Message Of His Holiness Pope Francis for The 51st World Communications Day

“Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5): 
Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time

Access to the media – thanks to technological progress – makes it possible for countless people to share news instantly and spread it widely. That news may be good or bad, true or false. The early Christians compared the human mind to a constantly grinding millstone; it is up to the miller to determine what it will grind: good wheat or worthless weeds. Our minds are always “grinding”, but it is up to us to choose what to feed them (cf. SAINT JOHN CASSIAN, Epistle to Leontius).

I wish to address this message to all those who, whether in their professional work or personal relationships, are like that mill, daily “grinding out” information with the aim of providing rich fare for those with whom they communicate. I would like to encourage everyone to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter, helping all of us to view the world around us with realism and trust.

I am convinced that we have to break the vicious circle of anxiety and stem the spiral of fear resulting from a constant focus on “bad news” (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure). This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil. Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits. Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism.

I would like, then, to contribute to the search for an open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamourize evil but instead to concentrate on solutions and to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients. I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart “good news”.

Good news

Life is not simply a bare succession of events, but a history, a story waiting to be told through the choice of an interpretative lens that can select and gather the most relevant data. In and of itself, reality has no one clear meaning. Everything depends on the way we look at things, on the lens we use to view them. If we change that lens, reality itself appears different. So how can we begin to “read” reality through the right lens?

For us Christians, that lens can only be the good news, beginning with the Good News par excellence: “the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God” (Mk 1:1). With these words, Saint Mark opens his Gospel not by relating “good news” aboutJesus, but rather the good news that is Jesus himself. Indeed, reading the pages of his Gospel, we learn that its title corresponds to its content and, above all else, this content is the very person of Jesus.

This good news – Jesus himself – is not good because it has nothing to do with suffering, but rather because suffering itself becomes part of a bigger picture. It is seen as an integral part of Jesus’ love for the Father and for all mankind. In Christ, God has shown his solidarity with every human situation. He has told us that we are not alone, for we have a Father who is constantly mindful of his children. “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5): these are the comforting words of a God who is immersed in the history of his people. In his beloved Son, this divine promise – “I am with you” – embraces all our weakness, even to dying our death. In Christ, even darkness and death become a point of encounter with Light and Life. Hope is born, a hope accessible to everyone, at the very crossroads where life meets the bitterness of failure. That hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5) and makes new life blossom, like a shoot that springs up from the fallen seed. Seen in this light, every new tragedy that occurs in the world’s history can also become a setting for good news, inasmuch as love can find a way to draw near and to raise up sympathetic hearts, resolute faces and hands ready to build anew.

Confidence in the seed of the Kingdom

To introduce his disciples and the crowds to this Gospel mindset and to give them the right “lens” needed to see and embrace the love that dies and rises, Jesus uses parables. He frequently compares the Kingdom of God to a seed that releases its potential for life precisely when it falls to the earth and dies (cf. Mk 4:1-34). This use of images and metaphors to convey the quiet power of the Kingdom does not detract from its importance and urgency; rather, it is a merciful way of making space for the listener to freely accept and appropriate that power. It is also a most effective way to express the immense dignity of the Paschal mystery, leaving it to images, rather than concepts, to communicate the paradoxical beauty of new life in Christ. In that life, hardship and the cross do not obstruct, but bring about God’s salvation; weakness proves stronger than any human power; and failure can be the prelude to the fulfilment of all things in love. This is how hope in the Kingdom of God matures and deepens: it is “as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow” (Mk 4:26-27).

The Kingdom of God is already present in our midst, like a seed that is easily overlooked, yet silently takes root. Those to whom the Holy Spirit grants keen vision can see it blossoming. They do not let themselves be robbed of the joy of the Kingdom by the weeds that spring up all about.

The horizons of the Spirit

Our hope based on the good news which is Jesus himself makes us lift up our eyes to contemplate the Lord in the liturgical celebration of the Ascension. Even though the Lord may now appear more distant, the horizons of hope expand all the more. In Christ, who brings our human nature to heaven, every man and woman can now freely “enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (Heb 10:19-20). By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7‑8).

Confidence in the seed of God’s Kingdom and in the mystery of Easter should also shape the way we communicate. This confidence enables us to carry out our work – in all the different ways that communication takes place nowadays – with the conviction that it is possible to recognize and highlight the good news present in every story and in the face of each person.

Those who, in faith, entrust themselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit come to realize how God is present and at work in every moment of our lives and history, patiently bringing to pass a history of salvation. Hope is the thread with which this sacred history is woven, and its weaver is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Hope is the humblest of virtues, for it remains hidden in the recesses of life; yet it is like the yeast that leavens all the dough. We nurture it by reading ever anew the Gospel, “reprinted” in so many editions in the lives of the saints who became icons of God’s love in this world. Today too, the Spirit continues to sow in us a desire for the Kingdom, thanks to all those who, drawing inspiration from the Good News amid the dramatic events of our time, shine like beacons in the darkness of this world, shedding light along the way and opening ever new paths of confidence and hope.

