Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and then land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
It is us, and it is our neighbours, who are the people dwelling in darkness. The beginning of Advent is to admit that we live in the valley of the shadow of death. That things are not well. We may be numb to it, we may be blind to it, but we must wake up to it. To wake up means to realize that reality is a dim shadow of what it could be and what it ought to be. Yet in this shadow of death, a light has dawned. Pray and ask God to help you feel (not just see, but feel) that you live in a time and a place that is not OK, and that this time and place needs many things, but more than anything else, it needs the presence of Jesus.