On the occasion of the opening of your annual Synod, I wish to express the Catholic Church’s and my own closeness to you. I greet you fraternally and assure you with much cordiality of my remembrance in prayer.
I keep alive in my memory our recent meetings at Turin and Rome, as well as those in Argentina. I am grateful for the beautiful testimonies I have received and for the many faces I cannot forget. I hope that these days of sharing and reflection, which are taking place on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, are animated by the joy of putting yourselves before the face of Christ; may His gaze, which is turned to us, be the source of our peace, so that we feel ourselves beloved children of the Father and makes us see others, the world and history in new way.
May Jesus’ gaze also illumine our relations, so that they are not only formal and correct but fraternal and lively. The Good Shepherd wills us to be on the way together, and His gaze now embraces all of us, His disciples that He desires to see fully united.
It is so important to walk towards full unity, with a look of hope that acknowledges the presence of God stronger. It is so especially today, in a world marked by violence and fear, of lacerations and indifference, where the egoism of affirming oneself at the expense of others darkens the simple beauty of welcoming, sharing and loving one another. However, our Christian witness cannot yield to the logic of the world: together we must help one another to choose and live the logic of Christ!
I thank you with fraternal affection and ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me and for all of us your brothers and sisters.