Esther C: 12, 14-16, 23-25
The fad of “tweeting” has added a whole new dimensions to social networking these days. Entertainment celebrities, politicians, and just about anyone else who wishes can send their comments into cyberspace for the entire universe to listen. Even Pope Benedict XVI offers daily tweets for the Lenten season from the Vatican. (You can follow him @pope2YouVatican) The Pope is leading the Church by example as well as exhortation so that clergy and laity alike make use of all the new communication tools for sharing the Good News of Christ. Technology will certainly play a significant role in the upcoming Year of Faith, which begins in October 2012.
Jesus would have probably been comfortable with the new technology. His admonitions and parables to the crowds were often very brief. For example, today’s Gospel excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount shows the power of just a few words when they come from Jesus. How many people they have consoled, and how many lives they have changed for the better over the centuries!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7-12). Including the quotation marks, those reassuring words from Jesus on the power of prayer only use exactly 100 keyboard characters, which is the total of the individual letters, the spaces between the letters, and the punctuation marks. That is well below the standard maximum limit of 140 characters for “tweets.”
Jesus gets right to the point about the power of prayer to His loving Father. In a poetically concise way, he encourages us to trust that God will indeed answer our prayer. However, Jesus’ own prayerful example in the Garden of Gethsemane also teaches us to bring spirit of acceptance to whatever God’s response to our prayer will be. “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
The New Testament and the daily biblical readings from the Lectionary of the Mass ensure that Jesus will continue to get his message out to us and the entire world one “tweet” at a time. May we cherish Jesus’ message to us so that it may form us into faithful disciples day by day.
(Father Paul Zilonka, C.P. is a Member of the Passionist Preaching Team of St. Paul of the Cross Province).