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Anticipation and Advent...

As a child, I remember anticipating Christmas as Advent began. Each week as my parents brought me and my siblings to Mass and we witnessed the lighting of the community’s Advent wreath, the flame of anticipation was stoked in my heart. Of course, part of that was looking forward to the toys I would receive, along with the engagement and fun these would bring. But somehow, through the liturgy’s symbols and actions, something beyond material gifts was being portended, and the seed of anticipation was placed in my heart.

The wonderful tradition of the Nativity crèche fostered by St. Francis and his followers solidified my reason for excitement. I knew, beyond the materialistic overtones of the culture, that there was something more, and Advent pointed to it—or I should say, to him: Jesus.

Today, my anticipation is no less during this time. I’m preparing my heart as a crèche and inviting Jesus to enter there. I invite you to do the same. There is something more—his name is Jesus.

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Photo: Alexander Hoffmann/Shutterstock

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."