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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Synod: an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service, says the bishop of Bilbao

Vatican City, 24 October 2015 (VIS) – This morning Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao, Spain, pronounced the final meditation before the Synod Fathers participating in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, which will close tomorrow, Sunday 25 October, with a solemn Mass to be celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica.

“We are concluding the work of the Synod as an experience of grace, communion, collegiality and service”, said the prelate. “We have asked for the gift of the Holy Spirit and we wished for Him to guide our work. The Holy Father affirmed at the beginning of this assembly that the Synod can be a space for the action of the Holy Spirit only if we clothe ourselves in apostolic courage, evangelical humility and trustful prayer. Therefore, faced with the decisions that we must take in our episcopal ministry, the passage of the decision to bring Matthew into the apostolic college comes to mind. “They prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen”. This is our method: show us what You want, let us know Your will. Immersed in prayer, asking God to show us the way, so we can see what is His plan and not our own, so we can see the paths we must travel to accompany families in fidelity to the vocation to which they have been called”.

“Along with prayer, we must remember the need for evangelical humility so as to know God's will. 'I thank you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children'. … As the Book of Proverbs tells us, 'When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom'. And St. Teresa of Avila, the fifth centenary of whose birth we have just celebrated, wisely tells us that to proceed in humility is to go towards the truth”.

“This prayerful life, this evangelical humility, will allow us to act with apostolic courage, the parrhesia St. Paul tells us about, with our eyes on Christ and serving the families of this world with love for Him, enlightening their path with the Word of God and the living Tradition of the Church, supporting and accompanying them in joys and sorrows, so that they may fully live the covenant of love which dispels darkness, overcomes loneliness and individualism, recreates humanity, generates life and hope, welcomes and heals what appears lost, and builds up the Church and the world”.

“I conclude today, Saturday, by invoking the maternal intercession of Our Lady. Mothers are those who transform a house into a home. She ensures that the Church is not merely a Temple but also a home, a warm and familiar place of welcome and mercy. We turn to her this morning. She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, by Whom she conceived virginally. We welcome this morning under her protection. In Her we learn how to receive the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, Love in Person, that enlightens us and helps us fulfil the task that has been entrusted to us today”.

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