“No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:3

Today begins the season of expectant, joyful waiting, the season we call Advent.  As we do each year, we light the first of four candles this morning—one for each Sunday of Advent that will take us home on Christmas Day. 

We think of Advent as a time of anticipation—waiting for the Christ Child and preparing for his birth.  But Advent is a time of discovery as well.  Here’s what I mean…

God is already present in our lives and in our relationships all of the time.  Advent is an invitation to discover how and where to find the Lord.  Important clues are embedded in the rituals we follow.  We reach out to family… we give our children extra special attention… we decorate our homes to a fare-thee-well…  and we outdo ourselves in creating memories that we hope will become part of our family histories. 

Why do we do all this?  Because we’re never quite satisfied with earthly things.  Enough is not enough.  We long for more… for the eternal and the forever after.  We don’t want the joy of this moment to end.  As people of faith, we have the hope and expectation that God is working in us no matter the circumstance.  God always has the last word, and as we have said all year long, that word is life—eternal life, which is the promise of the Christ Child.

This has been a difficult year for all of us.  But as you begin Advent, be hopeful:  celebrate plenty not scarcity, celebrate the light not darkness.  And celebrate the abundance of God’s love, which comes to us in the form of a child, born in a manger.  Hope is how we discover God among us; it’s the gesture of welcome and the answer to our longing.  Hope is God coming to our rescue when we most need the healing.

Friend, during the four weeks of Advent, take a little extra time to reflect on the past year and tell God your hopes for the year ahead.  However you pray, know that God is present all of the time, working through you to make the promise of the Christ Child the greatest gift you will ever receive.  May you have a blessed Advent filled with hope.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.

Prayer for 5th Sunday


We wait for Your coming, Lord

not like the prophets of old

who longed to greet the Messiah

but for the fulfillment of Your kingdom

here on earth as in heaven.

Make each town and village

a new Bethlehem in which

the meek and lowly seek and find You

and wise sages follow their star

to worship at Your manger.

Come to us again in the poor and oppressed

the outcast and the forgotten.

May we never forget that in

serving others we serve You who

came to us two thousand years ago,

and come to us each day in each

Eucharist and whose coming

at the end of time we wait with joyful longing.


Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso


We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.


L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly, Fr. Juan Montes Zúñiga)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.


L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)





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The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

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