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Jesus commissions His disciples

Gospel Reading: Mt 28:16-20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Ascension Sunday is also World Communications Day. During his pontificate, Benedict XVI wrote, “I would like to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life…”

The Internet has not only changed our modes of communication, but the culture of communication itself. We are confronted with the extraordinary potentials of the Internet: new forms of sharing and of entering and sustaining interpersonal relations and friendships beyond the confines of one’s space and culture. The fast pace with which the Internet has developed into a social networking indicates our generation’s yearning for human and spiritual exchange and communion.

Pope Benedict explained that to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus through this new media means “not only to insert expressly religious content into the media platforms, but to witness consistently, in one’s own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preferences, and judgments that are fully consistent with the Gospel, even when it is not spoken of specifically.”

Christian evangelization in the new media thus poses these challenges:

1. Open, responsible, and respectful digital presence. The language of digital media transmits information in the context of personal exchanges, in the form of sharing. We are called to share about Jesus in a sensitive way that stimulates the heart and moves the conscience.

2. Authentic and truthful digital profile. The Gospel demands to be linked with real lives and with the faces of our brothers and sisters. The virtual presence and proclamation must lead to direct human relations that remain fundamental for the transmission of faith.

3. The truth always. It is as believers that we should engage in the web, bearing witness to our profound convictions.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.