the way together

Sep 8, 2021


I am reading a bit these days about Pope Francis and Synodality.

Synodality. That’s a big word with a bigger meaning.

Basically it means that “participation (in the life of the church) is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and called to serve each other through the gifts they have all received from the Holy Spirit”. (ref Theological Commission)

While not everyone is called to be a preacher or a teacher, all baptised people are professional disciples, and (as so often throughout salvation history) God speaks in the most surprising ways and in unlikely (and even unlikeable) people.

Perhaps the biggest shift for many is to appreciate that God speaks most often in and through people who are not priests or bishops or even popes.

The Food For Faith Homily Studio is a response to the struggle of many preachers to prepare and deliver a homily, and the difficulty many parishioners have listening to a homily.

It is helpful to realise that Francis’ exhortation to living and working and journeying together synod-ally is also a speaking about the way we break open the scriptures to “Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church” in the words that conclude the reading of scripture in an Anglican church.

So the work (and it is a work) of the preparation of the homily, and the work of listening, and the work of communicating, is a work of all the people.

The homily is not a preacher’s performance for passive clients. It is a work of all the people, and therefore we want to help each other to prepare, to speak and to listen.

I think I have just coined the word: synod-ally, ie synod (Gk: sun = together and hodos = way) and ally (Lat.:bind together, ie as friend.

Therefore to live synodally = to journey the way together as friends.

I really like that.

Here is this week’s Homily Studio unpacking the scriptures for this upcoming Sunday, 12 September 2021, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Click on the image below for the synodal work with a half-hour listen: David Moxon, Kath Petrie, Merv Duffy and Triona Doocey in conversation with John O’Connor.


  1. I have been part of a sunday evening scripture/prayer group for over 17 years with the same people a few have though, departed us. We have continued through lockdown by zoom.This is my bread and butter for the week I would be starved without it.

  2. What a beautiful photo of the synodally homily people!

    A ‘sermon’ in itself!

    Happy birthday Mary!

  3. Thank you Fr John for the
    Listening clip,and inputs from you all
    I seem to be struggling to open things
    But I am getting there.
    The healing of the deaf, in my thoughts were for us to open our minds,fully,
    to the Word of GOD,so as to listen,and be immersed into the presence of
    the holy spirit,for daily spiritual food,
    may I firstly,always hunger for
    The spiritual food the holy
    Spirit offers us all.Open my ears
    Daily LORD.
    And if I had a thought about the homilys of our priests, it would be,
    ” Keep talking, always love them.


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