Newsletter 8th August 2021
The online world we live in today is fraught with uncertainty and infighting. However, despite this, many of us cannot stop ourselves from regularly opening our Facebook app (as well as my other social media accounts) and observing the drama threaded out before us.
We watch as people tear one another down with reckless abandon, clever quips and biting comebacks across the safe distance and anonymity provided by digital spaces. What makes it even more sad is that the individuals engaged in these online bitter threads have so much in common with one another. They often share a similar love for country, faith, and mutual interests; yet online, they appear as opposites or bitter enemies.
“This is enough, O Lord!” we have all been there as we shut down the app or scroll on, echoing Elijah in this Sunday’s first reading. And yet it continues, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute.
This frustration comes to mind when Jesus is confronted by his fellow Galileans in John. After having fed them with a multitude of loaves and fish and after sharing the news of his generous gift of self as the Bread of Life, the crowds start to murmur about Jesus, like today’s negative threads and comments on social media.
St. Paul echoes wisdom, saying that “all bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice”. He then goes on to say what should replace these elements: “…be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ”.
Remember St Paul when we next open our mobile apps or are tempted to engage online. This simple yet profound message of boundless and selfless love, modelling the Lord’s example in the Gospel, is truly enough, O Lord, help us with what troubles us today.
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