‘In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. …  Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion. It will be for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain’.

‘In that day’ … these words that root Advent firmly in the future are right in our hearts and thoughts today. ‘The day’ is the ‘day’ of His coming – here on earth, at the end of time, and continually in our hearts for consolation.

St Bernard said in one of his sermons for Advent: ‘Do you, therefore, to whom as to little ones God has revealed things hidden from the wise and prudent, turn your thoughts with earnestness to those that are truly desirable, and diligently meditate on this coming of our Lord. Consider Who He is that comes, whence He comes, to whom He comes, for what end He comes, when He comes, and in what manner He comes’.

May God bless your Advent, and especially may you feel Him close today.