Today we begin our journey of expectancy, of waiting in sure and steadfast hope for the coming of the Lord. The Advent vocabulary is distinctive: Awake! Watch! Repent! Prepare! All of these words are used at other times, but in this season they acquire a deep significance as the Church enters into this privileged time.

It is also a season of quiet joy, which increases with the weeks. Amid all the challenges of our daily lives, may we know this joy, and may your Advent – and this day – be richly blessed.