1 Samuel 2: 1, 4-6, 6-7, 8abcd “…’He raised the needy from the dust; from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage.’”
Luke 1: 46-56 “…’He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.’…”
Blessed Jacopone da Todi, (d.1306) was a noble, a lawyer and a married man. His wife did penance for the “worldly excesses” of her husband. After she died in a freak accident, attending a sporting event for him, and he realized she had been doing penance for him, he had a conversion experience and sold all his belongings and became a third order Franciscan (and later asked to join the Order of Friars Minor, First Order, though he did not want to be ordained a priest). He was always joyful and wrote music that is still used today, with Stabat Mater, being used during Lent, and is one among many.
Mary in today’s reading from Luke expresses herself in a canticle. The words are very similar to the words Hannah used in the Responsorial reading from 1 Samuel. Both have given birth or are pregnant with a child who can change the world and help put humanity back on the right track. Though one could get puffed up at the opportunity these women were presented, we know they would not have been chosen if God didn’t know they’d remain humble with only gratitude for being called to serve.
Gratitude is such a blessing and a hard virtue to find among mankind today. But, this is the virtue easily seen in both women today. I feel grateful for the reminder of how powerful a persistent prayer life can be. For Hannah, praying initially for her self to escape the scorn of being barren, resolves to give over the child to the LORD if she could be granted the gift of childbearing. Her prayer is answered and Samuel is the response from the LORD.
Mary’s piety and her fiat response when asked to bear the “Savior of the world” are well known. Having her humility after being around Jesus all his life would be understandable, but the truth is she was humble before she said yes to bearing him in her womb, as she talked about being the “handmaid of the LORD”. So, I am reminded to trust God always, to not stop praying, and humility is a very attractive quality in a person. Thank you, Mary and Hannah for showing us the way today. The world is still full of troubles and in need of a Savior again.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook