Card Coutts: Advent, a time of prayer for peace and harmony
by Shafique Khokhar

The Archbishop of Karachi urges Catholics to pay attention to the needs of the poor, care for the basic rights of others and work for the prosperity of Pakistan. He calls for vigilance as we “prepare to welcome the mystery of the birth of Jesus.”

Karachi (AsiaNews) – Advent is a "time of prayer for peace and harmony in the world and our country,” said Card Joseph Coutts, archbishop of Karachi, in his message for Advent, the period of waiting and conversion that precedes Christmas.

Yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, the new liturgical year for the Catholic Church began. The cardinal used to make an appeal to his fellow Christians to "Keep your eyes open to the needs of the poor” and remember “the words of Pope Francis” who said that “Advent helps us find Jesus in the needs of others.”

In light of this, “During these blessed days, all of us must give a message of love, peace and fraternity, through our words and actions, according to the teachings of the Bible.”

Above all, “We are all called to work for peace and harmony, taking care of the basic rights of all people and striving for the prosperity of our country, Pakistan.”

The Advent period, the prelate noted, “is a season to be vigilant and prepare ourselves to accept the mystery of the birth of Jesus," when the Word became flesh. “This season prepares us not only to welcome this great event, but also to make it real in our lives.”

With Advent, “the new liturgical year begins. With this, the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period, but also its renewed commitment to faith.

Finally, “This is the time of prayer and a journey of penance,” Archbishop Coutts said. “It is a powerful, rich and intense season that we must not let go. The entire liturgy of the Advent period is a time that invites us to be awake and grow in our Christian life.”