presents a four-week reflection for the season of Advent, produced by our partner Catholic News Service. As the First Sunday of Advent approaches on Dec. 3, we welcome readers to use this series as a way to prepare for Christmas, the feast of the Nativity of our Lord.

Give an Advent gift of hope to grow the light for the world
Lent has reminders of things we are “giving up,” but Advent sneaks up on us. It is the great memory of the church that lets in light on a darkening world. So the next time we demand our own way, let’s refuse to take it, and offer patient hope.

Advent prompts deepest of questions, leading to Jesus
What answer or hope are we waiting for at Advent? Why is life worth living? Jesus did not come simply to communicate a message, but to speak with every person. His first recorded statement was a question: “What are you looking for?”

How St. Joseph is an Advent model
St. Joseph is a bridge between Advent and Christmas because by not following his own good plan for life and accepting God’s mission for him, Joseph fully found himself. God likewise is present in our lives and our world now.