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From The Bishop's Desk - season of Advent


The season of Advent

We have just started the season of Advent which comprises of four Sundays in the run up to Christmas. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’. The Church prepares us for the two comings of Christ.

The first coming was when Jesus the Word of God became flesh 2000 years ago in Palestine.  Every year we celebrate his birth and rejoice in God’s great act of love by giving us his Son Jesus. 

The second coming of Christ is at the end of the world when he will come as Judge of the whole of creation. Everyone and everything will have to stand before him in judgment. But we who are faithful to Christ and who live lives of mercy and love have nothing to fear at the last judgement. We will receive our eternal reward.

However it is likely that the world will not end so soon. So for all of us, the second coming of Christ will be at the hour of our death. We will have to face Christ and be judged. This is the single most important moment in our lives. We all want to be able to meet Christ with joyful anticipation of receiving what he has promised us – eternal life. He will come and bring us to our eternal dwelling in the Father’s house.

Two key words in the season of Advent are ‘preparation’ and ‘repentance’.

The readings for the Sundays of Advent help us prepare for thesingle most important moment in our lives – when we shall meet Christ face to face. We examine our conscience in the light of God’s word, take a good look at our lives and make a good confession.

Repentance includes taking the necessary steps to bethe kind, loving and merciful person God meant us to be and to bear the appropriate fruits of love and mercy.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy has been a year of grace and blessings from the Lord. Even though the Holy Doors of Mercy in our churches are closed, the door of mercy to Christ’s heart will never be closed. Likewise, we must never close our hearts to anyone but continue to be missionaries of mercy. We must be the merciful eyes, ears, mouths, hearts, hands and feet of our merciful God.

In other words, we must be merciful as the Father is merciful. Whenever and wherever there is a need, we try to fill it. We do our best to see and serve Christ in the poor, the least and the forgotten. We must never become too engrossed with the affairs of this world that we miss our God given opportunities to be ready for eternal life in the next world.

Have a blessed and happy Advent!

Yours in the Lord,
Bishop Richard



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