Monday, December 21, 2015

Now I, In Turn, Give Him to the Lord

By Melanie Rigney

After the boy’s father had sacrificed the young bull, Hannah, his mother, approached Eli and said: “Pardon, my lord. As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood near you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. Now I, in turn, give him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” She left Samuel there. (1 Samuel 1:25-28)

My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.  (1 Samuel 2:1a)

Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant.” (Luke 1:46-47)

Lord, I break out in song of my own to praise Your goodness.

By Lambert_Doomer
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Hannah and Mary were divided by centuries… and much more.

Mary was a young girl, pregnant with a child under unusual circumstances shared with her by an angel. Talk about bewildering! Then, the significance of what was happening was reflected in the welcome she received from her relative Elizabeth. Hannah, the favored wife of Elkanah, was desperate to have a son, in no small part because of the torment inflicted on her by a sister wife. Hannah prayed so fervently for a son that it was thought she was drunk. The prayer was answered as she had hoped; she gave birth to a son they named Samuel (“Because I asked the Lord for him”), and as soon as he was weaned, left him to be reared at the temple as she had promised.

Despite the differences in their circumstances, the Lord’s generosity and trust in Mary and Hannah both responded in songs of rejoicing. Each was grateful and full of praise… even though both knew their sons ultimately belonged not to them, but to God. And isn’t that the case of the most ordinary of births and rebirths, even today? The child born to the wealthiest or most impoverished family; the teenager struggling with which prestigious college to attempt or how to stop an abusive behavior; the adult who summons up the courage to go to confession after a week or twenty years. We find true joy when we dedicate the lives of those we rear or of ourselves to God—today, tomorrow, and always.

Don’t concern yourself today with where a loved one’s life may be helped. Turn your worries over to God. Ask Him if the situation requires you to take action… or simply to step out of His way.

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