DAGUPAN City, Pangasinan, September 7, 2014—In keeping with the Church’s mission of evangelization, a prelate exhorts social media users to be “online missionaries”, reminding them of their Christian duty to spread the Gospel.
“The primary task the Lord gave the Apostles was not to heal, not to change the world, not to make miracles. It was first and foremost to communicate, to proclaim the good news about God’s Kingdom,” says Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a letter to the organizers of the upcoming Catholic Social Media Summit v3.0 (CSMS v.3.0).
Quoting Mark 16:15 in which Jesus orders his disciples to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature”, Villegas emphasizes the seriousness with which the Church has to take on the task of proclaiming “the love of God”.
“The power of communication Jesus enstrusted to the disciples. It is this same power that is entrusted to us today. We are stewards of this power—the power to renew, the power to rebuild, the power to lead people and the whole of creation into the redemption procured by the Father’s communication through the Word made flesh,” he said.
According to Villegas, the Holy Spirit confirmed on Pentecost is the same one that enables and calls the faithful to communicate love according to the “orginal order of creation.”
He said this love is what the world “desperately needs during this time of uncertainty and destruction around us.”
According to the prelate, Christians have been commissioned by the Lord to communicate the Good News, and to explore new frontiers, new opportunities, and creative ways of getting His message across like the social media.
Citing Matthew 10:16, the archbishop stresses, “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves”
While acknowledging the many benefits of social media, Villegas cautions against using it for the wrong reasons.
“We realize that when we use the social media we do not just chat, text, post, or share. We either pursue love to enrich others or destroy. We can inspire or dishearten. We can bring others to God or lead them astray,” explains he. (Raymond A. Sebastián)