Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An afternoon meditation

Disciples who haven't yet learned to
pray during the night...
Today's incredibly rich set of readings could probably suffice for all of 2014. Following on yesterday's sweet reading from 1 Samuel about the suffering Hannah's infertility caused her, and then the beautiful way that "the Lord remembered her" and gave her a son, today we find that little boy serving at the Temple (not the grandiose Temple of Solomon--that would wait another two generations, at least!--but still a tent, like the one that had made the Exodus from Egypt). In the Gospel, the new Temple (the one not made by hands) is still, unrecognized, journeying with the people.

As I reflect upon the readings, Samuel's simple "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening," may be the most enlightening sentence. How many times we may wonder if God is listening to us! That's not the issue at all.

What unites both readings is the sense of prayer: for both Samuel and Jesus, God's will was manifest after prayer in the dark of night. The Responsorial Psalm (40!!!!) perfectly expresses the prayer of both the little boy Samuel and the miracle-working Jesus: "To do your will, O God, is my delight!" You could even say that the disciples, eager to be associated with a miracle man, were tempting Jesus not to follow the will of God that he had discerned and admired in prayer; they wanted to drag him back to the town where "everyone is looking for you." But he knew that his work was elsewhere; moving on to the next village, and the next "throughout the whole of Galilee."

It's a good start for the journey through Ordinary Time!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Thank you!