Feast of the Annunciation: Slowing down and saying ‘yes’

For the Feast of the Annunciation, Caroline Stanton of our Theology team  reflects on how we can slow down to listen to God’s call in our lives and respond with the courage and generosity of Mary.

Slow down

Perhaps you have heard of the slow movement? Slow food? Slower pace of life? It focuses on creating the space for meaningful connections with people and the earth. To know where your food comes from, to grow it, prepare it, smell it and savour it. It’s about being present, being receptive to the gift of the moment, being attentive to the world around us and aware of our interconnectedness. To truly do this we need to slow down. 

Find out more about the LiveSimply award, which encourages communities to live sustainably and in solidarity with our global neighbours.

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” 

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit priest, theologian and paleontologist

This time of Lent invites us to slow down and to practise the patient trust, Teilhard de Chardin speaks of. Last Sunday we listened to Jesus’ parable of the barren fig tree, reminding us again of God’s deep and patient love for all he has made.

As we journey through Lent, we try to make space to encounter God and to learn to walk more closely in his way of generous love.  

Spend some time each day in reflection and prayer with our Lent resources.

Sunset over sea
Sunset on Metalio Beach, El Salvador.

“In the fullness of time…” 

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…”

Galatians 4:4

This week we pause in our Lent observances to celebrate the great Feast of the Annunciation. We celebrate the glory and grace of God breaking into the world and coming to be born among us. We celebrate God’s desire to work with humanity in accomplishing the coming of his Kingdom. And we celebrate Mary’ generous and courageous response to the message brought by the angel Gabriel.

As we ponder Mary’s call to bring Jesus to birth, we are mindful of our own call to bring Christ’s love to the world. We see the need of our common home; suffering from the damage to ecosystems and effects of climate change. We see the need of our global family, as our sisters and brothers struggle due to poverty and conflict. We see the plight of the people of Ukraine and the more than three million people who have fled to neighbouring countries. We see the desperate need of the 200 million children in the world whose lives are at risk from malnutrition.

Give to our Lent appeal and help us reach more families facing hunger.

Saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call. 

On this Feast of the Annunciation, let’s make some time to be attentive to what God is doing in our world and in our lives. To look. To listen. And then, like Mary, to say ’ yes’ and to courageously respond to the needs of our time. To commit ourselves to the work of justice and healing, even in the face of our own uncertainties and fatigue. To perform the small acts of love that can reach around the world to make a big difference. To bring to birth solidarity, justice and peace.

We have the great example of Mary to inspire and encourage us.

As Pope Francis consecrates Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we join in prayer for the people of both countries: Hail Mary….

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