10/16/2022, 13.47
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Pope extends synod to 2024

The announcement at the Angelus in front of the faithful in St. Peter's Square: "Decision made to promote understanding of synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church and help everyone to live it". Commenting on today's Gospel, the pontiff invited people to rediscover the aspirations, a prayer that accompanies the daily moments of life. On October 18 a million children will pray the Rosary for peace with Aid to the Church in Need.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The upcoming 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops - called to conclude the path on synodality desired by Pope Francis in the Churches around the world - will take place in two stages one year apart: the first from 4 to 29 October 2023, the second in October 2024.

This was announced by the pontiff himself at the end of the Angelus prayer, recited as usual before the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"The fruits of the synodal process begun," Francis explained, "are many, but in order for them to reach full maturity iwe cannot rush them. In order to have more time for discernment, I have decided that this Synodal Assembly will be held in two sessions. I trust that this decision will foster an understanding of synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church to help everyone live it in a journey of brothers and sisters who bear witness to the joy of the Gospel".

Before the Angelus - commenting on the Gospel passage proposed by today's liturgy - Francis dwelt on Jesus' question: "Will the Son of Man, when he comes, find faith on earth?" (Lk 18:8). "It is a serious question," he commented. "Let us imagine that the Lord comes to earth today: he would see, unfortunately, so many wars, poverty and inequalities, and at the same time great achievements of technology, modern means and people who are always running, without ever stopping; but would he find those who dedicate time and affection to him, those who put him first? And above all, let us ask ourselves: what would he find in me, in my life, in my heart?".

Noting how we often "neglect what matters most and allow our love for God to grow cold", Pope Francis pointed to prayer as "the remedy for warming a parched faith". "It is the medicine of faith, the restorative of the soul. It must, however, be constant prayer. If we have to follow a cure to get better, it is important to observe it well, to take the medication in the right way and at the right time, with constancy and regularity. In everything in life there is a need for this. There is a need for the daily water of prayer, for time dedicated to God, so that He can enter into our time; for constant moments in which we open our hearts to Him, so that He can pour love, peace, joy, hope into us every day; nourish, that is, our faith'.

And faced with the objection of those who say they cannot find time for prayer, the Pontiff invited them to rediscover the practice of the aspiratory prayers.

"The name is a bit outdated," he explained, "but the substance is good: very short prayers, easy to memorise, that we can repeat often during the day, in the course of various activities, to stay 'in tune' with the Lord. "How often," he added, "do we send 'little messages' to people we love. Let us also do this with the Lord, so that the heart remains connected to Him. And let us not forget to read His answers, which we find in the Gospel, to be kept always at hand and opened every day, to receive a Word of life directed to us".

At the end of the Angelus, Pope Francis then invited the faithful to accompany the initiative "One million children praying the rosary can change the world", promoted for 18 October by the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need.  The Pope said "We join them, and we entrust to Our Lady's intercession the martyred Ukrainian people and the other populations suffering from war and all forms of violence and misery".

Finally, referring to the International Day for the Rejection of Poverty, which will be celebrated tomorrow, he recalled that "everyone can lend a hand for a society where no one feels excluded because they are destitute". 

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