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Archbishop to Synod on Synodality: Proclaiming Jesus is ‘the greatest urgency’

San Damiano cross. / Credit: damian entwistle via Flickr CC BY NC 2.0

Vatican City, Oct 5, 2023 / 11:46 am (CNA).

Making Jesus our all and proclaiming him to the world is the Church’s “greatest urgency, the truest reform,” the bishop of Assisi, Italy, said this week in a letter to the Synod on Synodality.

Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino oversees a diocese in central Italy best known for the city of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis.

In his Oct. 4 letter, the archbishop said he and the diocese are praying for the members of the synodal assembly, which is taking place at the Vatican Oct. 4–29.

Sorrentino — who retains the personal title of archbishop even as head of a diocese — recalled some of the places related to St. Francis in the town of Assisi, especially the “Sanctuary of the Renunciation.”

That place, he said, recalls “the prophetic gesture by which [St. Francis] stripped to the point of nakedness to say that Jesus was his only love, and for him, he made himself poor with the poor, to build a world under the sign of love.”

Sorrentino recalled that 10 years ago, in October 2013, Pope Francis stood in the room of the renunciation and said “the Church must strip herself of spiritual worldliness in order to be clothed with Christ and his Gospel.”

“It was a way to translate in our times what, eight centuries earlier, the crucifix of San Damiano asked of the saint of Assisi: ‘Francis, go, repair my house,’” the archbishop said.

“Today, too, most surely, there are things that must be repaired, renewed, and improved. You are called to reflect on this,” he said. “Yet, I am certain that you also agree on the fact that the greatest urgency, the truest reform is that of making Jesus our passion, our love, our everything.”

“The world, without knowing it, is awaiting a Church that proclaims and announces his holy name with new vigor.”

Sorrentino also invited synod participants to visit Assisi during their stay in Rome and shared the following prayer:

O Jesus,

our love, our all,

in the Holy Spirit,

with Mary and in Mary,

we consecrate ourselves to you.

Love and splendor of the Father,

you are our joy,

our song,

our hope,

all our good.

Grant us to live with your life,

to love with your heart,

to think with your thoughts,

to feel with your feelings,

to see with your eyes,

to suffer with your cross:

may you be the one living in us!

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