Relator: S.E. Mons. DOWD Thomas
In looking at Part III, we saw that it was supposed to be a phase for "choosing", but we saw very little in the way of concrete suggestions for action.
A brainstorming session led us to recognize three "major modi" that need to be the foundation of any individual action items.
- Ultimately, Jesus himself, in his person and life, is our overall "paradigm for action". All individual action items need to connect to Him.
- While we provide suggestions, particular churches will have to identify the concrete action items to follow based on their circumstances. We suggest that episcopal conferences be strongly invited to take up the results of the Synod and engage in a similar process of reflection in their own milieus, even including non-bishops in the deliberations, as this Synod has done.
- This Synod and its resulting document not the end of a process, but a beginning. We have felt a special anointing in the Synod, a renewed "flame". As episcopal conferences take up the next stage of reflection, we suggest that they in turn do so in a way that encourages regional groups, dioceses, parishes and families to undertake a discernment process in turn, so that the "flame" spreads.
Following upon the principle that Christ "reveals man (homo) to himself", we use Jesus himself as our hermeneutic for this third part.
- Jesus is the protagonist of our salvation. He in turn invites us into a personal relationship with him. We accept him as Lord (Biblical image: John 13), and this opens us up to receiving the Holy Spirit. He in turns calls us his friends. (Biblical image: John 15.)
- The kerygma must be announced in such a way that the work Christ accomplished is understood so as to also understand the greatness of the invitation he makes us. The Gospel must be proclaimed not as a burden but as a call to the fullness of freedom, joy and peace. The conversion that comes from this initial call is continuous: we want to keep our eyes fixed on Christ to avoid sinking beneath the waves (Biblical image: Peter walking on water).