1 Samuel 1:19-28
Hannah and Mary rejoiced after receiving great blessings from God. Hannah, when she received what she had prayed for desperately for so long (1Sam.2:1-10); Mary, for receiving more than she could have ever thought to pray for.
It is easy to rejoice when our prayers are answered. The hard part is rejoicing even when we think God is ignoring our prayers. Yet I believe we are called to rejoice, to trust that our faith itself, through good times and bad, will yield more than we can ask or imagine even when our prayers are not answered. We can choose to rejoice. We can choose to go deeper into the mystery of the Incarnation and see how we, through Christ, can transmute the despair and disappointment of life, of unanswered prayers, into rejoicing that reaches out to all of creation, bringing all into the presence of God.
Our faith leads to a trust that is more than hope. Hope is in the future, for positive outcomes. Trust is deeper, in the past, present and future. Trust is in God no matter what. There is the true and lasting joy. This is what Mary declares in the Magnificat and which I believe she continued to sing throughout her life. May it be our song this Christmas as well.