Read the full magazine here
In October 2021, the entire Church entered into a preliminary Synodal process. Pope Francis opened it in Rome and every Diocese across the whole world was called to celebrate the opening of the Synodal process at the local level. The theme for the Synod is For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.The Church is given an opportunity to open ourselves to the journey of sharing, reflecting and listening to one another at all level across the entire Church from October 2021 – 2023.
Synodality is all about “Journeying Together” through listening to one another in order to hear what God is saying to all of us. The Holy Spirit, the spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17) can speak through anyone to help us walk forward together on our journey as the People of God. Synodality is a way to be more united with one another and to better carry out the mission of Christ on earth.
Communion- By the same Spirit of Jesus
When we look around our world and society, we find many challenges: the wars and hatred, injustices, discriminations, corruptions, division in families, communities, churches and so on. These overwhelming threats affect human communion. Communion reminds us of a closer relationship with God and with His people. St. Paul says, “Making every effort to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. There is only one body and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:3-6). Therefore, it is a call for all of us to nourish and cherish the spirit of communion in our families, communities and wherever we are. Every baptized person is called to be a manifestation of God’s love. Jesus our Lord and Master is our model of becoming a source of love, joy, hope and strength to each other. St. John Paul II states in his Apostolic Exhortation (Dominum et vivificantem) that Jesus Christ the incarnate Lord is the heart of trinitarian communion. Jesus Christ is the word made flesh, the perfect revelation of God the Father’s love for humanity and the Saviour of the world. Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father and the Spirit of the same mind, with the same love and united in heart. Hence, it is an invitation for us to live in communion with each other in our families, communities, working places, etc. with the same mind, same love, united in heart as Jesus did.
Participation – By the same Spirit of Jesus
In the Gospel, we have a very clear example of feeding of the five thousand. Jesus said to his disciples, “make them sit down in groups of about fifty each. They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and two fish he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd” (Lk 9: 14-16). In the same way, we find another example in the gospel of John Chapter 2:7-10, “The Wedding at Cana”. Jesus and his disciples were journeying together with the people, sharing and listening to each other. They became part of one another. Today, let us ask ourselves: How can the Church be complete without the participation of both men and women? When the People of God participate in every activity of the Church, it definitely becomes active and creative. The participation of the laity often brings unexpected and rich insights to the activities of the church.
Mission – By the same Spirit of Jesus
St. Marie Eugenie says, “Each one has a mission on this Earth.” Mission is rooted in our very being as a human, doing every work with our full heart and soul, giving our best to little or big things. In the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians we find, “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:11-12). Pope Francis underlines, “My mission of being in the heart of the people is not just a part of my life or a badge I can take off; it is not on “extra” or just another moment in life. Instead, it something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 273). Thus our mission becomes dynamic when we take responsibility and commit ourselves fully with dedication. Let us therefore journey together with passion, zeal and enthusiasm in the mission of Christ, promoting and witnessing to Christ’s forgiving love, mercy and compassion to all.
SISTER SUNITA BESRA
Responsible for the communication of the Province of India