Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore wishes for an Advent season marked by prayer, penance and charity, expressed in a pastoral letter to the faithful in all parishes and communities. It is the time of preparation for Christmas, emphasizes the Archbishop, which will be lived through this year in times of the pandemic and will be characterized by "deep faith, humility and simplicity". The community, the Archbishop remarked, "is affected by suffering and uncertainty in these months, which are marked by the spread of the coronavirus and the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. That is why we have a special day of prayer in all parishes on December 8th and ecclesiastical associations, as a sign of hope and consolation".
A second special day of penance is planned for tomorrow, December 15, when parishioners will have the opportunity to confess: "We are human beings, we make mistakes and confess our weaknesses and sins to the Lord by asking for his mercy and forgiveness, so that we can remain in God's grace and under his protection, in these difficult times", explains the Archbishop.
The day dedicated to the works of charity in the whole diocesan community will be December 22: the faithful will take action for special works of charity and closeness to those most in need. The Archbishop asks everyone to share their goods with others and encourages them to "offer gifts and meet the material and spiritual needs of brothers and sisters in difficulty, so that Christmas can be a source of joy for them too".
Mgr. Shaw says: "God will surely approve of our sacrifices and bless our actions. I ask everyone to perform this act of love". Furthermore, he adds, "every baptized person can also think of his own life as a gift from God, a precious gift that can bear fruit and be placed in the hands of the Lord".
During this Advent season, the Archbishop concludes, "let us pray together intensely for the end of the pandemic that afflicts humanity and so that Christmas in joy, in spiritual zeal, in sharing, in the authentic spirit of the Incarnation of Christ Jesus, God with us us, can be celebrated". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 14/12/2020)