Jesus’ communication platform
300 Dodge City Diocese participants
among 3,000 in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CNS) -- As parents already know, if you want to talk to a teenager, send a text message.
Before he began his homily during the National Catholic Youth Conference’s closing Mass Nov. 21, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif., pulled out his cell phone.
“Let’s see. You put the message in. Then the number. Then you hit ‘Send,’” he said.
Up on the gigantic high-definition screen appeared his message to the 21,000 Catholic teenagers assembled in Kansas City’s Sprint Center: “U R GR8.”
“We are a bilingual group. So there is another message I want to send,” he said, pressing more keys on his phone. “SALU2 a TO2” (“Saludos a todos, salute to all”) appeared on the screen.
Then he said he would send the original Christian text message: “IHS.”
“You should recognize this one,” Bishop Soto said. “It is the oldest text message anywhere. It is the text for the holy name of Jesus.”
More than 300 youth and adult chaperones, including Fathers Ted Stoecklein and Wesley Schawe, travelled from the Diocese of Dodge City to be with the 21,000 youth from across the country who attended the event.
New forms of electronic communication are everywhere and being reinvented again rapidly, but God doesn’t care, Bishop Soto said.
“God does not buy a new iPhone or get a new app (mobile application). His communication platform is the human person,” he said.
The explosion of electronic communication, he continued, is merely a reflection of the yearning in the human heart to have what Jesus offers -- a connection to love.
“The Lord Jesus Christ is tapping on the homepage of your heart,” he said. “He wants to text the truth of God’s mercy on your soul. Jesus is the word, the ultimate Facebook of God, and invites you to be his friend.”
Too often, new technology can sever the connection between truth and God as new media become new messages, the bishop said.
“The cross is both the medium and the message that Christ sends us,” he said.
That is genuine freedom, rooted in God’s love, and in it the possibilities of human advancement are limitless, he said.