Advent calendar reflection for 8 December

Large group of smiling women and children with tools

The Chileya community garden group with tools provided by Caritas Hwange in Zimbabwe.

“Mary said, 'I am the Lord's servant!  Let it happen as you have said.'” 

Luke 1:38

As we listen to the story of the Annunciation, we once again celebrate Mary’s generous and courageous ‘Yes’ to this startling and disruptive call from God. She chooses openness to God’s invitation, no matter the consequences for her life. 

What does it look like for each of us to show the same radical openness of heart as Mary? This question is perhaps answered in Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis’ encyclical on social friendship and dialogue, in which he urges us to have a “heart open to the whole world”. 

Pope Francis writes that, “the guarantee of an authentic openness to God... is a way of practising the faith that helps open our hearts to our brothers and sisters.” (74) 

On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we can ask Mary to inspire us to say ‘yes’ to God and have hearts open to our global neighbours. 

Advent prayer

Loving God,
open our hearts to encounter.
Inspire us, through the example of Mary,
to have the courage to say ‘yes’ to your call,
trusting that nothing is impossible to you.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.  


Take some time to find out more about the inspiring and powerful message of Fratelli Tutti and reflect on what Pope Francis is inviting us to do in order to open our hearts to one another. 

Find out more about Fratelli Tutti

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