The 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family is meeting these days at the Vatican. Its work prepares for the 2015 “Ordinary” Synod on the Family. As bishops, theologians, and lay experts from around the globe meet in Rome, we stand with them in awareness and prayer. Paul’s words to the Galatians come to mind as the world’s  faces and backgrounds and viewpoints encounter each other in the Synod Hall’s deliberations. Under Pope Francis’ leadership, these good people bring their wisdom and experience to the issues of this Church-wide family Synod. With them we are all truly “one in Christ Jesus.”

People whose lives and faith were shaped by the Second Vatican Council speak of the incredible energy and hope that came from faith-filled conversations across nations and cultures and social divides. It was a profound experience of the Church’s global mission come alive within that assembly. These current two years of the Synod on the Family offer a similar opportunity to stretch our horizons and imaginations, discovering in the process how the Holy Spirit lives and moves within each of our own families, and certainly within the worldwide family of the Church.

Take a moment today to “google” some news about the Synod. Take some time to pray that God’s powerful grace is present within its members and deliberations. Ask God in a special way to bless your own family and its growth in the Lord’s good grace.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team