My brothers in Christ,

Today marks the start of a new season in the Liturgical calendar, and the start of a new year. As we begin this season of Advent, there is much to look forward too.

A sense of new beginnings is the first and foremost on the minds of everyone at this time. We have had a very trying year, between sex abuse scandals across the United States, a global pandemic, and a tumultuous time in our country. Starting a fresh chapter seems like the best way to hit the reset button, and get back to the most important things in our lives.

The message for the first week of Advent is that of Hope. We can look at hope in a number of ways, we can hope that an end to the COVID-19 pandemic will usher in a sense of normalcy in our daily lives. We can hope that the time away from the hustle and bustle of the secular world has refocused our lives on what is important.

We can also hope in the coming of our savior. Unlike the Israelites, who were waiting for an unknown Messiah, someone who would usher in an end to tyranny and oppression, and bring about the beginning of the reign of God. We are lucky enough to live in such a world. We know that Jesus Christ has come, he has won the war- and we are saved. It is up to us on a daily basis to continue to pick up our weapon of choice; put on the armor of God and wage battle with the those who wish to do harm to the kingdom of heaven, for we know the battle will be one, and as iron sharpens iron, so we too shall sharpen one another to keep each other strong in the face of temptation.

Take a moment out of your day today and pray for Hope. It is ok to be scared, because, if you shuffle the letters in scared, you get sacred.