As we draw near to our Archdiocesan Synod, 'Together on the Road', I am filled with excitement, joy and just a little apprehension. I am excited about the future of the Archdiocese and for all the Synod members who have worked so hard in getting to this point.
At the time of writing, it is Pentecost and I have a real and deep joy in my heart which is undoubtedly a fruit of the Holy Spirit. But I am also afraid that the rightful expectations of the people of this Archdiocese will not be met – and I have a sneaky feeling that I might be expecting too much of the Holy Spirit: testing God, in other words, rather than trusting him.
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is courage, and that is something we are all going to need, not just at the time of the Synod but in the months and years that follow as we discover the Church that God wants us to be. I need to keep my nerve – we all do!
However, I am encouraged by the readings we have had at Mass from the Acts of the Apostles, and especially by that moment when St Paul arrived in Rome after a long sea voyage. He was met by Christians and, grateful for their support, Paul thanked God and took courage from them.
After our long journey towards this Synod, having been together on the road we too can find courage in each other – after all, as baptised members of Christ's Church, we have been enlivened with his Spirit. Let us, therefore, get on with the task ahead filled with the Spirit of Courage and Joy.