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January 11, 2022

1 Sm 1: 9-20

After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirit* until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’

As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.’ But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.’ 

Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.’ And she said, ‘Let your servant find favour in your sight.’ Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband,* and her countenance was sad no longer.*

They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Urgent Prayer

Last fall, twenty-seven migrants died in the English Channel after their inflatable boat sank attempting to cross to the UK from France. I still remember what Emanuel Malbah, a sixteen-year-old asylum seeker from Liberia, said hopefully after the disaster, looking across the water at the lights on the far shore: “I don’t believe that I’ll die. I believe I’ll get to England.”

Pope Francis has made care and attention for migrants a hallmark of his papacy. Their struggle should be in our daily prayers as well. But no matter how deep one’s faith in God, terrible things still occur in life. Like Hannah in today’s reading, I believe that God hears our bitter weeping for help and deliverance. And yet, I know that not every urgent prayer is answered like hers, with the birth of a son, Samuel, the first of the prophets after Moses. Consider all the urgent prayers that must rise up to heaven from desert floors, collapsing boats or inside the tractor-trailers that ferry our less fortunate brothers and sisters across unwelcoming borders.

There is a profound mystery to prayer that demands our deepest respect and humility. God remembers us in moments of crisis, but in different ways, and often inexplicably. Despite the mystery of our faith, we offer up our fears, like Hannah, to a God we know we can trust.

Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Jesuits West Province completing his final semester of theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. He will be ordained to the priesthood in June 2022. 

 

 

Prayer 

Prayer for Trust

Lord Jesus, Rock and Redeemer,
Thank you for being there
For me in my hardest hours.

Help me never lose my faith in you.
Help me to walk by faith and not by sight.
Help me to always trust your promises.

Thank you for being a God who loves me!
A God who understands my every need.

Send your Spirit to strengthen me
In body, mind and spirit.

Take away my fears, dear Jesus.
Replace them with a deeper trust in you.

Reach out for me on the stormy sea.
Take my hand. Hold me steady.
Never let the flames go out
For the faith I have in You.

—Joe Kraemer, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 11, 2022

1 Sm 1: 9-20

After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirit* until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’

As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.’ But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.’ 

Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.’ And she said, ‘Let your servant find favour in your sight.’ Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband,* and her countenance was sad no longer.*

They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Urgent Prayer

Last fall, twenty-seven migrants died in the English Channel after their inflatable boat sank attempting to cross to the UK from France. I still remember what Emanuel Malbah, a sixteen-year-old asylum seeker from Liberia, said hopefully after the disaster, looking across the water at the lights on the far shore: “I don’t believe that I’ll die. I believe I’ll get to England.”

Pope Francis has made care and attention for migrants a hallmark of his papacy. Their struggle should be in our daily prayers as well. But no matter how deep one’s faith in God, terrible things still occur in life. Like Hannah in today’s reading, I believe that God hears our bitter weeping for help and deliverance. And yet, I know that not every urgent prayer is answered like hers, with the birth of a son, Samuel, the first of the prophets after Moses. Consider all the urgent prayers that must rise up to heaven from desert floors, collapsing boats or inside the tractor-trailers that ferry our less fortunate brothers and sisters across unwelcoming borders.

There is a profound mystery to prayer that demands our deepest respect and humility. God remembers us in moments of crisis, but in different ways, and often inexplicably. Despite the mystery of our faith, we offer up our fears, like Hannah, to a God we know we can trust.

Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Jesuits West Province completing his final semester of theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. He will be ordained to the priesthood in June 2022. 

 

 

Prayer 

Prayer for Trust

Lord Jesus, Rock and Redeemer,
Thank you for being there
For me in my hardest hours.

Help me never lose my faith in you.
Help me to walk by faith and not by sight.
Help me to always trust your promises.

Thank you for being a God who loves me!
A God who understands my every need.

Send your Spirit to strengthen me
In body, mind and spirit.

Take away my fears, dear Jesus.
Replace them with a deeper trust in you.

Reach out for me on the stormy sea.
Take my hand. Hold me steady.
Never let the flames go out
For the faith I have in You.

—Joe Kraemer, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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