Apologies for such a long break between entries – I’ve only just had time to catch my breath after an insanely busy few months. Finally home for Christmass break.

In all the preparation that we associate with Lent, and the rush to Christmass that seems to occur at the beginning of October (!) it’s sometimes easy to overlook the essential penitential nature of Advent.  But that is to forget the reason for this time of the year – preparation for the arrival of Our Lord and Saviour means facing inward and self-examination as well as preparing to spread the Good News of the coming of the kingdom. After all, we must make sure we’re temples meet for The Lord.

On top of that, there are some excellent saints to celebrate in Advent. Andrew, Lucy, John of the Cross, all important in their own witness to Christ.

All of this adds up to a fantastic time of year, which we should not rush through, eager though we may be to welcome the Infant King. This year we’ve been encouraged to really look deeply at what the coming of Christ means for all of us as trainee priests and deacons: how does this season affect us in a ministerial way? How do we translate the imminent arrival of Christ to our day to day ministry?

One of the readings which always affects me in this season is Matthew 25:13. “Therefore keep watch, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Truly our faith is one in which, like the Apostles at Gethsemane, we must urge ourselves to be disciplined and watch with Christ. Pray constantly.

At this time, please remember to pray for your priests, and for those in training. They’re praying for you.