Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green)
Responsorial Psalm: 1 Sm 2: 1, 4-5, 6-7, 8abcd: My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior
1st Reading: 1 Samuel 1: 9-20
After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah stood up not far from Eli, the priest whose seat was beside the doorpost of Yahweh’s house.
Deeply distressed she wept and prayed to Yahweh and made this vow: “O Yahweh of Hosts, if you will have compassion on your maid servant and give me a son, I will put him in your service for as long as he lives and no razor shall touch his head.”
As she prayed before Yahweh, Eli observed the movement of her lips. Hannah was praying silently; she moved her lips but uttered no sound and Eli thought Hannah was drunk. He, therefore, said to her: “For how long will you be drunk? Let your drunkenness pass.”
But Hannah answered: “No, my lord, I am a woman in great distress, not drunk. I have not drunk wine or strong drink, but I am pouring out my soul before Yahweh. Do not take me for a bad woman. I was so afflicted that my prayer flowed continuously.”
Then Eli said, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you asked for.”
Hannah answered, “Let your maidservant deserve your kindness.” Then she left the temple; and when she was at table she seemed a different woman.
Elkanah rose early in the morning and worshiped before Yahweh with his wives. Then they went back home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with his wife, Hannah, Yahweh took compassion on her, and she became pregnant.
She gave birth to a son and called him Samuel because she said: “I have asked Yahweh to give him to me.”
Gospel: Mk 1:21-28
They went into the town of Capernaum and Jesus taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. The people were astonished at the way he taught, for he spoke as one having authority, and not like the teachers of the law.
It happened that, a man with an evil spirit was in their synagogue, and he shouted, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: you are the Holy One of God.”
Then Jesus faced him and said with authority, “Be silent, and come out of this man!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and, with a loud shriek, came out of him.
All the people were astonished, and they wondered, “What is this? With what authority he preaches! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him!” And Jesus’ fame spread throughout all the country of Galilee.
“Words are powerful.”
Hannah, in the first reading, uses words to invoke the Lord’s compassion. The Lord turns his favor upon her.
In terms of our prayer life, the words we utter to God become powerful when we have a certain relationship with him.
However, the level of relationship we have with the Lord is also commensurate with the way we use words to make our relationships with people around us better.
Within the context of family, for example, married life is sustained when beautiful words are used by married couples to give encouragement and support to each other.
Parents and children relationship is strengthened when children use respectful words when talking to their parents. Words can also be used to edify the members of the family. Parents can use words to teach good values to their children.
Moreover, with regard to teaching good values to children, the words of parents can become authoritative when used with corresponding examples. In today’s Gospel, Jesus taught the people with authority. This is because there is no gap between Jesus’ words and deeds.
Thus, the connection between our words and actions indicates the kind of relationship we have with God and with one another.
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