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Recently I read an article by Bishop David Kagan in our diocesan newspaper. He shared something about Advent that helped me to think about it in a new way. Bishop explained that he never forgot a remark a priest made during a preached retreat when he was in high school seminary. The priest said that the Advent season gives us a chance to “wait on the Lord” and not just “wait for the Lord.” So true! It is better to actively prepare for Jesus’s coming through service toward, that is “waiting on”, those around us. Advent is not about passively waiting for the Lord, like we wait in line for our food or at the check out counter at the store. Advent is about being proactive in our relationship with God and others. It is about repenting of our sins - we all have them - and confidently turning toward our merciful God in the spirit of St. John the Baptist who said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” St. John the Baptist is the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” When we recognize the presence of God in one another, and “wait” on one another, we “wait” on the Lord and prepare the pathway of our soul for his second coming. When I think of preparing for Advent the memory comes to me of how diligently and lovingly my mom used to prepare for my dad before he came in from working outside all day on the farm. Mom prepared a meal and had us kids that may have been inside help set the table and clean the house up a little bit. We do something akin with our souls when we prepare at welcome Jesus’ coming, first at Christmas when God took on our human nature in Jesus, but also as we prepare for his coming again at the end of all time to be our just and merciful judge. May our Advent season be blessed and filled with hopeful and expectant joy.

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