Thursday of the Fourth Sunday of Advent

1Sm. 1:24-28 | Ps.: 1Sm. 2:1, 4-8 | Lk. 1:46-56

Once again, as we near Christmas, the Church chooses readings that remind us of the events that led up to that great feast.   We hear echoes of one another in the prayers of Hannah in the Responsorial Psalm and in the prayer of Mary in the Magnificat.  Mary’s prayer was a form of prayer that all these faithful Israelites knew by heart.  It was a psalm of national thanksgiving and the literary model for Mary’s Magnificat.  Hannah weans her child, Samuel, and then brings him to the temple to Eli.  She promised God, as seen a few days ago, that if she were to be given the privilege of having a child, she would dedicate that child to God’s service.  Thus, we see her action in the first reading.  She is so grateful that God has heard her prayer that she keeps her promise.  Mary likewise gives thanks and praise to God for all that she has experienced–that is, in her own conception of Jesus and in the gift of a child to Elizabeth.  She cannot refrain from praising God.  

We can learn the great lesson of gratitude from these readings.  All the gifts we have are that, gifts from God.  We are called today, to recognize all these gifts and use them to bring others to Christ and to give thanks and praise to God.  Take time to do so now.  

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