< <  

Monday, January 11, 2010

  > >
1 Samuel 1:1-8
Psalm 116:12-14, 17-19
Mark 1:14-20

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the year of repentance, fruitfulness, and joy

"Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you refuse to eat? Why do you grieve?" —1 Samuel 1:8

As we begin the new year, the Lord commands us to be "fishers of men" and women (Mk 1:17). We are to be fruitful in leading others to Christ (see Jn 15:5). However, many of us were not very fruitful in 2009 and have not changed anything for 2010. We may be spiritually barren as Hannah was physically barren.

If we don't repent and begin to share our love for Jesus with other people, we may become like Hannah in other ways. In addition to being barren, Hannah was so depressed she refused to eat (1 Sm 1:7). We likewise may lose our joy (see Ps 51:14) and become spiritually anorexic if we don't bear fruit evangelistically. Many Christians today are noticeably sad. Young people notice this and see church as a dead, joyless place. Many Christians go to church only to fulfill their "Sunday obligation." They aren't hungry for the spiritual nourishment of God's word and Holy Communion.

We can be like Hannah in more ways than one. We must repent, commit our lives to Jesus, and share our faith. Then we will come to life.

Prayer:  Father, may I reap the greatest harvest this year.

Promise:  "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!" —Mk 1:15

Praise:  Regular Confession has helped Peter keep spiritually fit for evangelization.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Spiritual Anorexia on audio AV 101-1 or video V-101.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.