Pope's Words After Meal With Synod Fathers

“Let Us Walk Together Guided by the Word of God”

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI gave after eating lunch Saturday with participants in the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God, which concluded Sunday. The lunch was held in Paul VI Hall.

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Dear Brothers in the Episcopacy and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Synod is about to end, but walking together under the guidance of the Word of God continues. In this sense, we are always in “synod”, on a common path with the Lord under the guidance of the Word of God.

The Instrumentum laboris spoke about the polyphony of the Holy Scriptures. And I feel that today we can say, in the contributions to this Synod, we have also heard a beautiful polyphony of faith, a harmony of faith, with so many contributions, also from the Fraternal Delegates. Thus we have truly felt the beauty and the richness of the Word of God.

It was also a school of listening. We listened to one another. It was a mutual hearing. And because we listened to each other, we learnt how to listen to the Word of God in a better way. We experienced how true the words of Saint Gregory the Great are: Scripture grows with who reads it. Only in the light of the different realities of our lives, only in facing everyday reality, one can discover the potential, the riches hidden that are hidden in the Word of God. We can see that by facing reality, the meaning of the Word, given to us in the Holy Scriptures, is opened to us in a new way.

Thus we are truly enriched. We have seen that no meditation, no scientific reflection can, by itself, draw forth all the treasures and potential that can be discovered only through the history of every life, from the Word of God.
I do not know if the Synod was more interesting or more edifying. In any case, it was moving. We are enriched by this mutual hearing. In listening to the other, we may also hear the Lord better. And in this dialogue of hearing, we then learn the deeper reality, obedience to the Word of God, conforming to our thought, our will to think turning to God’s thought and will. This obedience is not an attack on freedom, rather it develops all the possibilities of our freedom.

I have reached the point where I must thank all who worked for the Synod. I do not dare list all the individuals who worked, because I would certainly forget many. However, I thank everybody for the great work they have done: the Presidents Delegate, the Relator, with his Assistant Secretary, all the Relators, Collaborators, Technicians, Experts, and Auditors, from whom we have learnt many moving things. A cordial thanks to all. I am a bit concerned, because I feel that we have violated the human right of sleeping at night and Sunday rest, for these are truly fundamental rights. We should reflect on how to resolve this situation in the future Synods. I would also like to thank the caterer that prepared this marvelous lunch and all those who served. Thank you for this gift.

Now we must begin to elaborate the Post-Synodal document with the help of all these texts. This too will be a school of listening. This way, we stay together, we listen to the voices of others. And we can see that only if another reads the Scripture to me, can I enter the richness of the Scripture. We always need this dialogue, listening to the Scripture read by another from his perspective, from his vision, to learn together the richness of this gift.

A wish you all pleasant travels and thank you all for your work.

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