Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 6: Year 1
“Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him; (1st Samuel 1:17).
This opening of 1st Samuel is important as it opens for us the beginnings of the prophet Samuel. But there is a lesson here about parental responsibility. Hannah is distressed because she has not given birth to a child. While her husband’s other wife has given birth to a few children. So she prays for the ability to become pregnant. Eli, the priest also had sons but his sons did not follow the pattern of the parent, they were rude and gluttonous and disrespectful. Eli did not hold them accountable. Such negligence will come back to bite him later.
While Hannah is devoted to God in her inmost self, the priest, Eli, doesn’t know her well enough to see that she is a pious woman. He assumes the worst, and he is wrong. To his credit however, when he sees his mistake, he works with God to grant her petition.
Our Church today is wrong whenever it takes part in judging people. We forget that we, the Church, are not called to judge, we are called to love, and to love unconditionally.
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John