Belonging leads to believing

Archbishop John Dew blogs from the Synod on the New Evangelisation and the transmission of the Christian Faith in Rome.

Once again there has been plenty to a reflect on at the Synod today. I have actually given a lot of thought today to the fact that we have introduced ‘Stewardship’ to the Archdiocese, since we did so I have spoken often of ‘intentional discipleship’. While those actual words have not been used in the Synod Hall the meaning of them has been implied as one after another speakers have talked about ‘disciples’. Someone said today that the character of Jesus is reflected in mature disciples and that we become ‘bearers’ of Christ through our contemplation.

I have also spoken often around the Archdiocese about the fact that I believe that ‘belonging leads to believing’ and that it is not ‘believing that leads to belonging’. Having now listened over that last few days to just over 200 interventions, and with more to come, I am more convinced than ever that if we help people to feel that they belong we also help their formation into mature and committed disciples, as we assist and encourage one another to be followers of Jesus together, this will also mean that every individual will discover their own gifts and use them for the good of the community.

One of the interventions today spoke of the fact that today was the anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul II and that his first words as Pope were "Be not afraid", he went on to remind us that as we look at the Church today the temptations to see the things that are not working, but we should also be focussing on the good things and the many wonderful things that are working. Therefore we remember the words of Jesus himself which were quoted often by Blessed John Paul II - "Be not afraid."

Every good wish and blessing
+ John