Image by google.com

 

First reading 1 Samuel 1:9-20

The Lord is mindful of Hannah and she gives birth to Samuel

After they had eaten in the hall, Hannah rose and took her stand before the Lord, while Eli the priest was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. In the bitterness of her soul she prayed to the Lord with many tears and made a vow, saying, ‘O Lord of Hosts! If you will take notice of the distress of your servant, and bear me in mind and not forget your servant and give her a man-child, I will give him to the Lord for the whole of his life and no razor shall ever touch his head.’
  While she prayed before the Lord which she did for some time, Eli was watching her mouth, for she was speaking under her breath; her lips were moving but her voice could not be heard. He therefore supposed that she was drunk and said to her, ‘How long are you going to be in this drunken state? Rid yourself of your wine.’ ‘No, my lord,’ Hannah replied ‘I am a woman in great trouble; I have taken neither wine nor strong drink – I was pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not take your maidservant for a worthless woman; all this time I have been speaking from the depth of my grief and my resentment.’ Then Eli answered her: ‘Go in peace,’ he said ‘and may the God of Israel grant what you have asked of him.’ And she said, ‘May your maidservant find favour in your sight’; and with that the woman went away; she returned to the hall and ate and was dejected no longer.
  They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord and then set out and returned to their home in Ramah. Elkanah had intercourse with Hannah his wife and the Lord was mindful of her. She conceived and gave birth to a son, and called him Samuel ‘since’ she said ‘I asked the Lord for him.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 1 Samuel 2:1,4-8

My heart exults in the Lord.
 
My heart exults in the Lord.
  I find my strength in my God;
my mouth laughs at my enemies
  as I rejoice in your saving help.
 
My heart exults in the Lord.
 
The bows of the mighty are broken,
  but the weak are clothed with strength.
Those with plenty must labour for bread,
  but the hungry need work no more.
The childless wife has children now
  but the fruitful wife bears no more.
 
My heart exults in the Lord.
 
It is the Lord who gives life and death,
  he brings men to the grave and back;
it is the Lord who gives poverty and riches.
  He brings men low and raises them on high.
 
My heart exults in the Lord.
 
He lifts up the lowly from the dust,
  from the dungheap he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes
  to give him a glorious throne.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
  on them he has set the world.
 
My heart exults in the Lord.
 

Gospel Mark 1:21-28

Unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority

Jesus and his disciples went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
  In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.
________________________________________________
 
The authority that springs from a loving relationship with Jesus
 
“Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it…”. Those
people, listening to Jesus’ teaching and witnessing the man’s healing,
recognised that there was authority behind His words and actions.
Jesus’ authority was life-giving, and all that He did and said was to enrich
the lives of others. This was because His authority came from His
intimate relationship with God His Father.
 
Today, Jesus invites us to enter into an intimate relationship with Him
and to anchor our faith firmly in Him. In this way, our words and actions
will have the authority, the power to enhance the lives of those around
us. Unfortunately, our words and actions towards others can sometimes
be aggressive and careless, and in the process, we bring harm to them
rather than God’s life and love. Therefore, let us always have Jesus as
the center of our lives so that our words and deeds can always be lifegiving.
 
Question for reflection:
How can I exercise my authority to give life?

Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.