The synod was a journey "aimed at helping, consoling, succoring, and caring for all the needy: 'Jesus went around the whole of Galilee teaching and curing all sorts of diseases and infirmities'. This was the original purpose of the synodal journey of the first Christians who went out of the enclosure of their homes to take care of the others’ lives, to meet humankind, to know it, to meet its yearnings and sufferings, its wounds and its hopes." A utopian vision of the article’s author, or a hope of many? If indeed, the synodal journey were a further "incarnation of the Son of God who becomes more and more a son of humankind through those who decide to walk with him."
With an evident ability to interpret how the whole world lives, the Church has proposed and started a process of synodal journey. In fact, today, after two years of enforced stop due to the pandemic, everyone has a great desire to leave their house, to move, to travel, to dance, to go to work, to the cinema, to the stadium, to find and spend time with relatives and friends. In addition, to start over from a new, changed situation, which is no longer, what it was before.
Despite those who obstinately want to keep their eyes closed under the illusion that nothing has happened and that the pandemic was the invention of some power or powerful people, it is the ordinary, personal and social reality that precisely highlights something else.
It is, moreover, what we observe in the Church, which is obviously within the history of the peoples and countries to which Christians belong. What it is undertaking with the synodal journey is a demonstration of an authentic prophetic vocation: a way to give a sign to the recent, very new times and to prepare for the world to come.
The early Church found itself in a similar situation in the first century of our era. The Roman Empire had given a first "globalization" to the world and the network of its imperishable roads had removed all sorts of walls: geographical, linguistic, cultural, political, and religious. The proclamation of the Gospel then started from Jerusalem, a small provincial town, to reach "the ends of the world". It was a message of life and salvation for the poor and the rich, slaves and free, men and women, of sharing the goods of the earth, of brotherhood and sisterhood, of universal justice and peace.
For this reason, it could only be a journey made together: called by Jesus, his disciples were sent by him two by two to go to homes, villages and cities. A journey that was intended to help, console, succor, take care of all the needy: "Jesus went around throughout Galilee teaching and curing all sorts of sicknesses and infirmities" (Mt 4:23).
This was the original purpose of the synodal journey of the first Christians who went out of the enclosure of their homes to take care of the others’ lives, to meet humankind, to know it, to meet its yearnings and sufferings, its wounds and its hopes. Theirs was a journey of proclamation of freedom to prisoners, of liberation to the oppressed, of light for the blind, of joy for the poor. A synodal journey is a further "incarnation" of the Son of God who becomes more and more a son of humanity through the love and commitment of those who decide to walk with him.
Along the way, however, Christians find the way of carrying out another work more than necessary even today: mutual knowledge and listening. Indeed, it was on the road that Jesus met his own disciples, the Twelve, the women. The synod of his public life gave embryo and identity to what was later the Church. It is surprising to see how Jesus himself did not know his apostles until after the journey that the Gospels recount. It is about halfway when He asked them, "What were you talking about along the way?" They were silent, because they had talked about who among them was the greatest. So Jesus realized the distance of their thoughts from his!
Here, then, is the urgency of a new synodal journey for the current Church. It is the opportunity for her to know what is in the hearts of both, of clerics and laity, of old and new continents, because, in the common journey, we can find the company of the other, learn to respect each other, reconcile, value the charismas of each, to build together that new dream that calls from the present towards the future.