Monday, January 09, 2012

O God Remember Me

January 10, 2012

Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

By Beth DeCristofaro

In (Hannah’s) bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously, and she made a vow, promising: "O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid 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." As she remained long at prayer before the LORD... (1 Samuel 1:10-12)

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, … In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. (Mark 1:21-26)


“The LORD puts to death and gives life,

casts down to Sheol and brings up again.

The LORD makes poor and makes rich,

humbles, and also exalts.

He raises the needy from the dust;

from the ash heap lifts up the poor,

To seat them with nobles

and make a glorious throne their heritage.

“For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,

and he has set the world upon them.

He guards the footsteps of his faithful ones,

but the wicked shall perish in the darkness;

for not by strength does one prevail. (1 Samuel 2:6-9)


Sometimes our lives and our prayer life feel pretty mundane. Today’s readings show us God’s Word through powerful, far-from-mundane stories. Desperate Hannah weeps and prays from the bottom of her soul. She enters into a pact with God, making a terrible vow to give up her child, the desire of her life. I can just imagine her, as she honors her vow by leaving 3-year old Samuel in the temple, crying all the way home while simultaneously thanking God for his presence in her life.

Might God have moments like that, too? God creates us and we are born into the world where God’s hands loosen just a little around us, allowing us room in our lives to stay within the Divine embrace or reject that love. Jesus’ gaze upon his neighbors at Capernaum must have swept the room wondering who would accept the Word. Ironic that it is an “unclean spirit” who first recognizes him. Jesus’ loving authority frees the man to see and hear him clearly without obstruction. God does the same for us. Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving (above) shows that she sees the immensity, the mercy, the generosity and the justice of the Lord within life’s happiness and tragedies.


What in life is worth giving up for God? What are you finding impossible to give up yet obstructs you from seeing God. Pray Hannah’s prayer for God’s help with your decisions.

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