World Communications Sunday: Fear Not, For I Am With You

 

Media & Communication. We turn to read the news daily, keeping up with the latest trends and array of information that comes in almost by the minute. That is alot of information to sieve out, but media has always been the best focal point to communicate to a large audience.

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and Indonesia, many people have taken to social media in a call of solidarity and strength to provide for those affected by these uncalled for attacks on the innocent. The media is such a powerful tool and if used properly could do so much good for others which is something that news outlets should strive towards.

The gospel reading begins by saying,Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,because the words you gave to me I have given to them,  and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them.

I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you (John 17:1-11A).”

This year’s theme of the 51st World Communications Sunday is,”Fear not, for I am with you: Communicating hope and trust in our time.”It is aligned to the gospel reading which I thought made the message that Jesus was trying to tell his disciples more relevant and true in this day and age. It showed the humility of Jesus in its most direct form where he keeps his followers in prayer.

Praying is an important aspect of the Catholic faith and it is playing a much more significant role now. I learnt to rely more on prayer because it keeps me grounded and I am always thinking of ways that I can be grateful to the God the Father and those around me. It helps me get through the day and that I know that Jesus will walk with me through it all. It is not so much of the length of the prayer but the heart in one’s prayer- it should be honest, sincere and humble. Keeping each other in prayer also helps to foster a culture of encounter with God.

Communication involves not only speaking of love and kindness, it involves listening. Last year’s 50th World Communications Sunday message, Pope Francis said, “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. Christians ought to be a constant encouragement to communion, and even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil, they should never try to rupture relationships and communication.”

Pope Francis also speaks about the power of God in communication. He said,“If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.” Every person has their own story to tell and if we listen closely, we can help them tell a better story or bring out the goodness present in them.

People have come up to me and asked me,”You have no fear in voicing your opinions, why? Aren’t you afraid?” My reply to them is if we fear, there will be no change in society. The human’s voice helps bring forth change. Many voices will create dialogue and then our opinions will be heard in changing society’s perceptions for the better.

As we learn how to communicate better and learn to be vulnerable while helping others, we turn to the patron saint of communications, St Gabriel the Archangel. May this Archangel pray for us and for the victims of the terrorist attacks, that he will bring them messages of truth, hope and courage in such great times of distress; and that the authority figures of these countries will band together to increase security and provide safe zones for their citizens to move about without fear or prejudice. Pray for us!

I would like to close this post with a song titled,”Alleluia!, Love is Alive” which speaks volumes of God’s love for us and the hope for us to communicate this love to each other, and to keep hope alive everyday. Do skip to the 5:35 mark to hear the full song performed live. For “Jesus said, I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.” God Bless!

“People of God, see the morning is new; Rise from your sleeping and run to the tomb. Come and see! Come and see! He is alive!

 A grave that is empty, a promise fulfilled. God who was with us is here with us still. He is here! He is here! He is alive! Alleluia! Love is alive; Conquered the grave and defeated the night.
 
Alleluia! Love is alive! The Son has arisen for all. Your people sing alleluia! People of God, let your fear fall away. Your chains have been broken; abandon your shame. Lift your hearts! Lift your hearts! He is alive! Here now is mercy embracing your soul; Here the fulfillment that once was foretold. It is true! It is true! He is alive!
 
People of God now rejoicing in Christ, Carry your joy to the darkness of night. Tell the world! Tell the world! He is alive! Hear the good news of this glorious day, every heart singing as heaven proclaims: He is Lord! He is Lord! He is alive!”
 
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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