Welcome to the last month of the year. We thank the Lord for His many blessings on us and for preserving our lives to the last month of the year 2022. The month of December is a month of expectation, joy and celebration. Within it we celebrate the Seasons of Advent, Christmas and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This is a month of stock taking, self-evaluation, re-assessment and thanksgiving to God. We began the Season of Advent during which we prepare ourselves spiritually and physically for the coming of the Child Jesus. The liturgical colour of this season, purple, paints a spiritual portrait of hope and expectation, of longing and waiting, of conversion and penance in preparation for Christmas. Christmastide begins with the First Vespers (Evening Prayer) of Christmas on December 24th and ends on the Sunday after Epiphany. The Christmas Season expresses the boundless love of God; a love that heralds hope, inaugurates peace, engenders faith, and establishes the triumph of justice. Christmas is indeed a season of joy, gladness, love, forgiveness, peace, salvation and celebration. While we busy ourselves with shopping, partying, cleaning and other material preparations for Christmas let us not lose sight of its spiritual significance; the opportunity to encounter the child Jesus at the manger and embrace his offer of friendship and salvation.
• Most Rev. (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins is the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos.
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