During Advent we await the Lord’s coming and we prepare by drawing closer to the Lord in prayer and loving service of our neighbour. The time we spend in communion with the Lord in communal and private prayer encourages us to recognise him in others and to respond to their need as best we can. When Christmas comes we should be at our very best – full of joy as we welcome the Lord, the Babe of Bethlehem, the Saviour of the World, and full of love as we present our gifts to those we love and gratefully accept their tokens of love and affection for ourselves. It is a wonderful time then of celebration in our homes and in our churches, blessed and enlightened by our faith in Our Lord Jesus, God’s present of himself to our needy world. Let us truly thank the Lord then this Christmas for his goodness, and for the blessings he bestows upon all of us even when life is difficult and pain or sadness touches our lives.

In the Diocese of Motherwell, as we patiently await the appointment of a new Bishop, we pray for the one who will be chosen, that he may be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and be a wise and inspiring shepherd for all in the Diocese. We commend this intention, and many others, to the intercession of Our Lady of Good Aid, Patron of the Diocese, and to Blessed Joseph, her spouse. As they watched over the Child Jesus at Bethlehem, may they keep us close to him and united in prayer and charity, so that we may strive to be his faithful followers, and humble yet strong witnesses of the Gospel of Life.

+ Joseph Toal

Apostolic Administrator of Motherwell Diocese

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