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Monday, October 15, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - Before lunching yesterday with Synod Fathers, the Council Fathers of Vatican II and presidents of the world's episcopal conferences, Benedict XVI greeted those present with some brief remarks.

"It was a fine tradition begun by Blessed Pope John Paul II to include a communal luncheon as part of the Synod. And it is a great honour for me to be sitting between His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Archbishop Rowan Williams from the Anglican Communion", the Holy Father said.

He continued: "For me this communion is a sign that we are on the journey towards unity and that we are progressing in our hearts; the Lord will help is to progress externally too. This joy, I believe, also gives us strength in the mandate to evangelise. 'Synodos' means 'shared journey', 'journeying together', and thus the word 'synodus' makes me think of the famous journey the Lord made with the two disciples of Emmaus who, to some extent, represent today's agnostic world. Jesus, their hope, had died; the world was empty; it truly seemed either that God did not exist or that He was not interested in us. With this desperation in their hearts and, nonetheless, with a small flame of faith, they walked on. The Lord walked mysteriously with them, and helped them to a better understanding of the mystery of God, of His presence in history, of his silent presence at our side. In the end, at dinner, when the words of the Lord had inflamed their hearts and illuminated their minds, they recognised Him and finally their hearts began to see.

"In the same way, during the Synod we and our contemporaries journey together", the Pope added. "We pray to the Lord to enlighten us, to inflame our hearts that they might see, to illuminate our minds. And we pray that, at dinner, at Eucharistic communion, we may truly be opened and see Him, and thus inflame our world with His light".

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