My heart rejoices in the Lord, my Savior!
(Responsorial Psalm: 1 Samuel 2:1-8)
In 1 Samuel 1:9-20 when Hannah asked the Lord for a child, “she conceived and gave birth to a son, and called him Samuel ‘since,’ she said, ‘I asked the Lord for him.’” (Samuel in Hebrew means “the name of God is…” but also sounds like the word for “ask”).
For Hannah, giving life through childbirth was fulfillment. And she begged God for it with such emotion, “pouring out her soul before the Lord,” that Eli the priest, watching her, thought she was drunk.
Do we want fulfillment that much? How much do we really care whether our “names” mean anything, our lives count for anything, on this earth? Are we content to just pass through life like a pinball, without purpose or plan, bouncing haphazardly off of one experience after another, racking up random points until we fall at last into the slot that tallies up our final score? Do we call that living?
Thanks be to God, no one has to live like that. Being “saved” does not just assure us of happiness after death. Jesus came to save our lives on this earth. And not only from the darkness that distorts our attitudes and values, and from the “death” of destructive behavior; but also from the sluggishness and stagnation of ordinary meaninglessness and mediocrity. No one who believes in Jesus Christ should ever be bored. Or boring to others.
Why? Because Jesus has both called and empowered every one of us give life to everyone we deal with. And to make our environment life-giving. He himself came so that humans might “have life, and have it to the full.” And in all who have “become Christ” by Baptism—brought to completion by the “gift of the Spirit”—he continues to exercise his ministry. With us, in us and through us. 1
That is exciting; and reason to say: “My heart rejoices in the Lord, my Savior!”
Mark 1:21-28 shows us that no one could be bored around Jesus. When he taught, “they were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” who interpreted the Law.
Just at the sight of him, “a man with an unclean spirit, cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’”
They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
An exciting man to be around. And still exciting in all who let him work with them, in them and through them as his body on earth. Where grace is allowed to work, things happen. My heart rejoices in the Lord, my Savior!
Initiative: Say the WIT prayer all day long (please see below). Make all you do explicitly divine.
1 Cf. the WIT prayer: “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.”