One Church Many Cultures The Good News of Cultural Diversity Spring 2023

Chairman's Reflection: Enlarge the space of your tent!

Most Revered Arturo Cepeda | Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit | Chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity

Most Rev. Arturo Cepeda

My Brothers and Sisters, as we continue to journey the Continental Stage of our worldwide “Synod on Synodality” (2021-2024) I find it appropriate to refresh our minds and hearts to the biblical icon and image, proposed to us, becoming the vocation for God’s people as proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah, “Enlarge the space of your tent.” (Is 54:2)

At the very heart of this journey, through the Synod, we can see this tent as a sacred space of communion, of active participation and as our foundation for mission.

As sacred space, our tent begins to grow to “enlarge” by a personal and communal listening to one another.  Where no one is excluded.  It begins with a deep understanding of our communion with God and with our sisters and brothers around the world. It is an invitation to follow the example and attitude of our God who constantly listens to his people.

This active listening has the potential to bring us towards an all-inclusive participation as people of God in our communities and in the world. Perhaps, asking ourselves the question: “what can we do?” First, we can intentionally take the step towards an open, nonjudgmental listening of their stories, their experiences, their fears and doubts, their struggles and hopes, as well as their dreams and aspirations.

By acknowledging their presence in our communities and with an open listening heart we can undoubtedly “enlarge our tent” with a firm foundation for mission. A mission to transform our communities into care and proclamation of our Lord who gave his own life so that we can have it in abundance. A mission so much needed in our times.  A mission that can be carried by us!

“Enlarging our tent” requires therefore, constructing concrete possibilities of communion, participation, and mission.  This is the invitation of the Synod of Synodality.  May we be wide open today to such a wonderful opportunity.