Monday, June 27, 2016

Novena of Reparation, Day 7

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 television; reparation for the failure to evangelize, or for leaving evangelization to others.

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

Scripture (2 Tim 4:7-8):
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

From Pope Francis' Message for World Communications Day 2016:
Listening is never easy. Many times it is easier to play deaf. Listening means paying attention, wanting to understand, to value, to respect and to ponder what the other person says. It involves a sort of martyrdom or self-sacrifice, as we try to imitate Moses before the burning bush: we have to remove our sandals when standing on the “holy ground” of our encounter with the one who speaks to me (cf. Ex 3:5). Knowing how to listen is an immense grace, it is a gift which we need to ask for and then make every effort to practice.

Emails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication. It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal. Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups. The digital world is a public square, a meeting-place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks. I pray that this Jubilee Year, lived in mercy, “may open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; and that it may eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination” (Misericordiae Vultus, 23). The internet can help us to be better citizens. Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbor whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.

Paul sought to bring the Gospel especially to those places where the name of Christ had never before been spoken. He knew that his message sounded like "foolishness to the Greeks" (1 Cor 1:23), but even so he went to the great Areopagus, the marketplace of ideas, so that Christ would be proclaimed to those who counted themselves wise. Although the majority scoffed, several of his hearers were touched to the heart and entered into a "meaningful discussion" about what they had heard. Paul did not establish a Christian community in Athens, but by his preaching he left disciples there who would continue the rough work of preparing that stubborn field for those who would come later to sow the seeds.
What expectations do I bring to social media that sometimes compromise the good outcome I hope for? What temptations do I face when engaging with others online? What do I need to do to increase my ability to listen to others and respond to them where they are?

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 the undertakings of Catholics in all forms of media may increase, so that by more effectively promoting genuine human and Christian values, they will silence the voices that spread error and evil.

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

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