Yes, it probably is Our Lady extending the invitation – and unlikely to be the first or the last time, either. Remember when Mary called the servants at the Canan wedding feast to co-operate with her Son?
But the call to serve Jesus can come from anyone, anytime. That’s the way God likes to work – through others.
It was Mary who received the first call to take Jesus into her life after the Angel Gabriel had dropped in unexpectedly. Over the next 12 months a number of others got to meet the child Jesus: Joseph, of course, Elizabeth, the wise men, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna and many others not named in the Gospels.
John the Baptist ‘called’ two of his disciples – Andrew was one – and pointed out the ‘Lamb of God’ as Jesus came into view. Andrew then called Simon Peter. Jesus called Philip who in turn called Nathaniel.
Then there are the totally unexpected calls in life to meet with and follow Jesus. The Samaritan woman at the well called not just one but all her townspeople. What a witness she turned out to be! And then there was Simon, seized by Roman soldiers, turned around and given little choice but to follow Jesus.
Others heard the call in their hearts less forcefully but perhaps more amazingly by witnessing the many signs and miracles performed by Jesus. Surely all of these people wasted no time in telling friends and family of what they had seen and heard, calling them in turn to come and see.
Perhaps the strangest of calls made by Jesus was the one he made to his dead friend Lazarus, commanding him to come out of the tomb! But then, in way, any call from Jesus is a wake-up call – to save us from death and bring us to new life.
There is no escaping the call. It comes to us all. It continues until God’s saving plan is complete. We are reminded of this each month when Our Lady ends her message with, “Thank you for responding to my call.”