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Many of us have a desire to ‘give our best’ to Advent, but the blessing of Advent is that it actually gives to us! If we surrender to the Season – if we allow ourselves to slow down and listen – we can hear God speaking to us in the beauty of the Advent colors, lighting, and liturgy. Advent reminds us who we are: Christians called to hope in God who has come to save us (Isaiah 35:4)!

So much of Advent involves a letting go in order to allow space for the Infant King to be born in our hearts anew. We need to let go of the ‘deserts’ that have accumulated this year. “The deepest desert is the human heart when it loses the capacity for listening, speaking and communicating with God and with others” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).

Let’s take some time to reflect. Is this the state of our own hearts? Have we forgotten how to show compassion for others through genuine attention and concern? Have we stopped conversing with God in prayer out of laziness or self-interest?

Oftentimes, we don’t notice the ‘barrenness’ of our interior lives until we have reason to look deeper. Advent reminds us that the Lord comes to help us grow! He wants us to “bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song” (Isaiah 35:2).

Allow God to shower you with many graces this Advent transforming the deserts of your heart into rich and fertile soil. Your loved ones, your coworkers, and all those you encounter are counting on you to receive the gift of Advent. All that is required of you is a willingness to accept this gift with sincerity and openness of heart.

Jennifer Baugh is the Founder and National Executive Director of Young Catholic Professionals (YCP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that encourages young professionals to embrace their faith and Work in Witness for Christ.

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