1 Samuel 1:24-28
When Hannah had weaned the infant Samuel, she took him up with her together with a three-year old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the temple of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was with them. They slaughtered the bull and the child’s mother came to Eli. She said, ‘If you please, my lord. As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. This is the child I prayed for, and the Lord granted me what I asked him. Now I make him over to the Lord for the whole of his life. He is made over to the Lord.’
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.
My spirit rejoices in God my saviour
I recently attended the confirmation mass of my niece and was truly honoured to have been asked to be her godfather. For me, it was a real highlight accompanying Ella as she prayerfully walked up to receive the blessing from our beloved Archbishop. The joy and pride I felt was indescribable as I fully connected with the feelings of joy and peace that Ella would have felt the moment His Grace christened her forehead and touched her cheek.
I had made it a point to arrive at the church a lot earlier so that we could spend about 30 minutes in the adoration chapel. I had also fond out that she had attended her first ‘Nox Gaudi’ the month prior and was happy that she had experienced a new way of worshipping God. When I was her age, God was far from my mind and going to church for me was more of a Sunday chore. But as I observed her reverently prostrating before the Blessed Sacrament, I knew that she had been touched by the Lord and my heart rejoiced as we spent some quiet time with Him together.
The Lord has given me much to be thankful for this year. My journey with my discipleship group has led to a deepening of my relationships with my brothers and a new-found confidence that He is leading me to bigger things. Especially so in worship, where my ‘stop-start’ relationship with my violin has finally been set aflame. As a result, I am playing (and worshipping) with a renewed passion and zeal that seems to come from a deeper place within.
He gave me healing and brought me closer to the priests in my parish through the generosity and grace of my other half, who continues to amaze me day by day with her fortitude and inner strength. He sent many angels during our most difficult periods, to assist and to guide us. Indeed, I feel that our relationship, centred on Christ, has taken on a new meaning and while the road ahead may not be too smooth, I am 100% sure that we will weather all storms that will come our way.
I recall vividly how overjoyed I was when we sang ‘These Alone Are Enough’ by Dan Schutte recently at a mass; and continue to be amazed that He would bless a sinner searching for redemption, with the ability to praise and worship Him in song. This is something I will never fathom. All I can do is to continue practising in faith, knowing that the flame which burns in my heart is a gift from my heavenly Father. And that, brothers and sisters, is more than enough reason to rejoice every single day.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)
Prayer: Lord, we ask you to continue blessing us daily with your love and graces so that we may always be grateful for the privilege of calling you ‘Abba, Father’. Let us rejoice and be glad.
Thanksgiving: We thank you, O loving Father, for your gifts that you bestow on us each and every day.