All of us have had the experience of waiting – in a queue at the till in a shop, on the roadside waiting for the next bus, or in a hospital to see a doctor. Some wait patiently; others do not. Some wait calmly; others do not. What is your own experience of waiting?

Advent is as much about waiting and preparing as it is about listening – listening for God speaking to us in the ordinary and everyday. Only through people hearing and acting on God’s Word spoken to them was it possible for Jesus to come amongst us. Had either Mary or Joseph said no to the Word they heard, the prophecy of Isaiah would not have come to pass and our history would have been dramatically different!

Speaking of the Advent and Christmas season, Madeleine L’Engle writes:

‘This is the irrational season

Where love blooms bright and wild.

Had Mary been filled with reason

There’d have been no room for the child.’

To facilitate our journey through this Advent season the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference is offering us daily reflections through an online Advent Calendar. Each day will invite us to walk through a new door, opening us to prayer and reflection for that day.

This will be a very useful resource for personal reflection or to adapt for the classroom.