Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Today we begin the journey to Bethlehem once again. Later I’ll drive to Mt. Irenaeus for Mass and then our monthly Secular Franciscan meeting. This will be my first meeting since May. I’ve managed to be ill for the past two meetings this fall. Today, the first candle of the wreath will be lit at Mass. We’ll probably sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” I the hymn. I have loved it every since I learned it as a boy. There is something special in it for me. Even though God is with us always, there is a special expectation of a new birth at Christmas and Advent brings that time of expectant waiting and wanting.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.