Each year on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists, the Church releases the message for World Communications Day. This year’s theme for the 55th World Communications Day is “Come and See (Jn 1:46) Communicating by Encountering People as They Are.”
In his message Pope Francis says: “‘Come and see’ is the simplest method to get to know a situation. It is the most honest test of every message, because, in order to know, we need to encounter, to let the person in front of me speak, to let his or her testimony reach me.”
This culture of encounter that he so often refers to is a key responsibility for each of us to acknowledge and embrace in our daily communications.
Pope Francis recognizes the universal role we all play in Church communications, stating “All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over fake news by exposing it. All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share.”
As we all seek Truth in the public discourse, a challenge has been presented “to communicate by encountering people, where they are and as they are.”
Rather than hiding behind our devices in this isolating culture, we are called to enter into relationships and be fully present to those around us. It is through this true encounter with our neighbor that we enter into communion.
The message concludes with a beautiful prayer and so shall we:
“Lord, teach us to move beyond ourselves,
and to set out in search of truth.
Teach us to go out and see,
teach us to listen,
not to entertain prejudices
or draw hasty conclusions.
Teach us to go where no one else will go,
to take the time needed to understand,
to pay attention to the essentials,
not to be distracted by the superfluous,
to distinguish deceptive appearances from the truth.
Grant us the grace to recognize your dwelling places in our world
and the honesty needed to tell others what we have seen.”
St Francis de Sales, pray for us!