Whenever there is a wedding at our house, or a first holy communion or any other special occasion a lot of time is spent in getting things done and to be fully prepared for the D- day. The preparation has to be done in order to make the event memorable. Even in good old times of Jesus and his ancestors, this trend was followed and thus it is an age old practice and not something that we have started now.
For example, in the reading, Jeremiah (31:31-34), the shattered people of Israel who seem to be losing hope with the destruction of Jerusalem are being encouraged by Prophet Jeremiah. He builds them up in anticipation of a new covenant different from the one made with them when they were free from slavery in Egypt. Similarly, in the gospel reading John (12:20-33), our Lord seems to be triggering of the countdown to his ‘hour of death’, which will be the greatest event in the lives of the people- his death and his resurrection. Thus the preparation for the final event begins.
In today’s time, we, the Archdiocese as an institution need to prepare itself to look at how much progress we have made in joyfully witnessing Christ and his gospel. The preparation for fulfilling this objective had already begun in 2001, when a Synod was held in Bombay at which a blue print for a participatory-servant church was developed. Later, in 2006, a mid-term assembly was convened to establish specific goals and develop strategies to achieve these objectives. Finally, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of our Archdiocese, Cardinal Oswald Gracias called for the Archdiocesan Consultation.
The realisation of the detrimental impact of the many facets of Globalisation and explosion of mass media has made us put up this consultation as a key to help us rediscover our faith and renew our conversion to Jesus, so that each one of us may give witness to the beauty and joy of being Christian with renewed zeal. The three steps that will lead us to our destination consist of the following:
· A survey of the present situation including the archdiocese as well as the lay people.
· Formation of the Discussion Paper
· The final Consultation (12th-14th November)
The Consultation is an event that requires collaboration at all levels, through prayerful petitions as well as participation in the process of discussion which will follow. It requires a readiness to ‘fall into the ground like a grain of wheat’ and look for opportunities to grow. We look at the event as the ‘special hour’ of glorifying God through our readiness to joyfully witness to Christ and his Gospel.