In the Readings today, we see two women whose songs are similar. They express their trust in God and of the power of God. The First Reading shows how Hannah lent this child to the Lord, as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord. This shows her total confidence in God’s protection for her child. The Canticle today shows this when she claims what God has done. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. God is the One who does great things by bringing down the mighty and giving strength to the weak.
This Canticle is similar to Mary’s Magnificat. Both begin with praise. Hannah begins with: my heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. While Mary begins with: my soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Both of them rejoice. Hannah for having a son she longed for, while Mary fulfilling her vocation as the Mother of the Messiah.
Hannah prayed her canticle after the birth and dedication of her son to the Lord, while Mary sang her song she believed what was said to her.
God is Almighty and can be trusted. Hannah’s trust made her ask God for a child. She knew God is the only One who can give her a child. Mary, despite no sign of the promise of God, trusted God’s word is fulfilled. She knows how God does great things for his servants: when they come to him in humility.
We learn humility from these two women. Hannah showed her humility when she prayed to God for a child. And when the child was given to her, she gave up that child to God. Mary showed her humility by believing God’s promise even if it seemed impossible. She knew this child to be born is God’s fulfillment of his promise to Abraham because she said: the Lord has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
Humility is not being quiet or weak. If we read the songs of these women we see these as even like a war song. It speaks of the defeat of the mighty, the victory of the weak. The humiliation of the proud and the exultation of the humble. Humility is seen in the courage to surrender all things to God, because we trust in his goodness. This is achieved, not in doing good works, but in believing his Word.
Lord, things look grim these days. The pandemic has caused havoc in my life. Yet Lord, I come to you in humility, believing you will do what you said. I trust you Lord and invite you to enter my life. I welcome you to take all I have and do with them as you will.