World Communications Day

World Communications Day

By Michael Pirri

Every year on the Sunday prior to Pentecost, the Church celebrates the achievements of the communications media. World Communications Day (WCD) was established by Pope Paul VI to encourage us to reflect on the unique opportunities and challenges that the modern means of social communication afford the Church to communicate the Gospel message. In this year’s address, Pope Francis reminds us that we are all interwoven, and that globalization is meant to bring us all closer together, not separate us. Social Media is at the root of a whole host of mental health issues: feelings of anxiety, alienation, inadequacy, and loneliness are becoming more and more prevalent. But how can this be, given that we are so much more connected than previous generations? “Clearly, it is not enough to multiply connections in order to increase mutual understanding. How, then, can we find our true communitarian identity, aware of the responsibility we have towards one another in the online network as well?” (53rd WCD Message) St. Paul remarks in his letter to the Ephesians that we hear today “…the Church, which is his body…” The image of the Church as the Body of Christ is mentioned by Paul numerous times in the New Testament. This is an important metaphor which evokes striking imagery of interconnectedness. “Being members one of another is the profound motivation with which the Apostle invites us to put away falsehood and speak the truth: the duty to guard the truth springs from the need not to belie the mutual relationship of communion.” (53rd WCD Message) Crucial to this interconnectedness, is communication. Even in cases of extreme reclusivity, we do not truly live alone. We exist in relation to others, but also in relationship with others. The same is true for our relationship with God. No matter how distant a life we are living from Him, we are never truly devoid of a relationship with Him. “God is not Solitude, but Communion; he is Love, and therefore communication, because love always communicates; indeed, it communicates itself in order to encounter the other.” (Dei Verbum, 2) The challenge for most of us in this day and age is to continue the work of forming meaningful relationships; investing in one another, we hope to forge a community where we affirm our own humanity. “By virtue of our being created in the image and likeness of God who is communion and communication-of-Self, we carry forever in our hearts the longing for living in communion, for belonging to a community. “Nothing, in fact, is as specific to our nature as entering into a relationship one with another, having need of one another,” says Saint Basil.” (53rd WCD Message)

Sunday’s Readings:

  • Acts 1.1-11
  • Psalm 47
  • Ephesians 1.17-23
  • Luke 24.46-53