49th World Communications Day:Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love

Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love
Summarized by Fr. Joselito Jopson,Executive Secretary, CBCP Commission on Social Communications


In celebration of the 49th World Communications Day on Ascension Sunday this May 17, 2015, the Holy Father Pope Francis reflects on communicating the family as a privileged place of encounter with the gift of love.

According to the Holy Father, communication starts in being intertwined with the body, like the baby John who leapt in the womb of Elizabeth to greet the Messiah with joy, also in the womb of Blessed Virgin Mary.

The second level of communication still occurs in a “womb” so to speak, but in the context of the family where one learns to live with others despite their differences. Here, the Holy Father brings out various points regarding communication in the family, among them:

First, communication has a religious dimension as parents teach children how to pray;

Second, communication creates closeness not only inside the family, but also outside with other families, thus, creating the Church as a family of families;

Third, communication promotes forgiveness and puts an end to hatred and violence. Here, communication is restored and rebuilt and the family, where members love one another despite limits and sins, becomes a school of forgiveness; and

Fourth, media can help communication when family members enable people to share stories, stay in contact with distant friends, thank others or seek forgiveness, and open doors to new encounters, providing possibilities. Technology then is used wisely and does not dominate the family.

The Holy Father explains: “The Christian community helps teach children how to live in a media environment in a way that is consonant with the dignity of the human person and the service of the common good.”

The family becomes a source of encounter and communication to be shared and not just a set of information to be debated. “The family is not an abstract idea, but a living experience of love,” said the Holy Father.

Pope Francis concludes by underscoring the family as a resource rather than as a problem for society: “Families at their best actively communicate their witness the beauty and richness of the relationships between man and woman, and between parents and children.” Instead of defending the past about the family, the Holy Father reminds us, “we are working to build a better future for the world in which we live.”