.- On Friday morning the Synod Fathers of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, meeting in their Twenty-First General Congregation, voted on the Final Message of the Synod. Using poetic imagery, the message focused upon the Voice, the Face, the House of the Divine Word, and the Road of the Word.
The last image recalled the theme of the Synod, “The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church.”
“The divine Voice ... sounds out at the origin of Creation …giving rise to the wonders of the universe. It is a Voice that penetrates into history, a history lacerated by human sin and troubled by suffering and death... It is a Voice that descends into the pages of the Sacred Scripture which we now read in the Church with the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” the message said, according to a summary published by the Vatican Information Service.
“The Face is Jesus Christ Who is Son of the eternal and infinite God, but also a mortal man, linked to a historical period, to a people, to a land.”
Christ reveals to us the “complete and unitary” meaning of Sacred Scripture, the message continued.
“Christianity is a religion that has at its heart a person, Jesus Christ, Who reveals the Father. It is He Who enables us to understand that the Scriptures are 'flesh'.”
The “House of the Divine Word,” the message explained, is the Church. Citing St. Luke, the Synod Fathers said the Church is supported on the four pillars of teaching, the breaking of the bread, prayer, and fraternal communion.
“To be true Christians it is not enough to be 'those who hear the word of God',” the bishops’ message explained, since Christians must also be those “who do it.”
The Synod Fathers then explained the final image of the Road:
“The Word of God must travel the roads of the world, which today also include those of electronic, televisual and virtual communication. The Bible must enter into families ... schools and all cultural environments. ... Its symbolic, poetic and narrative richness makes it a sign of beauty, both for the faith and for culture itself, in a world often disfigured by ugliness and brutality.”
Their message continued:
“The Bible, however, also presents the breath of suffering that arises from the earth, it reaches out to the cry of the oppressed and to the laments of forlorn. At its summit is the cross where Christ, alone and abandoned, experienced the tragedy of atrocious suffering and death. Precisely because of this presence of the Son of God, the darkness of evil and death is irradiated with Paschal light and with hope of glory.”
The message noted that there are faithful men and women of other religions who in cooperation with Christians “can build a world of peace and light.”
Quoting St. Paul’s words “We commend you to God and to the message of His grace,” the statement concluded:
“With the same expression as that used by St. Paul in his farewell address to the leaders of the Church in Ephesus, we Synod Fathers commend the faithful of the communities scattered across the face of the earth to the Divine Word, which is also judgment but, above all, grace.”