ADVENT must be a time for conveying the good news of the gospel, not for indulging in unbridled materialism, Bishop lames McGuinness of Nottingham warns in a pastoral jetter for this weekend.
"Even before Advent comes", the bishop says, "the news of Christmas is :promulgated. The usual rush for tie material things of Christmas is here, but where is the gospel proclamation? It seems to get more swamped every year. It seems to be little more than a whisper."
Yet the message of Christ's birth is one which has a lasting effect on us all, the bishop stresses. And with the forthcoming Decade of Evangelisation and the approach of the third millennium, Christians must become "more active in spreading the good news of the gospel".
The Christian message is very relevant in a society with high levels of poverty, an ever growing number of young people who know nothing of the enrichment of spiritual qualities, and rising crime, Bishop McGuinness says. "If it's gloomy news we want, we don't have to look very far. But, we don't want to stay in an atmosphere of doom and gloom. We value the virtue of hope. We believe that the Prince of Light has come to take us out of the darkness into his own wonderful light".
This Advent in particular, with the threat of war in the Gulf, Christians must proclaim Christ's message of peace, Bishop McGuinness urges.