Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Novena of Reparation, Day 8

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 mobile phones; reparation for the divisive use of communications media in the name of religion.

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

Scripture (Rom 1:11-12):
I long to see you, that I may share with you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened, that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith, yours and mine.

From Pope Francis' Message for World Communications Day 2014:
Effective Christian witness is not about bombarding people with religious messages, but about our willingness to be available to others “by patiently and respectfully engaging their questions and their doubts as they advance in their search for the truth and the meaning of human existence” (BENEDICT XVI, Message for the 47th World Communications Day, 2013). We need but recall the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus. We have to be able to dialogue with the men and women of today, to understand their expectations, doubts and hopes, and to bring them the Gospel, Jesus Christ himself, God incarnate, who died and rose to free us from sin and death. We are challenged to be people of depth, attentive to what is happening around us and spiritually alert. To dialogue means to believe that the “other” has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective. Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute. 
May the image of the Good Samaritan who tended to the wounds of the injured man by pouring oil and wine over them be our inspiration. Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts. May the light we bring to others not be the result of cosmetics or special effects, but rather of our being loving and merciful “neighbors” to those wounded and left on the side of the road.

The Letter to the Romans is Paul's masterpiece. In it, he carefully (and prudently!) engages with questions he knew were vital to that community with so many Jewish believers who had already suffered exile for the sake of Christ. He spoke respectfully of the patriarchs, of the rite of circumcision, and of the Exodus, and even said that he would willingly be "anathema" himself if it helped more of his "kinsmen" come to faith in Christ.
What are the signs that a person is genuinely communicating through media? Have I ever felt that someone had all the words right, but failed to reach me in a meaningful way? What can I learn from this?

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, nourished with your Word, I might live Christ and give Christ to the world through genuine communication by means of media.

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

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