Welcome back to Ordinary Time! Since the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord was yesterday, we begin Ordinary Time today. The first reading is from 1 Samuel 1:9-20. You may want to read 1 Samuel 1:1-8 (which is the first reading for Monday in the first week of Ordinary Time) to familiarize yourself with the story.
Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, was barren. In her grief she goes to the temple and begins spilling her guts out in prayer, to the point of weeping copiously. Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk and admonished her. After being approached, she tells her story to Eli, who gives her a blessing. Not long after, she conceived and bore a son - Samuel.
Eli had no idea what Hannah was going through. Unfortunately, he prejudged her. While her appearance suggested one thing, it was completely false. How often do we fall into the trap that Eli did? How many times will it take before we realize that appearances can be deceptive? Are we willing to wait until we hear the story behind the appearance?
Father, forgive us for the many times we prejudge based on appearances. Give us a patient heart, filled with compassion and mercy. Amen.