This Morning at the Opening Mass for the Synod I remembered some words that Pope Francis said not long after he was elected last year. His words were: “Today’s world stands in need of great witnesses, not so much of teachers but rather of witnesses. It’s not so much about speaking, but rather speaking with our whole lives.” To my mind there is no doubt that he is speaking to us with his whole life, the way he prays, his sincerity, his humility and his short and practical homily today spoke volumes.
In speaking of the Gospel of the day, the parable of the vineyard he said: “This is the job of leaders: to nurture the vineyard with freedom, creativity and hard work." But Jesus tells us that those farmers took over the vineyard. Out of greed and pride they want to do with it as they will, and so they prevent God from realising his dream for the people he has chosen.” At the end of the homily he said; “My brothers, to do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard, our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ, as Saint Paul says, by "the peace of God which passes all understanding" (Phil 4:7). In this way our thoughts and plans will correspond to God's dream: to form a holy people who are his own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God.
They are powerful words, challenging words as we start the work of the Synod tomorrow. Please pray for us.