In today's reading from Samuel, a woman named Hannah gives voice to what so many of us do when she says to Eli, the priest: "I was only pouring out my troubles to the Lord."
In our first reading, what prompted Hannah’s response was Eli misreading her. What he saw was a woman, obviously distressed sitting in the temple, moving her lips with no audible sound coming forth.
We’ve probably each seen or been that person, with a similar appearance and at the end of our rope…whether on the train, sitting in a coffee shop, or in a hospital cafeteria.
Because Eli thought she was drunk, Hannah explains that her unhappiness, her deep sorrow has brought her to the temple to plead with God in prayer.
Sensing her sincerity, Eli tells her to "Go in peace" and adds his prayer to hers, saying, "…and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."
When Hannah returns home, she’s no longer looks downcast, and we're told "…the Lord remembered her," and she bore a son named "Samuel since she had asked the Lord for him."
What we hear in this story of human struggle is the reminder of who has the ultimate authority over Heaven and Earth.
But to have that hope, we need to believe as we heard in the gospel that Jesus is Lord, that He is real and truly the Holy One of God.
When we're dealing with work or household things like working on a project or doing a home repair, there is always the need to get approval from the One who has the authority to say "Yes."
Hannah had reached the point where she knew God was the One, just like the people in the synagogue of Capernaum realized as they witnessed Jesus’ teaching with authority…and were astonished.
How about us? How about our family members?Do we see God as the Holy One that we turn to with both the ordinary and extraordinary situations in life? Hannah’s example of faith in her time of need and examples in our own lives remind us of the power of believing in God’s care for us. That He really does hear our prayers if only we’ll believe and ask.
May God bless you and your families this holy day!
About Father David Marcham
Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!