To the Participants in the Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America
and the Caribbean, Mexico City, November 21-28, 2021
I greet warmly the participants in the Ecclesial Assembly of Latin American and the Caribbean, being held in Mexico City from November 21-28, with the desire to stimulate a Church in synodal going forth, to revive the spirit of the Episcopate’s 5th General Council, which convoked us in Aparecida in 2007, to be missionary disciples and to encourage hope, glimpsing on the horizon the Guadalupan Jubilee in 2031, and the Redemption Jubilee in 2033.
I thank you for your presence in this Assembly, which is a new expression of the Latin American and Caribbean face of our Church, in tune with the preparatory process of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, whose motto is: ”For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” On the basis of these keys, which direct and orient synodaity — communion, participation, and mission — I would like to reflect briefly on two words so that you keep in mind especially this journey you are undertaking together.
The first word is “listening.” The dynamism of ecclesial assemblies lies in the process of listening, dialogue and discernment. The exchange in an Assembly facilitates “listening” to the voice of God listening with Him to the clamor of the people, and listening to the people to the point of breathing in it the will to which God calls us. I ask you to try to listen to one another mutually and to listen to the clamors of our poorest and most forgotten brothers and sisters.
The second word is “overflow.” Communitarian discernment requires much prayer and dialogue to be able to find together the Will of God, and it also requires finding paths that overcome differences, avoiding their becoming divisions and polarizations. In this process, I pray to the Lord that your Assembly may be an expression of the “overflowing” of the creative love of the Spirit, which stimulates us to go forth without fear to encounter others, and which animates the Church so that, through a process of pastoral conversion, she is ever more evangelizing and missionary.
Dear brothers and sisters, I encourage you to live these days taking up with gratitude and joy this call to the overflow of the Spirit in the faithful People of God pilgrimaging in Latin America and the Caribbean. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you with her maternal protection. And, please, don’t forget to pray for me.