While the basic message is one of comfort and reassurance, the second part of the gospel adopts a more admonitory tone. Believers must be like people expecting visitors but unsure as to when exactly they will arrive. The time of waiting requires attentiveness and a sharp spiritual sense. Anything that dulls the spirit (debauchery and drunkenness) or causes it to be distracted (absorption in the cares of life) must be avoided. Advent is a time for examination in such areas. It is also a time for exploring our deepest longings and desires and allowing them to surface. They can ride up, so to speak, on the rich Scripture texts that the Church puts before us at this time. God’s only wish in our regard is to communicate to us the life and love for which we long. Each Advent should expand both our longing and our capacity to receive the gift of God.