Audio

Bishop Seamus Cunningham asks: "What difference does mercy make?"

06/12/2015 1:44 pm

Bishop Seamus Cunningham, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, brings us today's Advent reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent.

He tells us that actions speak louder than words and gives the example of a visit to Ethiopia made by Cardinal Basil Hume in 1985 at the height of the terrible famine.

"He met a starving boy who took hold of his hand and touched his face with it. The boy's message was not with words, but with the sign of someone in desperate need. Actions speak louder than words. The Cardinal worked for the rest of his life for the starving of the world: 'You cannot look into the eyes of a starving child and remain the same,' he said.

"God says 'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh'.

"Jesus, the Word of God, became flesh for us so that we become flesh for others. Mercy means flesh, not stone. Mercy means I'm moved to change things that are wrong. Even just a little bit. And that's enough. I'm moved to change things with myself first, so I can go on and change things around me."

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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