In addressing the issue of reflection I was nominated I can not, as a Christian, stop referring initially to the Gospel. Not only because the question who is your neighbor? inspired by the parable of the Good Samaritan, but – and mainly – because the Gospel of the Lord is indeed good news to communicate.
The gospel as good news
“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” “Teach men to fulfill all that I have commanded you”: the law of charity. The Gospel is good news that we have the mission of proclaiming to all and “from the rooftops.” And if we dig deeper, we find that the criteria announced more deeply human, also for the new media, are the Gospel. Therefore I address the issue from this perspective. Moreover, the challenge of the MCS, with its technologies, its global reach, its ubiquity and its influence on society and culture, are an invitation to dialogue and “inculturation of the gospel” in them, while opens a “media evangelization.”
The power of the MCS and communicators
The profession of communicators and MCS technology allow today go far and deep in the human heart, where important decisions are made. This is due to the powerful potential of image to enter, move, move, motivate and affect our behavior. The image moves us, motivates our choices and decisions. Organize inside the structure of meaning and the meaning of life, the image is generating operating forces that move us. Like the creative Word of God, communicators with the single word can recreate or create an image of reality. And today’s technology makes simultaneous globalization and the power of the word.
So it is so fascinating and powerful action and influence of MCS on society and culture. They can help grow or to mislead. They can recreate things, telling us about the reality to help in the discernment of our choices and decisions, or instead can create virtual simulations, illusions, fantasies and fictions we also move life choices. This partly explains why they are so large investments in the development of technology for MCS and image production. The MCS are now major tools in the creation of culture. Thanks to the media, communicators reach huge audiences. I like to categorize this power that have the means to projimidad concept. Its strength lies in the ability to reach and influence the lives of people with a common language and simultaneously globalized. The projimidad category involves a voltage bipolar approach – away and turn-in is also stressed interiority-by mode: close right and wrong approach. In the exercise of media is a good way to approach and a wrong approach.
The parable of the Good Samaritan
Considering this we enter fully into our theme with the question: “Communicator who is your neighbor?” placing us in the field of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The question we ask is that this type (communicator) asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”. Like, the command to love is clear to everyone, the problem occurs in the concrete: who is the love I have to? How the projimidad occurs in the MCS using? Does each neighbor individually, all men, groups …? Can be both a gospel message that is not only highly personalized but also “global”? How do you love through the MCS?
The image of man beaten roadside
Although the image of man beaten by thieves who was lying beside the road, is an image that points to proceed evangelical moral-ethical and lawful transpose is what is said of the good, the land of truth and beauty. Moreover, good, truth and beauty are inseparable when we communicate: inseparable also by presence or absence, and, in the latter case, the good is not good, the truth is not truth or beauty is beauty. Currently there is “unseen majority” of outcasts, who are on the side of the road, beaten and robbed, before which the media pass. The show, give them messages, make them talk … comes into play here projimidad, approach mode. How you do this will determine the respect for human dignity.
Approaching well, wrong approach from the aesthetic point of view.
As an ethical level, it is closer approach to help and not to hurt, and level of truth, good approach involves transmitting accurate information, in terms of aesthetics, it is approximated communicate the integrity of a reality, harmoniously and clearly . Approaching change is wrong with an aesthetic approach shredder, which obscures some aspects of the problem or creating disharmony and manipulates that obscures reality, the ugly and denigrates.
Approaching evil shredder with an aesthetic
When images and information are solely to induce the consumer or manipulating people to take advantage of it, this is an assault, with a beating. It’s the feeling you often face the bombing of seductive images and pictures hopeless. Feeling bombed, invaded, shocked, powerless to do anything positive feelings … are equivalent to those held in one assault, in an act of violence, kidnapping.
And right behind that installs shredder aesthetics of despair to discover the truth and to do good in common, it is necessary to discern and expose the existence of political and economic interests of some sectors that do not point to the common good.
This aesthetic shredder operates in us in the same way that the “law” and “Liturgy” in the heart of those who passed by when the wounded man the Levite and the priest. They did not see the reality of a wounded neighbor, but “pseudorealidad” of an “alien”, a “stranger” to whom it should pass by. At that time away what were their “ideas” of the law and the worship service. Even today there is a risk that some means installing a law and liturgy do we pass by the particular neighbor to seek and serve other interests.
Approaching well: communicate the beauty of charity in truth
Well approximated, involves communicating the beauty of charity in truth. When the truth is painful and difficult to do well, beauty is in the love that shares the pain, with respect and with dignity. Against all the hype, there’s a show worthy of the pain that rescues the values and spiritual reserves of a people and helps overcome evil with good, to work united in the desire to excel, in solidarity, in that projimidad exalts us open to truth and goodness. By contrast, “the confrontation and disqualification as a system, including through the irresponsible use of media, oppose plural coexistence and mature” as we said the Argentine bishops.
Communicating what is contemplated
The first heralds of the Good News of Jesus Christ announced in terms of contemplation and testimony: “What we have seen and heard, what we have touched with our hands, that we communicate so that you may have life.” Faced with countless images that populate the world, only the exercise austere contemplation of the Face of Christ allows us to realistically mirroring our condition wounded by sin in the eyes of mercy of Jesus, and discover in the Face of the Lord’s face our brothers to make us neighbors. Only austere exercise of contemplating the face of Christ allows us to discover the same face of the Lord in the other to become neighbors. Jesus is the visible face of the invisible God, and the excluded and marginalized of today are the visible face of Jesus. Contemplation is the paradox that can join to make visible the invisible faces.