From the Vatican, 24 January 2017

Francis

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< 2019 >
May
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   1
  • All day
    May 1, 2019

    Feast of St. Joseph the Worker / LABOR DAY
    *DAY OF THE RELIGIOUS BROTHERS
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
2
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    May 2, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2009-2019)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Hector Gonzales
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
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3
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    CLOSING OF THE MEETING OF VOCATION PROMOTERS OF THE  ORDER IN COSTA RICA
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Felicitas Lucinario, AR
4
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)
    ADMISSION TO THE MINISTRY OF LECTORATE (6 coristas) AND ACOLYTATE (10 coristas)
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    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1991-2019)
    Fray Sixto Bitangjol
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    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    (2008-2019)
    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
5
  • All day
    May 5, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BULGARI& NORTH MACEDONIA
    May 5-7, 2019
    DAY 1: Rome Sofia
    07:00 Departure by air from Rome-Fiumicino International Airport from Sofia
    10:00 Arrival at Sofia International Airport
    OFFICIAL WELCOME
    MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER in the Governmental Lounge of the Airport
    WELCOME CEREMONY in the square adjacent to the Presidential Palace
    COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the Presidential Palace
    MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETY and the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in Atanas Burov Square
    VISIT TO THE PATRIARCH AND TO THE HOLY SYNOD in the Palace of the Holy Synod
    PRIVATE PRAYER BEFORE THE THRONE OF SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky
    REGINA COELI in Saint Alexander Nevsky Square
    16:45 HOLY MASS in Knyaz Alexandar SquareI
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Araceli de Vera, AR
6
  • All day
    May 6, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BULGARIA & NORTH MACEDONIA
    DAY 2: Sofia-Rakovsky-Sofia
    09:30 Departure by air from Rakovsky
    HOLY MASS WITH FIRST COMMUNIONS in the Church of thSacred Heart of Rakovsky
    Lunch with the bishops of Bulgaria in the Convent of thFranciscan Sisters
    MEETING WITH THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY in the Church of Saint Michael Archangel in Rakovsky
    17:15
    Departure by air for Sofia
    PRAYER FOR PEACE PRESIDED AT BY THE HOLFATHER IN THE PRESENCE OF LEADERS OF THE VARIOUS RELIGIOUS CONFESSIONS IN BULGARIA in  Nezavisimost Square in Sofia
7
  • All day
    May 7, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO BULGARIA & NORTH MACEDONIA
    DAY 3: Sofia-Skopje-Rome
    08:20 Departure by air from Sofia Airport for Skopje
    08:1Arrival at Skopje International Airport
    OFFICIAL WELCOME
    WELCOME CEREMONY in the courtyard of the PresidentiaPalace
    COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT in the PresidentiaPalace
    MEETING with the PRIME MINISTER in the PresidentiaPalace
    MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETand with the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the Mosaique Hall of the Presidential Palace
    VISIT TO THE MOTHER TERESA MEMORIAL WITTHE PRESENCE OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND MEETING WITH THE POOR
    HOLY MASS in Macedonia Square
    Lunch with the Papal Entourage
    ECUMENICAL AND INTERRELIGIOUS MEETING WITYOUNG PEOPLE in the Pastoral Centre
    MEETING WITH PRIESTS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND RELIGIOUS in the Cathedral
    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Skopje International Airport
    18:3Departure of Papal aircraft for RomeCiampino
    20:3Arrival at RomaCiampino International Airport
    WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS (cf. Message of Pope Francis: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/vocations/documents/papa
    francesco_20190131_56messaggiogiornatamondialevocazioni.html)
    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARIES WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY
    May 7-9, 2019 / Rome
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leopoldo Estioko
8
  • All day
    May 8, 2019

    50TANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMEN OF THE SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS (1969)
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT FIDELIS BAUTISTA LAYOG, D.D. (Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan)
    BIRTHDAY
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    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)
910
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    May 10, 2019

    RedCEAR MEETING (Coordinating Team and Technical Team)
    May 10-12, 2019 / Costa Rica
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Elisa Cañete, AR
11
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    May 11, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Restituta Torres, AR
12
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    May 12, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
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    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2007-2019)
    Fray James Castelo
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    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Eduviges de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    Sr. Amanda de la Virgen del Carmen, AR
    Sr. Paz Reandelar, AR
13
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    May 13, 2019

