On the second working day of the Synodal Continental Assembly for Africa organized by the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali in Rwanda underscored the need to foster listening, saying, “We don’t listen to each other despite the means of communication we have.”
In his morning mass homily, Cardinal Kambanda said, “The most precious gift that God gave to humanity is the Word and the Word realizes its objective and has sense when it is listened to. We need to listen to the word of God in order to live and to receive his divine life”.
The Local Ordinary of Kigali Archdiocese regretted that “today there are a lot of means of communication but it is also the time that communication is at its lowest stage because we don’t listen to each other despite the means that we have.”
As such, the Cardinal who started his Episcopal Ministry in July 2013 as Bishop of Rwanda’s Kibungo Diocese said, “Listening to the word of God helps us to listen to others.” And he proceeded “the synod first of all is to listen to the Holy Spirit and when each one listens to the Holy Spirit and to one another, we put together our inspiration and our light, the light that we receive from the Holy Spirit to be able to identify more clearly what God wants of us and what God wants of the Church today in order to evangelize the world which needs also the witness of his love.”
“God like Father – he continued – wants all his children to live in love, peace and brotherhood but the conflict we have in our world today is as a result of lack of listening and dialogue that brings about fear of the other, one feels the other is a threat to him or her. Listening and dialogue leads to mutual understanding and it opens the way for reconciliation,” he said, and added, “reconciliation needs to be learned”.
He invited then participants “to listen to the Holy Spirit that enlightens us, to identify and see the will of God and enable us to put it into practice.”