Ascension Of The Lord
(7th Sunday of Easter)
Cycle B | 13/05/18
Acts 1: 1-11
Eph. 1: 17-23
Mk. 16: 15-20
INTRODUCTION: The Ascension of the Lord marks the end of his Public Ministry but also the day when Christ commissions all of us the Church to carry on his work as his Witnesses starting from Jerusalem “into the whole world, proclaiming the Good News to all creation.” (Mk.16: 15)
Since 52 years ago, the Church celebrates this Feast as World Communications Day as she uses all available social media to proclaim the Good News about Jesus. Even now the Church confronts Fake News in her Evangelization work as Pope Francis gives us his Message today.
(1) What is Fake News? News that advance specific goals, influence political decisions and serve economic interests “under the guise of real news.” To recognize it is no easy task. There has to be educational programs to help people interpret and asses information. We need to discern the authenticity of the news.
(2) How to discern Fake News? First, we have to unmask the snake tactics of the crafty serpent in Gen. 3: 1-15. The strategy of this skilled “Father of Lies” (John 8:44) is precisely mimicry that sly and dangerous form of seduction that worms its way into the heart with with false and alluring arguments.
Second, we have to uncover the false concern of the Tempter pretending to be a friend with good intentions and the guise of truth for its appearance. Third, we need to release the real intention of the Fake News: greed.
(3) How to counter-act Fake News? First is to adhere to the truth. Truth is something we can lean on so as not to fall. Second, if words are true, authentic and trustworthy, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness from whatever tends to isolate, divide, and oppose.
Third, peace is the true news. The best antidotes to falsehood are not strategies but people: people who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; people who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. Responsibility rests on the journalists, the protectors of news. They know that the heart of information is not speed but persons.
CONCLUSION: At the end, Pope Francis encourages promoting journalism of peace as did Paul VI in 1972 as the way to rediscover the dignity of journalism and the solemn responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth; journalism that is truthful created by people for people and at the service of all–especially for those who have no voice–a journalism less concentrating on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes: a journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.
Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches