30 October 2018

The Words of the Synod

The Synod Meeting focussing on young people has ended; the homily of Pope Francis, the Final Document, the Bishops’ Letter.

Three parts, 12 chapters, 167 paragraphs, 60 pages, this is the composition of the Final Document of the XV General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “  Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”, approved a few days ago and delivered into the hands of the Pope who then authorized its publication.    Among the topics dealt with in the Final Document, was  the Family, the main reference point for the young, the first community of faith, the “Domestic Church”: the Synod recalls, in particular, the role of grandparents in religious education and transmission of the faith and warns against the weakening of the paternal figure and against that of adults who adopt a life style to try to appear younger.

The Synod Fathers write of the intent to “be sharers” in the joy of young people “so that their expectations come to life” in their letter addressed to young people. “We are certain” – we read again in the document, from which a clip was also made – “that with your enthusiasm for life you will be ready to get involved, so that your dreams may be realized and take shape in your history.” […] For a month – continue the Bishops – we have walked together with some of you and with many others united to us through prayer and affection. We wish to continue the journey now in every part of the earth where the Lord Jesus sends us as missionary disciples. The Church and the world urgently need your enthusiasm.  Be sure to make the most fragile, the poor and those wounded by life your travelling companions”.


In the homily of the final mass of the Synod, Pope Francis dwelt instead on three key points: “Listen, be neighbours, bear witness.  The journey of faith in the Gospels ends in a beautiful and surprising way, with Jesus who says: ‘Go’ your faith has healed you’ (v. 52). […]   Faith has to do with encounter, not theory.   In encounter, Jesus passes by, in encounter, the heart of the Church beats.  Then not our preaching, but our witness of life will prove effective.

“To all of you who have taken part in this ‘journey together’, I say thank you – Francis continued – for your witness.  We have worked in communion, with frankness and with the desire to serve God’s people. May God bless our steps, so that we can listen to young people, be neighbours and bear witness before them to Jesus, the joy of our life”.