First Sunday of Advent – 

“When these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, for your ransom is near at hand.”  If we are going to have hope that has any meaning in this world, we must start with the realities of life, and for millions of people that reality is endless suffering bordering on despair. Anyone can be optimistic when “everything is coming up roses.” It is the time and place of anguish and suffering that gives rise to genuine hope.