On Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day

Raymond Kyaw Aung

“Come and See: Communicating by Encountering people where and as they are.” 

The words “Come and See” are taken from the Gospel of St. John. These were the words that Jesus communicated with Nathanael when he invited him “to come and see.”

He wanted Nathanael to come and see the “reality.” Jesus revealed His “reality” in the proclamation of God’s kingdom. Nothing is hidden. He communicated God’s words to people around Him through His words and actions.

“The invitation to ‘come and see,’ which was part of those first moving encounters of Jesus with the disciples, is also the method for all authentic human communication,” said Pope Francis in his message.

The way we communicate should “be an inspiration for all communication that strives to be clear and honest, in the press, on the internet, in the Church’s daily preaching and in political or social communication.”

The Catholic Church always regards the exercise of the freedom of communication and the right to communications. 

The Pontificium Consilium De Communicationibus Socialibus, Pastoral Instruction Aetatis Novae on Social Communications on the Twentieth Anniversary of Communio Et Progressio (February 22, 1992 states: “It is not acceptable that the exercise of the freedom of communication should depend upon wealth, education, or political power. The right to communicate is the right of all.”

Everybody has the right to communicate. Nobody is banned to communicate. But we have to be careful on the way we communicate. Sometimes, our communication on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, does not help others.

On social media, there are many comments that do not support others. They make people angry and they cause conflicts. 

We Christians should be good communicators like Jesus. Our words and actions, both online and offline, should reflect the Gospel values. We are to communicate the words of God to other people with good examples.

Can we say today to other people “Come and See?” Will they see our good examples when they come and see?