“I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request.
Now I, in turn, give him to the LORD;
as long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:27
Today’s reading from Samuel tells us about Hannah, who prayed for years to have a child and then dedicated him and gave him back to the Lord in the temple.
For those of us who are parents, we remember the joy and happiness the day our children were born. It is important for us to remember that our children are not really ours. Our children are truly God’s children and as parents, we are in charge of taking care of them and bringing them up in the faith until they are old enough to live on their own. Some of us bear the cross of having one or more children turn away from the faith. Others must watch as their adult children suffer from emotional/physical pain or addictions. Fasting for our adult children is a very powerful way to bring them back to the faith. And, remember, Mary is their mother too!
In a few short days, we will celebrate the beautiful Solemnity of Christmas and a celebration of Our Lord’s birth. Just as we were overjoyed at the births of our children, Mary and Joseph — although perhaps not in the most comfortable of settings — were joyful and praised God that Jesus was born. They not only cared for and nurtured Him, but they also worshipped Him. Years later, Mary suffered through the passion and crucifixion of her beloved Son, so she knows what it’s like to suffer through watching her Divine Son be tortured and killed.
As we approach the end of Advent and our preparation, let’s not lose our momentum! Keep fasting tomorrow because we’re in the homestretch!
Today, let us pray and fast for all the community intentions, for all our adult children who are far away from the faith, and for the elderly, sick and lonely.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!