Week 1: Tuesday

“... and made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the hardship of your servant, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life. No razor shall ever touch his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“Take note of the woman’s reverence: she did not say, “If you give me three, I shall give you two;” or “if two, I shall give you one.” Instead, “If you give me one, I shall dedicate the offspring wholly to you.” “He will not drink wine or strong drink.” She had not yet received the child and was already forming a prophet, talking about his upbringing and making a deal with God. What wonderful confidence on a woman’s part! Since she could not make a deposit on account of not having anything, she pays the price from what is coming to her. Just as many farmers who are living in extreme poverty but have no money to buy a calf or sheep, get them on credit from their masters by pledging to pay the price from the crops that are due, just so did she do, too — or rather much more: she did not take her son from God on credit but on condition of returning him wholly to him once again and reaping the fruit of his upbringing. She regarded it as sufficient reward, you see, to devote her labors to God’s priest.” (Homilies on Hannah, 1.)

Attend to the pleas of your people
with heavenly care,
O Lord, we pray,
that they may see what must be done
and gain strength
to do what they have seen.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

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