God’s word in the digital world

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT parable about the sower and the seed (cfr. Mt 13,1-9) that somehow encourages us, among other things, to sow God’s word as abundantly as possible should give us the reason to be actively involved in spreading God’s word in the digital world which is now the new Areopagus.

We, of course, have to take the necessary precautions, since we all know that things can be very toxic in that field. If we are not careful, we can easily get trapped in its worldly logic and lead us to fall into sheer but destructive self-indulgence. But it should not be for this reason that we should stay away from it.

Truth is the digital world is in great need to be humanized and Christianized. As can easily be seen, it is drifting in every which way. And God’s word is an indispensable element in giving it proper direction and sense of purpose. To carry out this duty, we obviously need to be adequately prepared.

We need to pray hard and to study the doctrine of our faith so thoroughly that we would know how to proclaim God’s word in ways that can be adapted to different kinds of people—the young and old, the intellectuals and manual workers, etc. As St. Paul once said, we have to learn how to be all things to all men. (cfr. 1 Cor 9,22)

This is, of course, a challenging task but it is all worth it. We just have to be spiritually strong so we can tackle the new and tricky demands of this task. For one, we have to know how to be so creative in presenting things as to engage the people in the digital world in an effective way.

Thus, we need to be information-and-media literate so we can understand, inquire, create, communicate and think critically. As the Wikipedia describes it, “it is important to effectively access, organize, analyze, evaluate and create messages in a variety of forms.” Let’s try to be techie as much as possible.

Wikipedia continues: “Information and media literacy enables people to interpret and make informed judgments as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right.”

To be experts in proclaiming God’s word in the digital world, we have to realize that not only should we study it. We should live it as consistently as possible. We should not be hearers on God’s word only. We should be doers of it. (cfr. Rom 2,13)

But we have to understand well what the word of God really is. To be sure, God’s word is not just any word. Neither is God’s word just a brilliant idea, a practical doctrine, and effective ideology. It’s not just a strategy, a culture or a lifestyle.

God’s word, of course, can involve all these. But unless we understand that God’s word is Christ himself, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, the perfect image and word that the one God has of his own self, we will miss the real essence and character of God’s word. It’s this word that would bring us to the fullness of our humanity.

Thus, considering what God’s word is and how we are with respect to God’s word, we can never say enough in proclaiming it. We may appear to be saying the same things, but we can always do that in different ways.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com