Gather Us In: Pondering the Upcoming Synod on Family and Church
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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Text from the first five paragraphs of "Gather Us In"Jesus was a gatherer. He invited lowly fishermen to follow him. Children, who had no status at all, were summoned, "Come to me." A number of his close friends were women with no rights in that society, and when he saw the reviled Matthew sitting at a table collecting taxes, he simply beckoned him: "Follow me." When Jesus gathered people, he had one specific focus: he called sinners. No one was better or worse than another, and each of them, and each of us, is deeply loved and forgiven.It's that same loving and forgiving tone that runs through the preparatory document for the 2015 Ordinary Synod on the Family and Marriage. The meeting in Rome in October of 2015 has been much discussed and long awaited. Many of us know family members and close friends who struggle with the pain of a failed marriage. Divorce, common in Western society, still might feel like a personal failure. People can feel excluded from their old friends and from their Church community.As the delegates prepare to meet for the Synod, they have sifted through the survey replies of bishops and the people in their dioceses, in response to how the Church can better serve all of us very human sinners.