Modern life and communication has been finding ways and means for contacting, inventing and multiplying gadgets for keeping in touch, and breaking away from the threat of depression and isolation. Even young people become victims or may turn to drugs or suicide if they feel alienated in their own families and peer groups. God made human beings as social beings, not loners. Everyone is looking for happiness through acceptance of being and giving oneself amidst good health, peace and order, and a balanced economy.
Communication is the purpose of broadcast and social media, that is, communication of what is perceived to be the truth. The Catholic Church has used the word ‘communion’ to invoke unity, firstly with God, and then with one another—all God’s people. The current year focuses on the parish as a communion of communities. Starting with his/her family, a person experiences that he/she is not alone in life and has needs and tasks to be faced as a responsible social being. From the family, one gets to join other groups or chosen communities where each one inter-shares gifts and talents to contribute to the well-being of all, but most of all to help bring people to God or God to the people.
What may be the reason for communal breakdowns or fallen-away Catholics? Precisely it is the lack of communication or maybe the wrong approach wherein the self covers the face of the true love of God. This presupposes that a person must first stay in communion with God through prayer and sincere love in one’s heart that tries to build friendships. Members of our Church or our small Christian communities would naturally get attracted to other denominations who approach them and listen to the reality of their lives and problems. Actually, Jesus showed the technique of listening when he met the two friends walking in Emmaus, and helped shed light on what had happened based on the Scriptures. Then they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread, regained courage and went back to Jerusalem, armed with the light of Truth and the experience of a caring God in Jesus.
Jesus changed the idea of a distant God in the Old Testament. He did not just teach his disciples, but he lived his words. He revealed God as a loving Father and witnessed to what he said. He lessened distances by accepting others, thus giving way to joy and gratitude. So too families who communicate their message of life and communion give comfort and hope to more fragile families and thus build up the Church which is the family of families. Others must see and feel the goodness and love that spring from our words. May we have the energy to build up our connectedness, built on the Spirit of God to ensure there is true selfless love in the heart. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).