Sometimes old words fine new prominence in the life of the Church. So, it is with the old word Synod normally a gathering of bishops. In October 2023 the Holy Father has called such a synod where bishops will gather with him to discuss how we form Church. Synodality is therefore the theme.
“Synodality,” literally means “walking together,” and encompasses communion, participation, and mission. Papal biographer, Austen Ivereigh, defines synodality as “a method and process of discussion and participation in which the whole people of God can listen to the Holy Spirit and take part in the life and mission of the Church.”. There is more to come…
Ahead of the action in our Archdiocese in October, the General Secretariat for the Synod has published the Preparatory Document, along with a Vademecum (or handbook) to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality. It is intended to facilitate the first phase of listening and consultation of the People of God in the particular Churches, which will take place from October 2021 to April 2022. The preparatory document indicates ten ways that “articulate different facets of ‘lived synodality’”:
* The Journeying Companions
* Speaking Out
* Co-responsible in the Mission
* Dialogue in Church and Society
* With the Other Christian Denominations
* Authority and Participation
* Discerning and Deciding
* Forming Ourselves in Synodality
The 2023 Synod We have also to respond positively to the Holy Father’s invitation to influence the Synod of Bishops to meet in 2023. Our parish response needs to be completed and returned by Jan 31st. Not a lot of time given Advent and Christmas. I am however determined that we do so. He is encouraging us to Communion. Participation and Mission. Three thing we need to deepen for ourselves. However much or little we influence the Universal Church his call to us to walk together, listening for the Lord’s voice is what we need to do here in Musselburgh and Tranent. The PPC’s of both parishes have a vital role to play in this journey. Material and questions to consider should be available soon. Once I have it it will come out to the parish.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen