Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David offers his prayer and reflection for the people of the Archdiocese of Cape Town for today, Friday 22 October 2021, during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please also see below the text of his reflection, primarily for the deaf.
Reflection for Friday 22 October 2021
Let us pray:
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.
This prayer is called the Adsumus prayer. The word “Adsumus” conveys the notion of coming together and this is what the Synod is all about. We come together in the name and the presence of the Holy Spirit who will guide us. The Synod has been launched in our Archdiocese and the Archbishops’s Mass of the launch with its beautiful homily is available on the Archdiocesan webpage. Launches were also done on Parish level.
The task of the Church at this time – until April 2022, is to engage in listening. We are called to motivate each other to engage in the process by responding to the questionnaire which has been sent to our various constituencies. How nice it would be if families could engage in the process. Christian families constitute the most basic level of Church viz. the Body of Christ in the home.
Our Gospel passage for today’s Mass taken from Luke 12:54-59, contains the following advice from Jesus: “Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison” (Luke 12:57-58). Notice the use of that biblical term: “on the way” which is key to our understanding of the term synod. In the last Archdiocesan News published at the end of September 2021, I explained the meaning of the term “Synod” using the biblical references to “the way”, “the journey” and “the road”. That is exactly what the word Synod means – to be on the journey together.
We sometimes equate our religious practices as walking around with our hands joined but in the instruction given by Jesus, being on the way is more than just a prayer walk. He encourages his followers to engage in the daily struggles and disputes which are inescapable parts of our lives. It is “on the way” that we have to negotiate our difficult relationships and seek resolution. Of the many indications of the theme of “the way” in the Gospels, I want to focus on the time Jesus broke bread for the multitudes. We see this in Mark 8:1-9. He did not want them to collapse “on the way” (Mark 8:3) – so he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them (Mark 8:6).
I wish you well as we embark on this journey, knowing that God is with us every step of the way.
Let us pray: Lord we note that Jesus did not want people to collapse “on the way” so took the bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. Teach us to hunger for this bread always so that we may be nourished for the journey with others.
Bishop S. David OMI
VG/Auxiliary Bishop: Cape Town