Yesterday we began the season of Advent, a season of expectation. We hear, “The Lord is coming and will not delay.” We gather at the Advent wreath singing, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We see the sparkle in children’s eyes as they make or find the perfect gift for a parent. Shopping and baking bring joy in anticipation of celebration. Advent is also the season of awareness. The Gospel tells us, “Be alert at all times.” Throughout Advent we’re told to wake up, notice what is happening and live in the present. Be alert to God’s fingerprints on snowflakes; know God’s power in the wind; hear God’s voice in the church bell and our neighbor’s words. Let us open our hearts to God’s plan in our lives. May we be amazed at what God is doing in and around us and embrace life with gratitude. It is Advent. Jesus, God-ever-present, is coming!