22nd December 2020

Tuesday, Fouth Week of Advent;

1 Sam 1:24-28;   1 Sam 2:1,4-8;   Lk 1:46-56


Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, conviction of things unseen” (Heb 11:1). The Jews were a people who underwent a long series of suffering; rightly so, their belief in God’s promise of a Messiah (cf. Is 7:14; 9:1) was reasonably strong; and so they hoped to be delivered from their miseries. It is then quite natural for Mary, a young Jewish woman, to share in the same conviction. She receives God’s invitation to mother his son (cf. Lk 1:30-31). Her faith-filled response ignites the fire which brought about a renewed kingdom (cf. Jn: 18:36) upon this world. Generations praise her because of her “Yes”. Mary thus becomes a symbol of joyous waiting for the manifestation of God’s promise. She appears before us as a character whose hope was fueled by faith!

In the first reading, we come across another cheerful figure: Hannah! The Lord’s mercy washed away the sorrow and pain that arose in her due to her barrenness. She literally demanded with God (cf. 1 Sam: 1:20) to take away her shame! She appears before us as a symbol of perseverance and childlike confidence in him.

Our faith must fuel our hope! The fire of faith that we received at baptism, can be dimmed in these challenging times amid the civil restrictions or boredom, but our hope in a qualitative future must not be darkened! Our prayer must become the source of our faith-filled hope. This enhanced hope shall sustain us as we struggle to keep afloat our boats in these troubled waters. An attempt must be made to enrich our faith that God is still in control, and such a faith would stem only when we are rooted in prayer. This belief would eventually give us courage when all seems lost! Didn’t Jeremiah prophesy rightly, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for your downfall” (Jer 29:11). May we be blessed this Christmas, with a motivated love, inspired hope, which is fueled by faith!

Responsorial Psalm: My heart exults in the Lord, my Saviour.

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