“God is not found in neat and orderly places, distant from reality, but walks ever at our side. He meets us where we are, on the often rocky roads of life.”

Pope Francis 

Monday, 18 October 2021

Mark 10:17-30 

This was the opening reflection Pope Francis offered at Saint Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, 10 October 2021. The pope was preaching at a Mass to mark the opening of the 16th Synod of Bishops, convened to reflect on the theme: “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.”

Yesterday, in dioceses and parishes the world over, Masses and prayer services were held to start the process for the synod at a local level. (If you haven’t heard about the synod yet, I encourage you to visit the Synod website, and then call your parish priest to find out how you can be heard in Rome.)

In our daily reflections this week, we will unpack various aspects relating to the synod: its objectives, themes, principles to keep in mind, the process and the goals the pope has for this two-year process of listening and dialogue across the universal church. This process could also serve as a model we can apply beyond the church to our civic lives.

What steps does the Holy Spirit invite me to take so that we can journey together as a church during this synod?


Come, Holy Spirit! You inspire new tongues and place words of life on our lips: keep us from becoming a ‘museum church,’ beautiful but mute, with much past and little future.Come among us, so that in this synodal experience we will not lose our enthusiasm, dilute the power of prophecy, or descend into useless and unproductive discussions.


Pope Francis, 9 October 2021 in Rome

Fr Ricardo da Silva SJ

Fr Ricardo da Silva SJ was born in Coimbra, Portugal and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He had a career in marketing, communications and brand management before joining the Jesuits in 2007 and has studied communications (SA), philosophy (UK), theology (Brazil) and journalism (USA). He is passionate about liturgical music, communications, and ethics and takes delight in good company and food. He has ministered to a wide range of people in many different contexts, from the elderly to high school and university students, refugees, migrants and the homeless. He has just completed the foundational Master of Science degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

r.dasilva@jesuitinstitute.org.za @ricdssj
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