We spend hours every day communicating things to other people, yet how often do we stop to think about what it is that we are communicating.

Pope Francis recently challenged the church to think about how we use our words in his recent address for the world day of communication. The Pope asks, “How, then, can communication be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter?  What does it mean for us, as disciples of the Lord, to encounter others in the light of the Gospel? …How can we be “neighbourly” in our use of the communications media and in the new environment created by digital technology?”

At the heart of this lies a question that is essential if we are seeking to following the call of Jesus. Is our communication about knowledge and information, or is it about people. Our digital age has made it very easy for us to communicate information without ever having to stop and encounter the person on the other end. While this is very efficient, it does run the risk of undermining the essence of our humanity.

When God revealed himself to the world, he could easily have sent us a document that outlined all the knowledge that we needed to know. Instead he became flesh and revealed his face to us. In taking up the call to follow Jesus, we are called to do likewise. In the new digital age, Christianity needs to proclaim that the communication of persons is more important the communication of knowledge.

As Pope Francis says, “It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters.  We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves.  We need to love and to be loved.  We need tenderness. ”

Read the full message by the pope at http://goo.gl/I2zxSB