The first Sunday of Advent sees the commencement of the new liturgical year. This new liturgical cycle is referred to as Year A and features the gospel of Matthew. Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus which literally means ‘coming’; it is also reflected in the Greek word Parousia, which is used to describe the second coming of Jesus. So Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation of the coming of Christ into the world that is celebrated in the Nativity at Christmas. The gospel passage chosen for today’s reading richly expresses that anticipation and need for preparation. In the Nativity, we celebrate God become human; God present in the world in a physical way. Advent is a time to remember the many and varied ways that God continues to be present in the world.