As we enter the season of Advent and prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ, I think about how blessed I am to be able to be around people who care about me and to live in a nation where I am able to exercise my freedom in so many ways. The readings this weekend make me think about the simplest and yet greatest gift I have been given, my ability to choose. Our God and Creator has given us this great gift and allows each of us to use it as we see fit. We even have the ability to reject Him. I know there are many times when I exercise this gift in ways I should not, by not choosing what is best for me or for those around me, but I later realize I must live with the results of the choices I make. For good or bad, I have the free will to choose what I wish to do and how I wish to do it. I pray, especially as we begin this new liturgical year, that I may open myself to the grace of our Lord and Father and choose the best option for not only myself, but also those around me so I may help them draw closer to our Lord and, eventually reside with him in heaven. I pray each of you may choose to seek the will of the Lord in all things. Have a blessed Advent.