Well approximated also always involves giving testimony. Against the apparent neutrality of the media, which communicates only playing his own ethics and testifying to the truth is rather reliable approach to reality. Communicator Personal testimony is the very basis of its reliability.
Communicate with a sense of transcendence
“The social media currently populate the world of images that are not windows to the Other”. Approaching it is show that image always open to the Other, to transcendence, to hope, as we show images of the Virgin and the cathedrals. Approaching it is quite the opposite of frivolous proposal of some media that transmit a caricature of man. It’s show and highlight their dignity, greatness of his vocation, the beauty of love that shares the pain, the sense of sacrifice and the joy of achievement.
The media can be, unfortunately, mirrors the worst aspects of society or in the frivolous and narcissistic. But also be open window through which flows the beauty animadoramente simple and beautiful love of God in the wonder of his works, in accepting his mercy and justice and solidarity with others.
Communicate the beauty of love shared joy and pain
Images from the parable of the oil and the wine with the good Samaritan injured communicates his love are two very decidoras images for a communicator. What you need to communicate must be scented oil for pain and tasty wine for joy. The beauty of love is cheerful without frivolity. We believe in the beauty of a Mother Teresa or a Don Zatti, whose luminosity not from any makeup or any special effect but having that glow when worn charity caring for the needy, anointing with perfumed oil that your tenderness. Only the Samaritan enjoys the beauty of love and commitment to love and be loved freely. An experience that begins with the entrails conmovérsele, by enternecérsele the heart by becoming sensitive to beauty and beauty of God in man (The glory of God is the living man), to the beauty and joy of peace and man’s communion with God in humble service to the wounded anonymous, unknown …. in the margins of the city, the market, society … on the open road … This is a different beauty. It is the beauty of Love
On the cross Jesus broke that no appearance or presence in the eyes of the world and the TV cameras, resplendent beauty of fair love of God who gives his life for us. It is the beauty of love, the beauty of the saints. When we think of someone like Mother Teresa of Calcutta our heart is filled with a beauty that does not come from physical features or the stature of this woman, but the beautiful glow of charity to the poor and disadvantaged that accompanies it.
Likewise there is a distinct beauty in the worker returns home dirty and unkempt, but with the joy of winning the bread of their children. There is a special beauty in the communion of the family at the table and the bread generously shared, although the table is very poor. There is beauty in disarray and almost old wife, who remains caring for her sick husband beyond his strength and his own health. Although spring has passed on youth engagement, there is an extraordinary beauty in the fidelity of the couples who love each other in the autumn of life, these old men who walk hand in hand. There is beauty beyond appearance or aesthetics of fashion in every man and every woman love living with his personal vocation, in selfless service for the community, for the homeland, in the generous work for the happiness of the Family … engaged in anonymous and selfless hard work of restoring social friendship … There is beauty in creation, in the infinite tenderness and mercy of God, in the gift of life in the service of love. Discover, display and highlight this beauty is laying the foundation of a culture of solidarity and social friendship.
Communicate with a sense of time: memory and hope
Pope speaks of Christian culture as one of the news worthy of remembrance (World Communications Day 2000). Today Redefining social ties and social friendship means to the communicator, rescue the embers of the cultural and spiritual reserves of our people, the beauty of communion, of the national community, rescue and communicate the beauty and memory of our heroes of our forefathers and our saints.
This cultural reserve space for culture, arts, fertile space where the community provides and recounts his family history, which reaffirms the sense of belonging based on the values embodied and stamped in the collective memory. These fruitful leisure community spaces, quasi sacred are often busy today with entertainment by MCS not always breed true happiness and joy. Merely timely communication, devoid of history, no sense of time and therefore not creating hope. Instead, the communicator by vocation-is a reliable and qualified witness the beauty of love that is beautiful neighbor, who is able to take over and continue the story.
Conclusion: a double challenge
On one hand the Christian communicator is challenged to know, feel and taste the beauty of God’s beautiful love, alive in Jesus Christ crucified and risen, in his gracious presence and action among us, by the exercise of contemplation … This personal encounter with Jesus Christ is light to discern the face of some cosmetology empty image technology, the beauty of the values.
Experience the beauty of the beautiful love of God, by the personal and communal encounter with Jesus Christ is the Christian creativity engine for communication of the Good News.
Moreover, the challenge of sharing this beauty of God’s love with a beautiful vocation as specific, when the revolution in communications and information processing in full put the Church before a decisive way as these new cross cultural thresholds, which require new energy and imagination in proclaiming the one Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Christian communicator requires much training and true professionalism to the competent use of technology and media language.
The other good Samaritan
St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, martyr of charity, prisoner 16670 in Auschwitz, proposed by John Paul II, for his use of the MCS, as patron of journalists in all branches of social communications, learned approach the wounded concentration camp. And where there were the jailers and executioners robbing and beating, he became neighbor as Jesus himself, offering his life in loving service rather than Francisco Gajowniczek sentenced to death … He, as a model for all communicators, shows us that the most competent to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the beauty of the testimony of the commitment to truth and the gift of life by love.
Lord, make us neighbors as the Good Samaritan of the Gospel, which is none other than yourself transfixed by the beauty of the beautiful love of God for us, that the bowels move us and we enternezca the heart against brother, we find Beautiful love the beauty with which we are saved, to communicate with joy the beauty of commitment to love our neighbor as exemplified by Maximilian Kolbe.
Buenos Aires, October 10, 2002.
Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ
Archbishop of Buenos Aires