When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” She left him there for the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Today’s readings speak of the sacrifice and courage of mothers. In a very real sense, I have two mothers. There’s Nancy, the woman who gave birth to me. I call her Nancy. And, there’s Rita, the woman who raised me. I call her Mom.
Nancy probably didn’t expect me. Mary probably didn’t expect Jesus. Nancy realized I was worthy of God’s love. Hannah realized the same about Samuel.
Rita’s spirit rejoiced when she found out I was coming. Mary rejoiced when she learned that Jesus was coming. Rita placed me into the Lord’s hands when I joined the Society of Jesus. Hannah placed Samuel in the Lord’s hands when she realized his calling.
Nancy, Hannah, Rita, Mary. Mothers who love God. Mothers who gave their sons what they needed, and then gave them away. Mothers whose faith teaches me about sacrifice and courage. Thank God for my moms.
—Eric Immel, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He also serves as a Jesuit vocation promoter and is a prolific author.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save all mankind,
whom you fashioned from the dust!