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anadventwreathToday Christians around the world mark the beginning of the holy season of Advent, the moment when we begin a new liturgical cycle, a new “Church year.” The Latin word itself describes the season: veni (to come) ad (to, or toward). God is coming toward us always, but we look forward and prepare to welcome God in a special way at Christmas. As we commemorate the birth of Jesus into the world, we hope for deeper recognition and birthing in our hearts of what it means to be Christian in our world today. I have always loved Advent, a quieter and more reflective time mirrored to us in the “resting” of nature, a time to go inward. True, this concept is countercultural as the outer world is already in a shopping frenzy, but for me the ultimate gift will be the result of my interior effort during the month ahead. My prayer echoes that of the psalmist this morning who calls out in hope and confidence: Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and for you I wait all the day. (PS 25:4-5)

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