This memorial day weekend, my family and I were visiting my wife’s parents in Spooner, WI. My wife’s family has a lake home on Spooner Lake in Spooner, WI. When visiting, we will attend church with her family. This past weekend, Deacon Don, started the Homily off with these sentences:
“Everywhere people are moving their thumbs. They are sending out text messages. This past week I and 340,000 others have been following Michael Massimino, we call him Astro Mike, Traveling around the earth at 5 mi/second. Texting short messages / giving updates from the space shuttle, They are called tweets, text-based posts limited to 140 characters in length.
Our world today is booming with communication technology. So, what does this mean for us?”
I was hooked…and the rest of it was equally as interesting and thought provoking. I emailed Deacon Don and asked if I could request his transcript of the Homily, along with permission to share his words with others via my blog, http://hansonerik.edublogs.org. Graciously, Deacon Don, granted me permission for both.
As you all read the remainder of his words, think about how communication, technology, education, and religion are all part of the same world with the same struggles, questions, and fears. Deacon Don does a great job addressing all of the above…not to mention making his words appeal, in my opinion, to everyone, not just a singe religious belief system. Please check out the rest:
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he commissioned the apostles and their disciples telling them that the Holy Spirit would come upon them and here is the kicker they would boldly go where no one has gone before proclaiming the Gospel message. —to all nations, to all peoples.
This mission to proclaim the Gospel is unending.
It has continued down to the present age. The “living-Christ”—seated at the right hand of God . Positioned at the center of all reality…As the 2nd Reading states, “God is over all, through all, in all”–Christ did not abandon us, he is our HOPE. Empowering every generation with the Holy Spirit.
And an 82 year old man is in the mix, too. B-16 (Shorthand for Pope Benedict) 5 months ago he started his own You Tube Page And today, the Vatican is launching yet another new website Pope2You.net with Facebook access. For on this Feast of the Ascension, we as a church are also celebrating the 43rd AnnualWorld Communications’ Day. It’s theme for this year is: “New Technologies, New Relationships.”
In my bulletin column this week, I write about the new Star Trek movie.
As the promo for it says, “This is not your father’s ‘Star Trek.’” The movie is a reboot of sorts—a shakeup of the “Trek” tradition. Throughout history, this enterprise we call the Church Encounters new challenges.
The digital world can at times seem far from the faith, but like the Apostles who had to confront the pagan world of the Romans and Greeks, we are called to bring the Good News to cyberspace by properly using the new technologies.
Just as Jesus commissioned the Apostles to go out into the world, The pope wants all of us to bring the witness of our faith to what he calls the “digital continent.”
To go beyond our comfort zones, For SOME it means Do Not Be Afraid of new technology Or at least not to unfairly criticize it For OTHERS it means Do Not Be Afraid to share your faith with others online.
Indeed, the culture of communication. The way we relate to one another, IS CHANGING—and this is not necessarily a bad thing.
From the invention of smoke signals, to the inventions of the printing press, the telegraph, and the telephone; The proper use of technology has always been an important aid in personal relationships. This is still true today with computers, the Internet, and smart phones.
The Gospel says, that we who live and share the faith will do it by speaking new languages: For example, “2G2B4G” (two good to be forgotten) “459” (I love you)—The numbers on the telephone’s keypad corresponds to “I” “L” “Y”.
Young people are using this shorthand to share their lives… their hopes and fears / their aspirations and disappointments: To Inspire: to touch hearts and minds. To form new relationships through, with, and in Christ!
There are, however, three important cautions.
1—FIRST, there are risks.
Today’s Gospel points them out for us. Demons, serpents, deadly poisons, and sick people. We find them in cyberspace, like anywhere else. Therefore, we need a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit just as the apostles received so that we will not be harmed as our tweets bring healing and hope to people who, in some cases, have never heard the Gospel message the way Jesus intended it to be heard.
2–The SECOND caution is that there are false teachers.
Although the truth of the Gospel message has to be translated in ways that can be understood by each generation—God’s truth is unchanging!
The message does not change. We are the ones who are to change.
3— And FINALLY—this doesn’t mean that if you don’t know how to turn a computer on,
You are irrelevant. Hardly. Your children and grandchildren would not be who they are without you. You still have something to say and the young are listening.
In the latest Start Trek movie, the 78 year old Leonard Nimoy appears. He plays the original Spock from the 1960’s TV show who meets his younger self in a time loop.
The movie’s writer says the old Spock is “the connecting tissue” to the original Trek.
One of my favorite parts is the ending—a voiceover of Nimoy
“Space…the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of…”
CBS news did the same thing a few years back
Walter Cronkite’s voice begins each broadcast.
“This is the CBS evening news with Katie Couric.”
The past is not forgotten,
it’s just brought forth in a new way,
for a new generation.
The words of my grandmother still inspire me. Although she taught me how to type
on her boxy black Remington typewriters. I am sure grandma who sees me from heaven doesn’t mind, that today when I have my phone I use my thumbs more than my fingers because she understands that the message is what’s most important. That the faith, hope, and love she taught me, which she had been passed on to me from the apostles,
will never change.
That I am certain of.
You can tweet on that.
–I can’t say enough how impressed I am with this Homily…Well done Deacon Don!