1 Samuel 1:1-8
There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her.
Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
What shall I return to the Lord
for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful ones.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
In both the Old Testament reading and the Gospel, we read about the desire for children. Hannah had the love of her spouse and his gifts, but she wanted the fruit of that love. In the Gospel, Jesus enticed the fishermen who would come to follow him and be his disciples with a promise that they would catch people.
When we have all our material needs met, there is still something in us that makes us want more. We are not satisfied without meaning that is greater than mere existence. Made in the divine image of God, we desire to do the works of God, yet because we are fallen in our nature, we need divine assistance to achieve the productivity that truly satisfies our souls.
In God’s greatness, we are not only satisfied when we do His Will, we also gain merit in heaven.
Because we are children of God and because we can do nothing of ourselves, yet God allows us to assist him in the work of creation and salvation, the defining attribute of the Christian is thankfulness.
Thanksgiving to God reminds how much we have been given, to be happy, to be humble and meek, and to remain close to the one who can give us the truest happiness that we can possess.
We all must suffer trials in life but our consolations and gifts, if we see them, will always be more than the worst of our pains. Today, be sure to read the psalm from your heart and take the time to tell God how much you appreciate your greatest consolations.