Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Does this season anticipate the advent of a memory or a hope? Are we to look back at Fr Shafiquewhat God did long ago, or are we to look forward to what God will do? Advent encourages us to do both, to look in both directions. The heart of this season is where memory and hope meet.

We are called to prepare a way for the Lord in our hearts and be ready for his final coming when He will judge the living and the dead. Are you ready to meet God? Are you ready for the Final Judgment? Are you prepared to meet your maker? Have you helped others get ready for the Lord’s coming? How about your family, siblings, friends, co‐workers? These are great reflection questions for the Advent season.

The two things I would encourage most would be the Eucharist and Confession. Spend more time receiving and adoring the Eucharist and get to Confession more often. There are ample times to get to Confession; all you need to do is commit and show up. Use a good examination of conscience to prepare and give all your sins to the Lord. Jesus loves you and wants you home with Him – be not afraid. Confession exists for one reason, to help you! If Advent is about preparing for Jesus, then spend more and more time with Him in the Eucharist. We know He is there, so why not spend time with Him. In a season where there seems to be no time at all, spend your best time with Him, in a certain sense, waste time with Him! Spend more time in silence – consider turning off the radio in the car, the television, iPhone, etc. Pray a Daily Rosary and reflect upon the Joyful Mysteries. Look for opportunities to make the season about Jesus and not about gifts, food, and obligations. Give to the poor more than you give to your own family.

Let us not forget to be joyful missionaries in this season of hope. Let us pray together
God, you gave us the gift of Jesus Christ, so we trust you are with us and ever shall be. We who have much to do seek a quiet place to listen. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your peace. We who are blessed in many ways long to be busy for others. We whose hearts are heavy seek joy, even so. Come, Lord Jesus!

Amen.
Fr. Shafique

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