The synod on synodality focuses on the call for interior renewal and constant conversion. To quote an African adage: “The one who does not dig his field dies of hunger”.
Life is like a seed. Those responsible should regularly check the soil for seed fertility, growth, and flowering. And this is also true in human growth. How can the synod on synodality remain fertile to bear fruit now and in the years to come? The Church is called to continuous purification, recognizing that humanity is a work “in progress”. Neither the person nor the Church is a finished product.
Serious reform is needed above all in the most critical and challenging areas: the renewal of religious life, the role of women in the life of the Church, attention to the little ones and the poor, etc.
A true change of heart requires that we operate in the “Jesus style”. A Church that knows on the one hand to listen to and accompany those who have been victims of abuse, without fear of following the path of radicalism against abuse and on the other recognizes the great contribution of women, the rights of children and the rights of those who find it difficult to clarify their identity and personality.
Jesus’ teachings revealed the face of a loving God in whom we can all recognize ourselves as his sons and daughters. The Lord said, “I have called you by name, and you are mine.”
The proof of our being Christians should be manifested primarily in our love for others, starting with the least privileged. The synodal renewal can be inspired by a second African proverb: “Firewood tied up in a bundle does not break”.By walking and working together we can support each other, learn from each other and encourage and animate God’s people in their struggles, fears and hopes.
As a synodal Church, we should work for the good and happiness of all. Such an approach requires a new way of looking at the Church so that it truly appears as the body of Christ where every member is respected and ideas are listened to and welcomed with an open mind. Christ did not come to condemn the world. And with his life and his death, Jesus demonstrated that he did not intend at all to form a club of “perfect people and successful people”. Rather, as Pope Francis has said, the Church should be a field hospital available to tirelessly treat the wounded and suffering.
The fundamental mission of the Church is the announcement of the Good News of Salvation. This message will attract when those to whom it is announced will see the love of a merciful God the Father reflected in our message: the means is the message. If we are arrested for our faith, will there be enough evidence to convict us? We will be successful in our endeavours if we show in our actions what we say in our words.
There is nothing more inviting to a person than being well received and welcome. Despite our weaknesses and the prejudices that often condition us, we can let God’s love shine like a bright light for the benefit of those we meet. We must forcefully and incessantly nourish this light source.
Marcel Uwineza sj