The season of Advent can be overlooked in the run-up to Christmas, but if we take the time to recognize its hum beneath the busyness of shopping, baking, parties, and decorations, we discover the quiet joy it can bring, those moments apart from the giddiness (or the frustration) of December. Even people who work in ministry can get caught up in the preparations for the Advent and Christmas liturgies and lose sight of the deep joy of the season. Advent challenges us to step away from the hectic activity of the world, even if only for a short time each day. Pope Francis is the perfect guide through this season. Not one to shy away from a busy schedule, he has discovered the secret of balancing work with reflection, busyness with quiet contemplation, celebration with solitude, simplicity with the complexities of daily life. And what is at the heart of that secret? Making sure everything is rooted in Christ. The work we do (and the joy it can bring) emerges from a commitment to bringing the gift of God’s love to those we meet.
—from the book The Joy of Advent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek