Advent: 22 December
— O King of the Nations —

“Once he was weaned, she brought him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and presented him at the house of the LORD in Shiloh.” (1 Samuel 1:24)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Considering all these things, and whatever else the Lord shall have made known to you in this matter, which either does not occur to me or would take too much time to state here, strive in prayer to overcome this world: pray in hope, pray in faith, pray in love, pray earnestly and patiently, pray as a widow belonging to Christ. For although prayer is, as he has taught, the duty of all his members, that is, of all who believe in him and are united to his body, a more assiduous attention to prayer is found to be specially enjoined in Scripture upon those who are widows. Two women of the name of [Hannah] are honorably named there — the one, Elkanah’s wife, who was the mother of holy Samuel; the other, the widow who recognized the Most Holy One when he was yet a babe. [Hannah], though married, prayed with sorrow of mind and brokenness of heart because she had no sons; and she obtained Samuel and dedicated him to the Lord, because she vowed to do so when she prayed for him.” (Letter 130)

O God,
Who, seeing the human race fallen into death,
willed to redeem it
by the coming of Your Only Begotten Son,
grant, we pray,
that those who confess His Incarnation
with humble fervor
may merit His company as their Redeemer.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen