Well, almost. Just as that time's upon us 'round these parts when a car needs a few minutes' warmup before heading off, it's much the same when your chops have taken even a couple days of deep-freeze... with some interesting tidbits to hash out, to boot.
To help get things back into gear, in Sri Lanka's capital, the 700,000-strong Catholic community's been exhorted to live Advent as a time "to begin new life" across all spheres of society:
This was the opening statement by the Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo to the priests, religious and lay people in his long Advent letter. The message was clear: let the birth of Jesus be an opportunity for a renewed commitment to “put an end to the crimes of our society: the first being war”.Fulltext of the message here... and more as the usual speed kicks up.
The Bishop urged the community, first of all, to not close its eyes on the reality of the country: there is a rise in “kidnappings, killings, human rights violations, abortions, diseases, the division between rich and poor, while the conflict in the north compromises each economic development”. Then he invited the leaders of the country to “unite the people”, and to assume the responsibility of re-marginalising the “profound ethnic and religious differences that divide the people” in Sri Lanka. Contributing to this division, according to the Archbishop, are some politicians and media who are only interested in their own personal gain. “Even though with nearly sixty years of Independence we have been going backwards and many of our countrymen have lost hope of a future in Sri Lanka”. He added, “I believe there is still hope for us if there is a change of heart”.
Archbishop Gomis invited the Catholic community, “even though only a minority”, to commence a “new life”, by becoming beacons of light to the rest of the country. The Archbishop recommended the parishes “dedicate Advent to promoting community prayer, especially for peace. Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament exposed and Benediction should take an important place in these devotions.” Prayer should be accompanied by penance, by “acts of virtue towards the “needy” and by “sacrifice.”
Forgive the rust.