Lent began just a few days ago, so that means it’s past time to begin a Lenten practice. For the rest of Lent I invite you to take Father Souza’s Social Media Challenge. The basic idea is this: one faith-based post, status update, or tweet to one of your social networks per day. Pope Francis in his recent apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) tells us:
The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.
The prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent are not self-serving observances. Lent is not Catholic Weight Watchers! It is more important that we come out of Lent lighter in spirit than in girth, “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:29). Lenten observances are meant to draw us out of ourselves and restore the proper order of our loves; God first, others second, ourselves third. By Lent’s end, through our small penances, we should be more aware of Jesus’ central command, the one on which the entire Christian life hinges, the love of God above all else and our neighbor as ourselves. This right relationship is the heart of koinonia or communion that St. Paul speaks of so often in his epistles. For this reason, Lent is an opportune time for us to extend invitations to others so that they too may enter into our Lord’s friendship and communion—especially through the Eucharist and confession!
So for the rest of this Lent why not take my challenge? At least one post, status update, or tweet per day to give encouragement and hope. They might take the form of favorite snippets of Sacred Scripture, prayers, pictures, reflections or even the recycled material of others! Let’s face it, the Christian message is not new. We do not need to recreate the Good News we just need to make it present. Go out to the nations and proclaim the Good News (whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, whatever…) to everyone!
*A version of this first in appeared in the weekly bulletins of the parishes where I serve.
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I would love to hear your responses/thoughts to this post, please share them in the comments.