NOTE: Throughout the Advent season, we’ll post a reflection on the readings for the upcoming Sunday in Advent just a few days before so individuals and groups can reflect in anticipation or incorporate it into their meetings, homilies, etc. The reflection will be available on our homepage through the weekend and then archived on our Advent 2021 webpage.

The reflection below was originally written by Marie Dennis in 2012 for Voices of Hope, Women of Wisdom: Pax Christi USA 40th Anniversary Special Edition Reflections for Advent 2012.

by Marie Dennis

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.

>> For more Advent resources and reflections, click here.

One thought on “Reflection for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, December 8

  1. Please write up a protest to the Senators, against the Pentagon budget. It is obscene. It passed the House. We need to beg them to take out the gravity bomb and use the money for vaccines in the developing world. The bomb is called B-83. Help us become more politically active in opposing the building of weapons of mass destruction! THANK YOU!

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