The head of the country’s bishops urged the faithful for prayers as they gather for the Synod of Synodality, taking place in October 2023 and October 2024.
In his homily for the Marian Moment of Prayer for the Synod on Synodality at the International Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo on May 31, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David called on everyone to seriously pray for all the bishops convening as a synod that it would become “a new Pentecost for the Universal Church”.
“We pray, therefore, that the coming synod may become an opportunity for genuine renewal among our laity, religious and ordained ministers, so that we can grow together in greater synodality into a more participatory Church,” Bishop David said.
He also elaborated the synod’s central theme: “Communion, Participation and Mission” which isalso the very purpose of the upcoming series of bishops’ synod.
“Discipleship is about becoming followers of Christ. Apostleship is about being sent to represent Christ in the world. We are not yet really an “apostolic church” until we have become a community of disciples in mission. And this is the objective of the coming Synod on Synodality. For Pope Francis, becoming Church is practically the same as becoming “Synodal”— which he summarizes in the three principles of: communion, participation, and mission,” he emphasized.
Summarizing it into a slogan, the bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan also described this event as a way for all Christians to become “blessed to be a blessing”.
“Dear brothers and sisters, we have no other blessing to share to the world except the blessing that we ourselves have received – Jesus Christ, in whose life and mission we have been called to participate. We cannot bring Christ to the world unless we are united with him, unless we remain in him like branches to a vine,” he stressed.
Bishop David led the simultaneous prayer for the Synod on Synodality together with the bishops, rectors and respective pastoral members of the 25 Marian minor basilicas and national shrines all over the Philippines.
Entitled “With the Blessed Virgin Mary towards the Synodal Assembly”, this activity was a response to the call of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops at the request of Pope Francis “to celebrate a day of Marian prayer to place the work of the 16th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops under the protection of Our Lady.” (By Lem Leal Santiago/RCAM-AOC)