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The season of Advent is one of the forgotten elements of our Church’s calendar year - or at least neglected. What surprises me about that fact is that I also find it such a beautiful time. The hymns for Advent are beautiful pieces of hopeful expectation. Whereas anywhere you go all you see is the celebration (often now in a generic, secular form) of the Christmas “holiday” itself.  Perhaps this is why Advent is lost, and alongside it, the Christmas season, which actually lasts until the Baptism of the Lord.

So the challenge is this: can you put off the celebration of Christmas? The reward is this: if you can truly wait in all kinds of ways (perhaps including avoiding popular radio stations!) then you will receive the gift of the “twelve days of Christmas” that lead to Epiphany, adoring the child Jesus along with the Magi.

As the darkness falls upon us more and more until the winter solstice, we are gently invited to have more time in quiet reflection. This is where our hope is found - in relationship with the Lord who does not abandon us but rather promises to come to us with His loving presence. Let your hope be renewed by some quiet time this Advent. 

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