December 18 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

11-EDINBURGH-DOOR-YEAR-OF-MERCY

Find the joy in Christmas, we are tasked by Pope

This week’s editorial leader

The Pope we see before us this week is a different man. Pope Francis has reminded Christians that Christ’s birth is not a time for sadness but a time for celebration. This marks a change of emphasis, as the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy begins, from the Holy Father’s struggle at the beginning of Advent to reconcile this traditional time of Peace on Earth with a world at war. Global tensions remain but Pope Francis this week took heart, perhaps in the news that world leaders agreed on climate protection measures, and the moment was captured by his first ‘selfie’ on Instagram.

There remain doubters, within and out with our Faith community, as to whether man can influence global weather patterns. The Holy Father however, exhorted the entire international community ‘to promptly continue the path taken, as a sign of solidarity which becomes ever more active.’

The universal Church itself is in indeed united now, in Advent, at the start of the Year of Mercy. Cathedral and Church doors have been ceremonially opened in archdioceses and dioceses throughout the country, and even more parishes have been identified as places where Catholics can specifically seek God’s mercy in this jubilee year.

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh is among the Scottish hierarchy members who is encouraging parishioners to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, before Christmas, to confess their sins—as the jubilee begins—in preparation for this year’s celebration of Christ’s birth, the year ahead and beyond. This is very practical and assessable way of marking the Jubilee, and a special invitation to those who have not taken part in the Sacrament for some time.

Christmas is a week away, and there will no doubt be a great deal of items on our lists that remain to be done. If however, like many of us, you have left the spiritual preparation to last, what are you waiting for? Seize the day.

 

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