Bishop Alan Williams: True discipleship means we must be merciful as our father is merciful

17/12/2015 11:09 am

Bishop Alan Williams, Bishop of Brentwood, focuses his Advent reflection on how we can all identify with at least one of the key characters in his favourite parable - the Prodigal Son.

"Think about the parable. The son has plotted and planned his return, he's decided what's going to happen. But all of that is set to naught by the merciful father. He sees the son, he runs out, he welcomes him; there's a feast, there's a robe, there's a ring, the shoes - non-judgmental. Very simply, mercy. How do we sum it up? We sum it up with the Gospel: 'My son was dead but now he's alive'.

"So in this 'Year of Mercy', it's a reminder that our God is utterly merciful and that discipleship means that we also must be merciful as our father is merciful."

Podcast Series

The Year of Mercy, given to us by Pope Francis, presents the ideal opportunity to focus on God's mercy and forgiveness.

To mark this, many of the Bishops of England and Wales have recorded special reflections for Advent. One podcast reflection will be uploaded every day throughout the season.


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