Today we celebrate Mass of the Holy Spirit. Last Sunday Pope Francis celebrated the start of a special time of preparation for the Synod of Bishops in 2023.
The Bishop is the successor of the Apostles and has a special responsibility to ensure that we stay United in Faith and communion with the Church which has come down to us from the time of Jesus and the Apostles.
The Bishop is also a Pastoral Minister with specific care for the people of God within the diocese. He is the servant of the people of God.
However, the Bishop is only a Bishop because there is a Church, a people of God.
The Holy Spirit does not only speak to the Bishop, but to the whole Church.
Authentic Catholic belief has always held to this belief. Often at times, this has not been given enough attention.
The Holy Spirit keeps calling us to the renewal of our Faith and beliefs.
The Second Vatican Council reminded us all very strongly of the role of laypeople in Discipleship. We all share in the priesthood of Christ, all in their particular vocation. The Ordained and the other Disciples of Jesus (i.e., all the baptized) share this in different ways, but nonetheless all real ways.
Very conscious of this important part of our Church life Pope Francis has spoken a lot about a Synodical Church.
This means that Church‘s members all need to contribute to the life of the Church.
All need to have a voice in the decision-making processes of the Church. This in no way diminishes the role of the Pope and the Bishops but it rather enhances it.
They need to genuinely listen to others within the Church as part of a proper discernment process.
So, with this in mind, the Pope is asking all local parts of the Church to contribute to this Synod that we are preparing for.
Hence we have two years of preparation.
We pray for a genuine openness by all in true service of each other and our God as we journey together.
Image credit: Vatican News via Unsplash