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First Reading for the Tuesday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2

1 Samuel 1:9-20

Summary: Deeply distressed, Hannah prays for a son, promising his dedication to the Lord. Misunderstood by Eli, she clarifies her earnest prayer. God answers, blessing her with a son, Samuel.

Hannah's Prayer and Samuel's Birth

Hannah rose after a meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the LORD; at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the doorpost of the LORD’s temple.

In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously, and she made a vow, promising: “O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head.”

As she remained long at prayer before the LORD, Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard.

Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her, “How long will you make a drunken show of yourself? Sober up from your wine!”

“It isn’t that, my lord,” Hannah answered. “I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD. Do not think your handmaid a ne’er-do-well; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery.”

Eli said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

She replied, “Think kindly of your maidservant,” and left.

She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downcast. Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD, and then returned to their home in Ramah.

When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the LORD remembered her. She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.

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