Kia tau te rangimārie ki a koutou
It is time, after almost 57 years that we all took notice of the phrase “The People of God”.
It is time we recognise that “the People of God” refers to everyone, to all the baptised. Pope Francis knows this. Pope Francis in a courageous move has asked every Bishop in the world to ensure that people will be consulted in preparation for a Synod in Rome in 2023. A synod that hopefully will enable everyone to know and to experience that we are in communion with every other baptised person and help us to participate in the life of the Church and to be “on mission”.
That phrase The People of God appears in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) of the 2nd Vatican Council. This document opened the way for a new understanding and theological insights into appreciating what the Church is, and who its members are.
When the document was being prepared in the early 1960s it began with a reflection on the Mystery of the Church and then went straight on to speak of the Pope and the Bishops, the clergy and then the laity. After much thought and much discussion those gathered placed the topic of The People of God straight after the discussion on the Mystery of the Church, so that the People of God came first, then Pope, bishops, clergy etc.
The People of God is the promise of full equality and the full inclusion of men and women, lay and ordained, rich and poor, saints and sinners. The Church is us. We are all invited to be part of the synod process which will lead up to the Synod Assembly in 2023. Soon you will see more information about how this consultation will be carried out in our diocese.
I would love to see hundreds of people involved. It is our journeying together that most effectively shows what the Church really is, people on a journey together, the pilgrim and missionary people of God. Please keep your eyes and ears open so that everyone has the opportunity to respond to this consultation which has come from Pope Francis.
Nāku noa. Nā