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Theme of the Holy Father Francis’ Message for the 55th World Day of Social Communications, 29.09.2020

The following is the theme the Holy Father Francis has chosen for the 55th World Day of Social Communications, to be held in 2021:

“Come and see” (Jn 1,46). Communicating, encountering people as and where they are

“Come and see”. These words of the apostle Philip are central to the Gospel. The Christian proclamation, before words, is made up of looks, testimonies, experiences, encounters, closeness. In a word, life. These very words, from the Gospel of John (1, 43-46) were chosen by Pope Francis as the theme of the 55th Message for the Day of Social Communications, which will be held in May 2021. “Communicating, encountering people as and where they are”, is the subtitle.

This is the Gospel passage: “The next day, after Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, He met Philip and said, ‘Follow me’. Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth’. Nathanael said to him, ‘From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?’ Philip replied, ‘Come and see’”.

In the epochal change we are experiencing, in a time that obliges us to social distance due to the pandemic, communication can make possible the closeness that is necessary to recognize what is essential, and to understand truly the meaning of things.

We do not know the truth if we do not experience it, if we do not meet people, if we do not participate in their joys and sorrows. The old saying “God meets you where you are” can be a guide for those engaged in media or communications work in the Church. In the call of the first disciples, with Jesus who went to encounter them and to invite them to follow Him, we also see the invitation to use all media, in all their forms, to reach people as they are and where they live.