Advent Reflection: Mgr Michael McPartland looks to the Gospel for the great gifts of forgiveness, salvation and mercy

19/12/2015 12:28 pm

Monsignor Michael McPartland, the Apostolic Prefect of the Falkland Islands, looks at how our Christmas preparations enhance the season of goodwill but we should focus on the Gospels to celebrate the greatest gift of all - the coming of God with his infinite love and mercy.

"As we approach the holy season of Advent we begin in earnest our preparation for Christmas. We do this at both the human and the spiritual level.

"On the human level many people are compiling their lists of Christmas cards to send to family and friends. At the same time they are making their lists of presents to give to the people who they wish to honour in a special way. In addition there are all sorts of parties and reunions to look forward to - Christmas is not called the season of good will for nothing.

"On the spiritual level we prepare ourselves by reflecting on the Advent bible readings proclaimed every day at Mass and especially the Sundays of Advent. We meditate on the Old Testament themes that lead us up to the birth of our Blessed Lord.

"There's one text from the St John's Gospel which particularly stands out to me. It tells us that God in his infinite love and mercy so loved this world he sent his only son not to condemn it but to save it.

"Just think as you prepare to give your presents to others remember that God has given you the greatest gift of all: Forgiveness, salvation and mercy. Remember also that his gift to you is not just for Christmas but indeed for life."

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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