by Marie Dennis
Pax Christi International Co-President

Genesis 3:9-15, 20 | Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12 | Luke 1:26-38

“Behold, I am the handmaid of God. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)

Mary’s careful listening to the movement of the Spirit in her life and her assent to what she believed was God’s call are central to the Gospel message on this Marian holy day.

For Christians, vocation is an invitation to follow Jesus: Come after me, be my witnesses. It is an invitation to discipleship that is much, much more than an “assent of the heart,” demanding a radical commitment to a way of life that is as counter-cultural now as it was in first-century Palestine.

Discerning one’s vocation is a life-long process of trying to match the cadence of your being to the rhythm of God’s call — and the call we hear when we listen carefully is as discernible a movement of the Spirit in our lives as was the angel’s visit to Mary.

The very notion that we are personally called by God to discipleship, to participate in the transformation of the world that Advent anticipates, to fulfillment as human beings who are an integral part of the universe story, invites deep reflection in this time of waiting.


In this holy season, open yourself to a dialogue of the heart with those who are hurting or marginalized, violated or forgotten. Ask how you might respond in a new way — how you might more faithfully or more effectively participate in the healing of the world — of Earth and all Earth’s inhabitants. 


* This reflection is from Voices of Hope, Women of Wisdom: Pax Christi USA 40th Anniversary Special Edition Reflections for Advent 2012. For reflections for everyday of Advent and the holy days of the Christmas season, you can purchase and download an e-reader version of The Promise of Light: Reflections for Advent 2015 by clicking here.

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