Introduction: Liturgy at St. Peter’s Basilica for Synod on Synodality
In a solemn liturgical ceremony held inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Greek Melkite Patriarch Youssef Absi of Antioch presided over the first liturgy for the Synod on Synodality assembly.
The assembly, convened to address various challenges, commenced with this significant religious event.
Homily by Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï
Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, the leader of the Maronite Catholic Church from Lebanon, delivered the homily during the liturgy.
In his address, he emphasized the formidable challenges that the synod assembly has been tasked with addressing.
These challenges include the imperative of “building a just peace where wars bloody our lands.”
Addressing the Plight of the Marginalized
Cardinal Raï expressed deep concern for the contemporary state of the world and the condition of marginalized populations.
He highlighted the plight of those who are poor, persecuted, discarded, homeless, and wounded in their human dignity.
The cardinal emphasized that these circumstances invoke the compassion of Christ and beckon the assembly to take action.
Biblical Reference: “The Harvest Is Great, but the Laborers Are Few”
Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of Matthew, Cardinal Raï invoked the biblical reference that “the harvest” of challenges is indeed vast, but “the laborers are few.”
This reference underscores the immense task ahead for the synod assembly as it grapples with the multifaceted issues facing humanity.
Conclusion: Synod on Synodality’s Commencement
The liturgy presided over by Patriarch Youssef Absi marked the commencement of the Synod on Synodality assembly.
As the assembly delves into discussions on various global challenges, the profound themes addressed in the homily by Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï set the tone for the synodal proceedings, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the world’s pressing issues.