Reflection for the First Activity
How is the “journeying together” happening today in our particular Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5, 22-23).
The basis of the discussion is the “shared passion for the common mission of evangelization and not the representation of conflicting interests.” 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.”
Every activity must begin with the prayer of the synod.
Go to Emmaus (or to some other Holy Place that is perhaps more accessible). In fact, there are various locations identified as Emmaus: Emmaus-Nicopolis, Emmaus-Qubeibeh and some even think that Emmaus was situated where Abu Ghosh is today. In all three places, the Church has sanctuaries where the faithful can gather.
On arriving, the group should take time to celebrate a Liturgy of the Word, reading slowly and meditatively the passage about Jesus joining his two disciples on their way (Luke 24:13-33).
After the liturgy, those present can divide up into small groups, about ten to twelve in each group. 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.
The disciples on their way back to Emmaus recognized that Jesus had been walking with them as they broke the bread. They recognized Christ as having been with them also in their shared experience of prayer. Just like these disciples, we too are now called to see how Christ has been journeying with us.
1. What do we think of when we speak of “journeying together” here in the Holy Land? How is that happening in our Church today?
2. Who are the ones on this journey? When we say “Church,” who is part of it and who is unconsciously (or consciously) left on the margins of our Church? To whom does our Church need to listen to?
Who is here with us? (Look around and acknowledge the presence of each participant. Take into account all the sectors represented – men and women, young and old, professions, clergy, religious, laity, rites, etc.)
Who is not here? (Take into account all those who are absent, who do not attend Church and think about why they do not come, what we miss out on in their absence)
Who talks? (Identify and acknowledge the active members of the group, those who talk, those who initiate, those who are decision makers, how do they act, do they consult and dialogue?)
Who is silent? (Identify those who are silent and ask why are they silent? They are shy, or they are afraid, or they think they will not be heard if they speak)
3. The disciples of Emmaus headed back to Jerusalem to report to the apostles what they had witnessed. They took responsibility to pass on the good news to others. How are, here in the Holy Land, lay ministries and the assumption of responsibility by the Faithful promoted? What do you assume responsibility for your local church?
At the end of the time of discussion, it is recommended to celebrate the Eucharist of the day, gathering around the Word and participating in the Sacrament.