A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Disturbance in the World of Journalism

Fr Bernard Carney sm

Fr Bernard Carney sm

Recently in Paris, in the office of Charlie Ebdo, a satirical magazine, a number of journalists were shot.  The messengers of a particular point of view paid for their beliefs with their lives in an act of terrorism.

The free world, while many did not agree with their message, sprang to the defence of the freedom of speech. There were well attended marches in France and in many other cities throughout the world to support this principle and to express anger and sorrow at the loss of life. xxaiEtN

These journalists were not the first messengers to die for voicing a belief. Indeed world history is littered with men and women who paid with their lives for espousing social, political and religious causes.

Journalists reporting  in war zones offer us a daily example as we view the evening news of the risks a messenger takes in some circumstances. Most messengers would have the view that it was a truth of some sort that would motivate what they were doing.

The more risky the nature of the truth, the greater the commitment is called for from the messenger.

The life of the Church has many examples of men and women who put the ‘message’ before the value of their lives. One such man was Thomas More who was the Chancellor of England in the time of King Henry VIII. Thomas would not support the King when he put aside his Spanish wife. Thomas and his family were banished from court. In time he was imprisoned and finally executed. His message was the law of the Church is above the law of the King in spiritual matters.

As the season of Lent progresses we follow Jesus in his final journey to Jerusalem. Jesus too, had a message. As we follow the story of his progress we are made aware of his ‘resoluteness’ to go to Jerusalem. We know he did not expect a good outcome .  The religious leaders of the time were threatened by his teachings and his popularity. They determined to kill him.

For Jesus, as we read in his passion, the options were not easy but in the end he delivered with his life the message his Father had given him. For those baptised followers of Jesus the same message has been entrusted. It is a message from a God who loves all people and whose son died in a demonstration of that love.

We, who try to follow in his footsteps, are asked  especially during the season of Lent to demonstrate that same message of love in our own lives.

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