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Reflection for the Third Activity:On mission together

The purpose of the synod is to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, and to allow hope to flourish.”[1]

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” (Acts. 4, 32).

It will be of fundamental importance that the voice of the poor and excluded also finds a place [in the synodal process].[2]

The basis of the discussion is the “shared passion for the common mission of evangelization and the not the representation of conflicting interests.[3] Of the utmost importance, however, is to recognize that “listening is the first step, but it requires having an open mind and heart, without prejudices.”[4]

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 goand 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 unityso that we may journey together to eternal life

and not stray from the way of truthand 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.

 

The first community of believers shared in everything they had. They did this not only to try to elevate the life of the poor among them but also to share in the poverty of Christ himself.  It is in sharing that they serve and care for the wellbeing of one-another. We too are called to open our hearts to one another, to help each other grow in wisdom and in our love for God. 

 

Visit a Catholic institution where those visiting might be able to offer a service. For example, visit a hospital, a school, an orphanage, a home for the elderly or handicapped, a center for migrants or asylum seekers. Plan an activity there that will be a practical help to the institution.

 

On arriving take time to celebrate a simple liturgy of the Word, reading together the prayer for the Synod and then slowly and meditatively read the passage about the first Christian community that lives in communion, sharing what they have and taking care of the poor (Acts 4:32-35).

 

Invite a person from the institution you are visiting to talk about the institution, how it was founded, its history and mission today. At the end of the presentation of the institution, break into groups to do a practical activity together that has been planned with the personnel of the institution: cleaning, painting, moving things, engaging with the people who are there (children, elderly, handicapped, migrants).

 

At the end of the activity, break into discussion groups of ten to twelve people. In each group there should be an animator and someone taking notes so that the fruit of the process can be recorded. These notes will be handed to the facilitator, who will include them within the report that is being composed.

 

Questions that can animate the discussion are:

 

  1. What distinguishes us, as a Christian community, from those around us? How do our Church institutions (schools, hospitals, migrant centers, etc.) distinguish themselves from other institutions we know? How are the voices of minorities, the excluded, and the discarded present in these institutions?[5]

 

  1. How does the Church support her members who are committed to service in society?[6]

 

  1. The Church calls all Christians to be co-responsible in her mission. Who is the Church serving or not serving and how can we improve the Church’s service to them?

 

At the end of the activity, it is recommended to celebrate the Eucharist of the day, gathering around the Word and participating in the Sacrament.

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[1] IdemNo. 32.

[2]For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. No. 31.

[3] Idem.No. 13.

[4] Idem. No. 30, II.

[5] Idem. No. 30, II.

[6] Idem. No. 30, V. “[This includes] social and political commitment, in scientific research and teaching, in the promotion of social justice, in the protection of human rights, and in caring for the discernment of the common home, etc.”