The passage from the First Book of Samuel provides us with a thought-provoking building block for our Advent observance.  Interesting parallels suggest themselves.  Three women–Hanna, Elizabeth and Mary–are linked together by a common experience:  each of them had been without a child, but now each is carrying an infant within her.  Sterility, advanced age or virginity….each is overcome by the miraculous intervention of God to further the unfolding drama of world salvation.

These events suggest provocative questions for us.  Am I open and available to the will of God?  Are my heart and mind prepared for unforeseen changes which contribute to the fulfillment of a divine master plan?  How will Christ’s birth and earthly life impact on my personal response to God’s higher calling to me?

—Fr. Walter J. Stohrer, SJ, is a member of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, WI.











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