Pope Francis presided over the closing mass of the first session of the Synod of Bishops in St. Peter’s Basilica, stating that “today we cannot yet see the full results of this process,” but “the Lord will lead us and help us become more evangelical and missionary mission of the Church.”
The first session of the 16th Ordinary Session of the Synod of Bishops concluded with a closing Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, led by Pope Francis. Around 5,000 people attended the service, which marked the end of a four-week conference that began on October 4. Cardinals, bishops, priests, male and female laity, male and female religious, experts, and representatives of other Christian churches gathered to discuss the theme of walking together.
During the Mass, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of unity and listening within the Church. He stated that this period allowed us to “discover the beauty of brotherhood” and encouraged everyone to “listen to one another.” Furthermore, he urged the assembly to listen to the Holy Spirit with their rich experiences and sensitivity.
While acknowledging that the full results of the synod cannot be seen yet, Pope Francis expressed optimism for the future. He believed that the Church would become more fraternal and missionary as the Lord leads and guides them. The Pope emphasized the Church’s role in worshiping God, serving people, and joyfully spreading the Gospel.
In his reflections, Pope Francis quoted Cardinal Martini and St. John Chrysostom, highlighting the commandment of love as the source of inspiration. He made it clear that love is not a mere strategy or fashionable trend but the foundation of faith. The Pope warned against idol worship, stating that idols deceive and enslave people, while true worship of God sets them free.
The Pope emphasized the need to always put God at the center and fight against personal vanities and worldly idolatries. He encouraged the Church to prioritize worship and to become a worshiping community at every level. By doing so, they can pray to Jesus rather than to themselves.
Another essential aspect of love, according to Pope Francis, is serving others. He warned against turning a deaf ear to the cries of the world and emphasized that if one does not care for their neighbor, they cannot truly love God. The Pope stated that the major and lasting reforms for the Church involve worshiping God and loving one another with His love.
Pope Francis expressed his hope that the Church would serve everyone, particularly the victims of war, immigrants, the poor, and the vulnerable. He dreamed of a Church that accepted, served, loved, and forgave. The Pope thanked all the members of the Synod for their participation and encouraged them to continue walking, listening, and dialoguing together. He concluded by wishing for the growth of worshiping God and serving their neighbors.
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