CEBU City, Jan. 28, 2016 – A Hungarian cardinal’s words on the fifth day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) seemed like a barefaced challenge not just to the faithful at large but to the media, when he said Jesus’ name should be mentioned aloud without shame or embarrassment.
According to Péter Cardinal Erd?, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Christ should be propagated, spoken about, and faith in him proclaimed.
In an interview with CBCP News, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media (CBCP-ECSCMM) executive secretary Fr. Lito Jopson admits that even Catholic media’s proclamation of the Gospel is hardly enough, to say nothing of mainstream media.
“It’s never enough as compared with the bulk of media exposure of the people [in] the secularized world. The important point here is how we are trying to do our best with the little that we have like the bread that gets multiplied,” said the priest.
“Whatever media, it is [where] we’re always a challenge to proclaim Jesus, of course, directly by stating his name and by featuring his work, explaining his words and actions to the people.”
But according to Jopson, an emergent second way of “speaking about Jesus” is what the the media needs: “drawing inspiration from the Gospel and how it trickles down to a life of virtue and values.”
This echoes the exhortation of Erdo, the Primate of Hungary, to the faithful to be the salt of the earth “to give our good taste to the world, that is to show that the life of man is not aimlessly drifting along but has a goal, has a meaning.”
Speaking with no words
While a good part of media work is concerned with the enunciated word, Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera said often, the most effective “Jesus mention” is one without words.
Groups like Couples for Christ social communications arm Ablaze Communications that does New Evangelization, said the prelate, “facilitate bringing Christ to [others]” through regular, everyday items that somehow mention Jesus wordlessly, effortlessly.
“Without saying it, with your shirts, with your souvenirs, you speak but not through the mouth,” said Garcera, who heads the CBCP – Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL).
“You bring the Gospel without missionaries but there is an imprint of the Word of God [on what you do],” noted the prelate, who had only words of encouragement for Ablaze, which creates faith statement shirts and other merchandise, religious publications, music, videos, and events that “communicate Christ, equip the lay faithful, and enable the mission.” (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCP News)