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Towards a Synodal Conversation – Synod March 2024

March 7, 2024

Keeping the ecclesial dynamism alive is one of the points offered and recalled in the document of the General Secretariat of the Synod under the title TOWARDS OCTOBER 2024. We need this personal and institutional conversion in order to enlighten this synodal church. The time of Lent is propitious for this.

Why is this recommended to us? Because, as we know, there are many critical voices regarding synodality. We must affirm that it is not a fad, something invented now, but has its origin in the Second Vatican Council and is God’s answer for the third millennium. And it is the Spirit who is guiding this renewal in the church. The foundation of the church will not be changed, but the way of being and being, of living, the ecclesiality will be changed.

We could define synodality with two words: listening and discernment. And the listening is to all the People of God, because we have all been invited to this synodal process. Likewise, discernment needs diverse lights, suggestions and proposals; and if I abstain from participating, I am subtracting my gifts from the whole. The Body is one, as St. Paul reminds us, but it has many members, all different and all necessary.

Opening the door to listening and discernment The Spirit speaks through the mouths of young and old, of women and men, of all races, languages and cultures; our Church is universal, it cannot close doors and mark borders, but it cannot close doors and mark borders. tearing down walls and building bridges.

And, in this opening, a very special invitation to lay men and women to rekindle that vocation whose dignity comes from baptism. And, from there, to create a Church of communion, not of confrontation between groups or tendencies, nor of division, because we are called to build a community of communities more and more similar to what the Lord dreams of.

It is a very propitious occasion to turn our eyes to the Lord, the true foundation of our synodal church. We cannot separate both realities: Jesus and his Church. This synodal process can and should be an occasion to renew our faith in the Lord and to take up again with greater vigor the Gospel as a program of life. And, in that light, not to lose sight of the signs of the times, to be attentive to the changes of today.

At various levels, the preparing spaces and scenarios that are pointing the way towards October 2024 because we need to prepare the tools that allow us to land issues in that next synodal assembly: there are new consultants and consultants to collaborate in the general secretariat of the Synod; the Pope will also appoint expert groups that they can address the issues that are asking for concreteness in the life of the Church.

There are congresses on synodality, communication, the mission of women in the Church… These are initiatives aimed at helping the next assembly to concretize themes and situations that appear to be urgent and in need of definition.

As we travel this Lenten-synodal journey of conversion, let us not lose confidence in the Spirit who is leading us.

María Luisa Berzosa González FI – Roma