The Diocese of Lucena resolutely endeavors to grow in faith, hope, and love in order that she may, even while still on her complex journey in this world, already gaze upon the light of Christ’s face. Through the Second Synod of Lucena, the diocese aims at refocusing herself on the renewal that she needs, with fresh vigor and determination, as she responds to the present needs and faces the challenges of the modern times.
The desired renewal of the diocese is a summons that everyone– the bishop, priests, religious, and laity– ought to heed with urgency. The Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love (Eph. 4:16). The confidence that the entire community shall now and always be gathered in unity and love enlivens the hope that there awaits a glorious realization of the communal action for the good of the Church.
The Second Synod of Lucena is a historic phase in the journey of the diocese as a community of Christ’s disciples. The dynamic process whereby people decide to take the same road in order to get to their common destination was lived in the synodal experience that the diocese underwent. As to how this communal journey in one direction will be translated into day-to-day reality depends to a large extent on the will and generosity of all who make up the particular Church in the Diocese of Lucena, from the bishop, who, because of his crucial role as pastor and father, is obliged to commit himself fully to leading the diocese so that its faith-life can flourish, to the last layperson, whose contribution to the Church’s growth is as important as leaven, salt, and light. How the majority of the participants in Synod II represents a new generation of laypeople, religious, and priests. They can be a source not only of new enthusiasm but also of innovative ways of approaching the pastoral realities of the diocese. They can likewise offer the kind of relevant leadership that is necessary in realizing what is envisioned by the synod.
The awareness of the deficiencies and mistakes of the past should make us ever vigilant, wise, and persistent in the fulfilment of our individual and common tasks. At the same time we fervently pray and hope that the ideals and directives of the Second Synod of Lucena will be given concrete expression in the circumstances of our life, mission, and witnessing as a particular Church. As we renew our commitment to the Lord and his Church, we express our trust in the assistance of him who said, I am with you always to the end of the age (Mt. 28:20). It is he who will make fruitful the labors of each and everyone.
Since it has been clarified once more through the Second Synod that the primary pastoral thrust and duty of the diocese have something to do with the Basic Ecclesial Communities, the criterion of determining the growth of the diocese becomes much clearer now. Consideration must therefore go beyond structures, programs, plans, and numbers. What must remain alive in the vision of all is the desired kind of life as followers of Christ– a life that is concretized in the Basic Ecclesial Communities. our concerns and priorities must revolve around this aspiration.
Pope John Paul II invites us to hear anew the command of Christ, Cast out into the deep. DUC IN ALTUM (Lk. 5:4). The Lord’s command requires risk-taking. If we can remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with confidence (Novo MillenioIneunte, 1), we can also take the risk with courage and hope while we journey with one heart and one mind under the guidance of the one Spirit.