As words are hurled and tossed over in Social Media today, a local ordinary reminded the general Faithful on the need to be responsible with what one says during a gathering of Catholic communicators in Davao’s San Pedro Cathedral last August 6, 2018.
“With the eyes of Faith, as Catholic Media people–as Catholic people–I think we often encounter situations of mysteries of good and evil and that takes skill to articulate this experience of good and evil using words, using visuals–and that is powerful: to portray the truth of the mystery present in the situation,” stressed the Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D. in his homily during the Opening Mass of the 4th National Media Convention hosted by his Archdiocese.
The power of words is the second he cited among three traits that should be contained in the heart of a Catholic Media practitioner. Stating that, “Second thought, my dear friends, would be the power of words. The power to describe. The power to articulate but mainly words, and perhaps–with the other part of Media–like the visuals.”
Reflecting on the Readings and Gospel that day being the Feast of the Transfiguration, the Archbishop highlighted how the Prophet Daniel in the First Reading “used words a bit confusing, not so logical but using words to portray and to convey the mysteries–or singular–the mystery he experienced.”
St. Peter similarly did the same in the Second Reading, which the Archbishop emphasized as difficult to do.
“I don’t know how Peter, in the Second Reading, describe again his experience of the Transfiguration,” he emphasized. “Any situation, I guess, with the eyes of Faith, would allow us to see the mysterious presence of evil and good and, above all, the mysterious presence of the Hand of God in any situation. ”
“And to articulate this, to convey this, to describe it to the larger community is a great responsibility of a Catholic Media person–personnel. And it takes great talent, great dedication using words and visuals and sounds just to portray and let people also be there in the experience,” he revealed.
The Archbishop previously underscored the need, especially for Catholic Media personnel, to have “hearts filled with delight and joy”.
“I think, in today’s world, to come across as a person with a spirit of delight and joy is quite valuable, quite important,” he said. “How much more if we are reporters, we are journalists with Gospel values. That would always give us the confidence, I think, to come across as people in the Media doing her work or his work with delight and joy.”
He then added, as a third trait, the need “to be filled with confidence and hope that in any human situation”. That “using what the apostles heard” in the Gospel on the Transfiguration, which he attributed to “great or difficult human situations or even success that would make” one “forget God” or during “success that would only lead” one “to believe in human capacities”, one “must be mindful of the very important truth” the Gospel on the Transfiguration states.
This, he pointed out, is that “in every human situation”, “we are all sons and daughters of God because the declaration, the voice that said, ‘He is the beloved Son whom the Father was well pleased’ “, also pertains to every one.
“And so, when we face situations and we have, as journalists and Media people serving the Church–Catholic Media people, I think it is good to keep in mind that everything in the end will be all right. In the end, difficult situations will be transfigured. In the end, Goodness and Grace and the Love of God will triumph,” Archbishop Valles exposed .
To which, he quickly added before ending his homily, “I hope that would come up, that would show in the way we do our reporting, we do our describing, we do our work as journalists.”
He then reminded that “every bishop is supposed to be a communicator” and asked for prayers for himself to be able to “continue to communicate, articulate, bring forth, and inspire people to see the Lord present in our lives” as he celebrates his 21st Episcopal Ordination on that day.
The 4th National Media Convention is a four-day gathering attended by 141 Catholic Communicators representing the various dioceses from all over the Country. The Opening Mass was also attended by members of the Archdiocese of Davao’s Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) and government officials such as representatives from the office of Davao Vice Mayor Sarah Carpio. (~John Martin Tito De Guzman, with inputs from Minnie Agdeppa)