“Rejoice so highly favoured the Lord is with you.”

Luke 1:29

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Luke 1:26-38

The angel’s greeting to Mary is a wonderful affirmation and blessing. “Rejoice so highly favoured the Lord is with you.” Mary, selected from all humanity and all of history to be the one who carries God in her flesh, is incredibly favoured and chosen.

Imagine what it would be like to hear those words spoken to you? To allow them to soak in. We all have annunciation moments in our own lives – critical moments when something more is asked of us and we are invited to partner with God. When we feel ourselves prompted by God to say yes, we can be certain that we are highly favoured. When we are in touch enough with God to sense a particular invitation, we can respond generously. Each one of us is gifted with a call of some kind. For each of us in our particular life situation, there is a personal vocation – a specific way of giving and receiving love which is unique to us.  And so, we can rejoice. We rejoice because we are each chosen and called.

It may be that the specific nature of our call is still unclear or unfolding. And that’s okay. Our understanding of what God is inviting us to grows over time. Mary did not fully understand what the angel’s words would mean down the line; what it would mean to mother this child and to witness his ministry, his crucifixion and later his resurrection. She could not see how her yes would unfold. To begin with, she only knew that she would be pregnant in a way no one else would understand and that this child would be called Son of God.

Am I able to listen out for and hear God’s call to me today, knowing that I have been chosen? Do I respond generously to what God is doing in and through me?

Gracious God,

May we like Mary know that you choose and call us to partner with you. May we rejoice in the gift of being part of your unfolding plan.


Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
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