Sunday, June 26, 2016

Novena of Reparation, Day 6

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 invention of radio; reparation for Internet bullying in all its forms, including threats of retribution organized through social media against persons who post  messages unwelcome to special interest groups.

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

Scripture (1 Cor 15:10):
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God [that is] with me.

From Pope Francis' Message for World Communications Day 2016:
Some feel that a vision of society rooted in mercy is hopelessly idealistic or excessively indulgent. But let us try and recall our first experience of relationships, within our families. Our parents loved us and valued us for who we are more than for our abilities and achievements. Parents naturally want the best for their children, but that love is never dependent on their meeting certain conditions. The family home is one place where we are always welcome (cf. Lk 15:11-32). I would like to encourage everyone to see society not as a forum where strangers compete and try to come out on top, but above all as a home or a family, where the door is always open and where everyone feels welcome.
For this to happen, we must first listen. Communicating means sharing, and sharing demands listening and acceptance. Listening is much more than simply hearing. Hearing is about receiving information, while listening is about communication, and calls for closeness. Listening allows us to get things right, and not simply to be passive onlookers, users or consumers. Listening also means being able to share questions and doubts, to journey side by side, to banish all claims to absolute power and to put our abilities and gifts at the service of the common good.

Peter and Paul had very different perspectives on an important matter for the early Church: the relationship between Jewish and Gentile believers. Seeking to calm those who were unsettled at seeing Jewish and Gentile Christians eat together (possibly this refers also to celebrating a common Eucharistic offering), Peter joined the Jewish believers and pulled away from fellowship with the Gentiles. Paul had the courage to confront him honestly on what this did to the Church, that it divided Jewish and Gentile believers. And Peter listened. An ancient tradition holds that Peter and Paul remained so united in their love for Christ and their devotion to the Gospel that they died as martyrs on the same day, exchanging a final kiss of peace on the Ostian Way in Rome.
How do I respond on social media to opinions or posts that I believe erroneous or harmful? Is there an attractive way to present the truth, without resorting to harshness or pressure tactics?

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 that Christian media professionals may grow in wisdom and  uprightness. living and spreading worthy human and Christian values.

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

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