A Christian is called to an active life in the Church. They need a model on this path. It is Mary – the prototype of faith, love, and perfect union with Christ. May her presence and care for us allow us to understand better what participation in the life of the Church is all about – Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki said in Poznań on the occasion of the 15th National Pastoral Forum, held under the theme „I participate in the community of the Church.”
The Mass at Poznań’s St. Roch Church, inaugurating the event, was presided over by Cardinal Dominik Duka OP, retired Archbishop of Prague. Bishop Waldemar Musioł, secretary of the KEP Pastoral Commission, Poznan auxiliary bishops Grzegorz Balcerek and Jan Glapiak, and Senior Bishop Zdzislaw Fortuniak concelebrated the Eucharist.
In his homily, Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki reflected on what it means to participate in the life of the Church and how to put it into practice.
The President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference said that all believers are called to participate in God’s life and discover their active role in the Christian community. He stressed that this idea is well rooted in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium.
„Participation is much more than the physical activity of believers; it should be internal. The faithful should connect their thoughts with what they utter and hear and raise their thoughts to God. Participation should be more profoundly understood as a greater awareness of the mystery celebrated,” the Poznań Metropolitan noted.
He pointed out that one of the signs that prove the vitality of the Church is inclusive participation in the life of the Church. „The Church is a community, an organism that connects the life of Christ with our lives, not a mere social group,” Archbishop Gądecki explained.
Referring to Luke’s Gospel, the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference elaborated on how to participate in the community of the Church.
„St. Luke says that one should come to Jesus, listen to Him, and fulfill the word heard. It is the foundation of our spiritual life,” the Poznań metropolitan said.
Archbishop Gądecki commented that to come to Jesus is to meet Him. It is to become silent before Jesus, to reject the noise of this world, and to quiet one’s thoughts. „Only then can we open ourselves to the voice of God in our hearts and begin to listen to the voice of our conscience,” the Poznań metropolitan stated.
He also pointed out that it depends on how one lives and one’s relationships with people, whether one fulfills the word of Jesus. He stressed that this is a test of our faith.
The National Pastoral Forum, held for the 15th time, took place under the theme „I participate in the community of the Church.”
The organizer of the National Pastoral Forum is the Diocesan Institute of Catholic Action (Akcja Katolicka) of the Archdiocese of Poznań.
msz/ Poznan/ ekai
Translated by Sr. Amata Nowaszewska / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference