We continue to reread what the Synodal Assembly of October 2023 has entailed. We are walking towards 2024 and between one and the other there are no cuts or leaps in time, but a common thread that maintains synodality as a new way of being and being in the church.
The Synod 2021-2024 process, in its entirety, is the source of inspiration to continue the journey. Those of us who have participated in the synodal meetings at the various levels of the listening and consultation phase, and even more so those who participated in the First Session, have had the concrete experience of a Church that discovers itself to be plural and can live its differences as a richness, in communion.
This experience constitutes a prophetic word addressed to a world that finds it hard to believe that peace and harmony are possible. We are called and sent by the Risen Lord to proclaim the Gospel to the world today: growing as a synodal Church is a concrete way of responding to this call and mission.
The synodal encounter between brothers and sisters who recognize that they are disciples called and sent by the Lord is a grace and a source of joy. From this experience was born the desire to share this gift, involving more and more people in this dynamism.
And as we are walking towards the next Assembly, we cannot leap, but step by step but firmly towards the desired goal. We have a guiding question to delve deeper. A first working guideline invites the local Churches and groups of Churches to contribute by deepening some aspects of the Synthesis Report that are fundamental for the Synod’s theme, starting from a guiding question: HOW to be a synodal Church in mission.
The objective is to identify the paths to follow and the instruments to adopt in different contexts and circumstances, in order to enhance the originality of each baptized person and of each Church in the unique mission of announcing the Risen Lord and his Gospel to today’s world.
It is not, therefore, a question of limiting ourselves to technical or procedural improvements that make the structures of the Church more efficient, but of working on the concrete forms of the missionary commitment to which we are called, in the dynamism between unity and diversity proper to a synodal Church.
The reform of structures required for pastoral conversion can only be understood in this sense:
to see to it that all of them become more missionary, that the ordinary pastoral ministry in all its instances be more expansive and open, that it place the pastoral agents in a constant attitude of “going out” and thus favor the positive response of all those whom Jesus summons to his friendship.
The future is calling us to continue building the synodal church that we desire and to which we are invited at different levels.
María Luisa Berzosa FI