imagine Jesus standing there, among the authorities, and rebuking the unclean spirit in the man by shouting “Quiet! Come out of him!”? Jesus was a man of conviction and principles who knew he was here to do His Father’s work. I wonder how many of us are strong enough and confident enough to speak to others about what is expected of us as Christians who have opened our hearts to accept and live as faith-filled people in our everyday, ordinary, or “trying” lives. We should all be as courageous and as out spoken as Jesus was!
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