Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Novena of Reparation, Day 1

I invite you to join in our community novena to St Paul (we celebrate a special feast in his honor on June 30). This year's theme is reparation for misuse of the media.

Intentions for the Day: Thanksgiving for the gifts of music and theater; reparation for the spread of violence, persecution and terrorism incited by means of communications media.

Opening Antiphon:
O St Paul the Apostle, Preacher of Truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God.

Scripture (Acts 8:3):
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.

From Pope Francis' Message for World Communications Day 2016:
The Holy Year of Mercy invites all of us to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy. The Church, in union with Christ, the living incarnation of the Father of Mercies, is called to practice mercy as the distinctive trait of all that she is and does. What we say and how we say it, our every word and gesture, ought to express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all. Love, by its nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing. If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.
As sons and daughters of God, we are called to communicate with everyone, without exception. In a particular way, the Church’s words and actions are all meant to convey mercy, to touch people’s hearts and to sustain them on their journey to that fullness of life which Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to bring to all. This means that we ourselves must be willing to accept the warmth of Mother Church and to share that warmth with others, so that Jesus may be known and loved. That warmth is what gives substance to the word of faith; by our preaching and witness, it ignites the “spark” which gives them life.

Saul did not hesitate to recruit others to his campaign of persecution. He brandished official documentation, perhaps pulling it out for the wavering to convince them to cooperate with him. It is almost impossible today to be a passive "recipient" of media messages; at the least we might respond with a "like" or a brief comment. Social media especially encourage us almost by default to get involved in what we see or read.
How do I respond to media messages that I find unsettling or provocative? How my use of the media express the mercy that inspires others to openness and sharing?

Daily Offering:
In union with all those who today celebrate the Eucharistic memorial of Christ's suffering, death and resurrection, I offer myself with Jesus in reparation for errors and scandal spread throughout the world by the misuse of the media of communication.

Closing Antiphon:
O St Paul the Apostle, Preacher of Truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God.

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