“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land, where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

This verse is part of the Book of Psalms, a collection of 150 poems, songs and prayers written in ancient Hebrew, according to the Bible Project website.

A little less than half of these psalms are attributed to King Davidabout a third are anonymous — and the rest are attributed to different authors.

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Psalm 63 is attributed to King David, the third king of Israel.

“Advent is a time filled with joyful expectation. It’s about waiting for our heart’s desire to come true,” said Mark Hartfiel of Texas, vice president of Paradisus Dei.

The organization is a Catholic ministry “dedicated to the renewal of marriage and family life,” its website states.

Advent is a time of “joyful anticipation” that will lead to the fulfillment of the human heart’s longing for God, said Mark Hartfiel of Texas. (iStock/Paradise of God)

Advent is the liturgical season that includes the four Sundays before Christmas Day.

“For thousands of years, the human heart longed for God. However, to our great surprise, we discovered that He has an infinitely greater thirst for us,” said Hartfiel.

The fact that the God of the Universe “wants to come closer to us, making himself small – small enough to fit into our lives” is the “mystery of Christmas”, he said.

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The joy of Christ's birth at Christmas comes after a period of intense preparation and longing.

“Before we can fully appreciate the joy of Christmas, it is important that we try to enter into the longing, the waiting and the pain of Israel and try to imagine a world hungry for a Savior,” Hartfiel told Fox News Digital.

Nativity scene display

At Christmas, the arrival of Jesus and God's presence among humanity is the true gift, said Hartfiel of Paradisus Dei, a Catholic ministry. (Atilano Garcia/Sopa Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“Some of the most difficult moments in life come from the disappointment of shattered expectations. Israel had the greatest expectation of all time, a messianic expectation! A Savior, a Redeemer and King,” he said. “This holy expectation was established by God himself – so they continued to wait.”

Advent is also a time for Christians to “step into this longing,” Hartfiel said.

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“To ancient Israel, it was like a child waiting for Christmas morning, but it never comes – not in their lifetime, not in their children’s lifetime, not in their children’s children’s lifetime,” he said. He added that “42 generations passed from Abraham to the coming of Christ.”

Even in the midst of this wait, “our God is a God who always keeps His promises,” Hartfiel said.

Therefore, humanity, he said, must “learn to let go of our expectations.”

Advent wreath with nativity scene

Psalm 63 — “You are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you” — shows how intensely the people of Israel waited for the messiah. Advent is also a time of waiting and longing, a religious leader said. (iStock)

“God was preparing His people not just to meet but to exceed their expectations; to meet the Creator in the flesh, a baby lying in a manger,” Hartfiel said.

During Advent, people “need to slow down, be still,” Hartfiel said.

“Our spiritual lives depend on it.”

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Modern society, he said, is geared toward instant gratification — and the Advent season is an opportunity to combat these tendencies.

“The gift of Christmas is the gift of presence.”

“Our minds are being reshaped, or rather deformed, by instant pleasure. It’s safe to say we were misled,” he said. “The mindless scrolling through clickbait, dopamine release, repeat. We are literally addicted to pleasure over joy.”

Prayer, Hartfiel said, is “the antidote” to this culture of instant gratification.

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“The gift of Christmas is the gift of presence. Not just gifts under a tree, but the holy presence of God among us,” he said. “Emmanuel, our God is with us.”

At Christmas, “Jesus wants to be born again in our hearts,” said Hartfiel.

“There was no room for Him in the inn. Is there room for Him in your heart?”

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