2016 HAS been a year of dramatic change in national and world affairs. 

For many of you it will have been just as dramatic at a more personal level- perhaps through a change of job, the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one.

We should see this as a spiritual moment-a kind of examination of conscience, made in front of the crib.

For there, as we see a tiny helpless baby-who is God-struggle for warmth and comfort amid the mire and draughts of a refugee stable, we discover what the love of God for us means.

Has 2016 brought us closer to others and to God? Is there anything which disturbs my conscience which I should put right?

We have lived a Holy Year of Mercy, in which the Holy Father has asked us to both show and to experience mercy. As he wrote in his recent Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et misera: 

“There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”What wonderful,consoling words.

Perhaps we can carry forward the graces of the Year of Mercy inyo 2017, by committing ourselves to being people of Mercy: people who make effort to console those around us who are suffering.

May you experience faith and hope and love-filled Christmas and a New Year filled with mercy, consolation and peace.

by: Philip Tartaglia

Archbishop of Glasgow

( Taken from the TABLET December 2016)

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