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    May 13-16, 2019 / Rome
    PHILIPPINE GENERAL ELECTION (MIDTERM)
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    Sr. Ma. Gracelda Bendoval, AR
    Sr. Loraine Lechago, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Nicolasa del Espiritu Santo, AR
    Sr. Escolastica Calsado, AR
    Sr. Natalia Paunil, AR
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15
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    PATRONAL FIESTA SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN
    Fiesta Mass: 10:00 AM
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Gertrudes del Espiritu Santo, AR
16
  • All day
    May 16, 2019

    10TFOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF RECOLETOS DE CASIAN COMMUNITY & SAN ISIDRO LABRADOR PARISH, CASIAN ISLAND, TAYTAY, PALAWAN (2009-2019)
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT ALEJANDRO ACLAN, D.D. (Auxiliary Bishop-elect of Los Angeles, CA, USA / a Filipino)
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Carmelo Borces
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Gracia Pil, AR
17
  • All day
    May 17, 2019

    MEETING ON DISCERNMENT (FROM RAY TO SARF)
    May 17-19, 2019 / Mexico
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Lucina Cabili, AR
18
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    May 18, 2019

    KUMPILAN NG BAYAN AT OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH, TONDO
    Time: 1:30 PM
    Officiating Minister: Most. Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Prudencia Martinez, AR
19
  • All day
    May 19, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)
    FIESTA OF THE OUR LADY OF PEACE AND GOOD VOYAGE PARISH, TONDO
    Fiesta Mass: 9:00 AM
    Presider & Homilist: Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio (Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Manila)
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Bongcawel, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paula de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
20
  • All day
    May 20, 2019

    ORDERWIDE MEETING OF THE NATIONAL PRESIDENTOF THE SARF
    May 20-24, 2019 / Cuernavaca, Mexico
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Don Besana
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Dolores Cañete, AR
21
  • All day
    May 21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Victoria Sandiego, AR
    Sr. Sulpicia Geronimo, AR
    Sr. Cynthia Camuta, AR
    Sr. Maria Flor Mejarito, AR
22
  • All day
    May 22, 2019

    FEAST OF ST. RITA OF CASCIA
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Ma. Quiteria Ragundiaz, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
23
  • All day
    May 23, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Caridad Salazar, AR
24
  • All day
    May 24, 2019

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT LEO MAGDUGO DALMAO, CMF, D.D. (Prelature of Isabela, Basilan)
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Justina de Leon, AR
    Sr. Vicenta Climacosa, AR
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    [1986-2019]
    Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr.
    Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan
25
  • All day
    May 25, 2019

    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE BACOLOD COMMUNITY (1962-2019)
    FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOLETOS DE MIRANILA COMMUNITY (1985-2019)
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rey Tripulca
    Sr. Ma. Nicholasa Sabado, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Auxiliadora Somosot, AR
26
  • All day
    May 26, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION PARISH
    (Pasibi East, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan)
    Fiesta Mass: 9:00 A.M.
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Fidelis B. Layog (Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan)
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Avelina Tatel, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Angustias Librea, AR
27
  • All day
    May 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Alfreda Lobitaña, AR
28
  • All day
    May 28, 2019

    DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE SANCTIFICATION OF PRIESTS
    WORLD DAY OF HUNGER (cf. LAMP 52)
    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)
    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Emilio Marquez, D.D. (Diocese of Lucena)
    Sr. Emilia Buenaseda, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Carmen Bolaños, AR
29
  • All day
    May 29, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Salome Paderogo, AR
    Sr. Ma. Leontina Corona Mira, AR
30
  • All day
    May 30, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristituto Rey Tepace [simple prof.]
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Teresita Salada, AR
31
  • All day
    May 31, 2019

    FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF THBLESSED VIRGIN MARY
    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO ROMANIA
    (May 31-June 2, 2019)
    Day 1: Rome-Bucharest
    8:10 -DEPARTURE by air from Rome-Fiumicino Airport for Bucharest
    11:30 -ARRIVAL at Henri CoandăOtopeni International Airport in Bucharest
    -OFFICIAL WELCOME at the airport
    -WELCOME CEREMONY at the entrance of the complex of the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
    -COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF ROMANIA in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
    -MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER in the Cotroceni Presidential Palace
    13:00MEETING with the AUTHORITIES, with CIVIL SOCIETY and with the DIPLOMATIC CORPS in Cotroceni Palace
    15:45PRIVATE MEETING WITH THE PATRIARCH in the Palace of the Patriarchate
    -MEETING WITH THE PERMANENT SYNOD OF THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH in the Palace of the Patriarchate
    THE LORD’S PRAYER in the new Orthodox Cathedral
    -HOLY MASS in the Catholic Saint Joseph Cathedral
 

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