First Sunday of Advent

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Happy New Year! Today we begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent.

In the Gospel from Saint Mark, Jesus warns us to ""Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come....What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'."

We are included in that "all." Today's liturgy reminds us that Advent is not only about getting ready for Christ's First Coming in Christmas, but also for His Second Coming. Sometimes we can get so caught up in preparing for Christmas: shopping for gifts, stringing lights, decorating the tree, and let's not forget baking Christmas cookies! But during this time of Advent the liturgy invites us to "watch," to focus on the most important preparations, the preparation of our hearts to receive Christ. 

Advent is a time to be still and dispose our hearts to receive the grace of Christ, that He may conform us to Himself. The work is His, but we must cooperate and allow Him to move in us.  Let's let this Advent truly be a time of preparation, of silent watching as we wait and open our hearts for the coming of our Lord and King.

People, look east. The time is near  Of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, Trim the hearth and set the table.People, look east and sing today: Love, the guest, is on the way.