Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded of the Lord’s providence and help for us, His strength and love for each and every one of us. We are reminded that the Lord is a loving God and Father Who listens to us and all of our needs. He will not abandon us in our hour of need, and He is always by our side at all times, no matter what happens.
In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of the prophet Samuel, regarding how Samuel the great prophet came to be born. His mother Hannah had been without child for many years despite being in a loving marriage to her husband Elkanah. Her husband’s other wife, Penninah often mocked Hannah for her barrenness and often showed off just how many children she had with Hannah.
Hannah came to the Lord in sorrow and frustration because of this, and she prayed to the Lord to help and rescue her from her troubles. The Lord heard her prayers, and He blessed Hannah with a child, who was to be known as Samuel. Hannah had promised that if she had a son, she would dedicate and offer him to the Lord, and thus, in our first reading today, we heard Hannah joyfully coming to the Lord and offered Samuel to be God’s servant.
And thus that was how Samuel, the prophet of God was born and came to be in the service of God. His mother Hannah had more children with her husband, Elkanah, as a sign of God’s love and favour, while Samuel grew up strong in faith under the tutelage of Eli, the Judge and priest of Israel, and eventually became a great prophet and Judge himself, leading the people of Israel just before the days of the kings.
The Lord showed His love and kindness to Hannah, and she rejoiced after the period of her humiliation and suffering. Our Psalm today is the great song of joy that Hannah sang, full of God’s Spirit, declaring the greatness of God and how fortunate all of us have been to be beloved by God. The Lord has not forgotten His people, and the same was then echoed as we heard of the great song of rejoicing that Mary sang in our Gospel today, known as the Magnificat.
Mary was visiting her cousin Elizabeth at the time, who had been long barren and was unable to conceive a child just like Hannah, but by the Lord’s grace, she came to bear St. John the Baptist, and Mary found that what the Lord had revealed to her through the Archangel Gabriel was indeed true, that her cousin Elizabeth had miraculously conceived and had a child in her old age.
And Mary herself as we knew, came to have Child without any human relations, since by the power of the Holy Spirit, God Himself came to dwell in her and through her, He would be born into the world, as the Saviour long promised by Himself. All of these and the joy of the Holy Spirit in her made Mary to rejoice such, for all the wonders of God’s love and glory that He has shown to all of His people. It was truly a great and joyful moment, that each and every one of us ought to share as well.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to understand just how wretched and miserable our existence once had been, as through sin we have been sundered from God’s love and grace. And it was thanks to God’s enduring love for each and every one of us that we have been saved from our predicament and troubles, and the sure path towards eternity of joy and happiness have been shown to us. And this Christmas we celebrate all of these, that God Himself has intervened on our behalf, and did everything in order to save us.
Therefore, let us all prepare ourselves that within the time left for us to get ready for Christmas, we will be able to redirect our focus and attention to the Lord, and thus celebrate the joyful festivities of Christmas in a Christ-centric manner, to rejoice in the love that God has shown us, that He willingly gave Himself to us, dwelling among us and suffering and dying for our sake on the Cross. We rejoice in this ultimate expression of God’s everlasting love, and let us share our joy with one another, always. Amen.