St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania


Readings and Reflections for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-25
Mark 13:1-8

1 Samuel contains the “Song of Hannah”. Hannah receives the gift of a firstborn son, and expresses her gratitude and amazement at the Lord who acknowledges the cry of a humble woman. A little further along in the story she dedicates her son to the Lord, and this son becomes one of the great prophets of Israel named Samuel.

In Mark 13, Jesus replies to his disciples, who express admiration for the great buildings of the temple in Jerusalem: “…All will be thrown down.” Whey they want to know when this will happen, he tells them not to be led astray by the many who will come in his name to say the end has come, and gives no specific answer to their question.

Hebrews 10:11-25 continues the discussion of the priesthood of Jesus in comparison to the temple priesthood of his time. In contrast to the necessity of daily offerings, again and again, at the temple, Christ’s offering is once and for all time. The forgiveness he offers is complete, replacing and fulfilling all offerings for sin. With Christ “seated at the right hand of God” we can approach God full of assurance and hope.

Comment: In what do you place your hope? I learn from Jesus that the things people build (that I build!) will not last. Temples, governments, and other human “construction projects” or plans will come to an end. Because I have been given a safe and secure life to this point, I am helped by Hannah not to take this for granted but give thanks every day for the blessings I receive. Hannah’s song helps me to be more vividly aware of brothers and sisters around me who suffer greatly, and I’m challenged to be responsive and generous in giving help where I can. And may I learn, with Hannah, how to offer the greatest gifts I receive to the service of the Lord, in whose mercy is my true and lasting hope.