Tuesday of Week 1 Per Annum (11th January)

Tuesday of Week 1 Per Annum (11th January): I Samuel 1.9-20; I Samuel 2; Mark 1.21-28

The prayer of Hannah, Samuel’s mother, for a son is wonderfully dramatic. The aged (and useless [2.27-36]) high priest Eli interpreted her passionate pleadings with the lord as a drunken idiolect; she shows that she is far better attuned to hear the lord when she names her son the answer to her prayers: ‘the asked-for of the lord.’ (The Hebrew verb sha’al means to ask; strikingly, another form of this same word becomes the name Saul, the first king of Israel, anointed by Samuel.)

Hannah’s song of thanksgiving at the birth of her son [2.1-10], which we recite instead of a Psalm after the first reading at today’s mass, bears much similarity to the Magnificat, the rejoicing song of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Luke 1.46-55] Both of them understand themselves as ‘poor’ women raised to a place of honour, that is, everlasting joy in the presence of the lord who is honoured by their faithful lives.

Posted in Daily Reflection.