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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

October 4, 2023: The church is open and welcom tutti, tutti, tutti!(everyone, everyone, everyone!)

October 4, 2023: The church is open and welcom tutti, tutti, tutti!(everyone, everyone, everyone!)

Today Pope Francis opened a conference on the incredible task of synod -- of listening deeply to each other and treating each other with compassion as we journey on our path of faith together. Yes, after a long period of meetings in parishes and communities around the woprld, the Synod of Synods is finally getting underway.

And Francis is at its heart. He encouraged representatives from around the world to reject the temptations of doctrinal rigidity and to embrace a vision of the church that is open and welcoming to all.

"The blessing and welcoming gaze of Jesus prevents us from falling into some dangerous temptations: of being a rigid church, which arms itself against the world and looks backward; of being a lukewarm church, which surrenders to the fashions of the world; of being a tired church, turned in on itself," said Francis in his homily

"This is the primary task of the synod" he said, "to refocus our gaze on God, to be a church that looks mercifully at humanity"

"A church that is united and fraternal, that listens and dialogues; a church that blesses and encourages, that helps those who seek the Lord, that lovingly stirs up the indifferent, that opens paths in order to draw people into the beauty of faith. A church that has God at its center and, therefore, is not divided internally and is never harsh externally," he continued.

We are invited to be a church that "does not impose burdens" and instead "repeats to everyone:

'Come, you who are weary and oppressed, come, you who have lost your way or feel far away, come, you who have closed the doors to hope: the church is here for you!'"

Francis repeated a refrain that he has used often in recent months that the church should be open to "tutti, tutti, tutti" — "everyone, everyone, everyone."\\

The words of Francis remind me of the words of Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries:

“You’re here. You’re here. That’s the only thing God has on God’s mind. Which is to say with breathless delight, You’re here. You’re here.”

So you receive the tender glance of God. Then you choose to be the tender glance of God in the world. That’s the only thing that makes any damn sense to me at the moment. Because that’s where the joy is. There are people who lead you to that. The widow, and the orphan, and the stranger, they lead you to how to more and more be receptive to the tender glance, and to be generous with that glance with others.

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