July 22, 2024
News Nigeria

ComWEEK Opening Mass: Communication without love is empty, dry noise – Archbishop Akubeze

In his homily at the inaugural Mass for the 2024 Communications Week (ComWEEK) celebration, on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at the St. Paul Catholic Church in Benin, the Catholic Archbishop of Benin, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze called on all Christians to communicate God’s love to all irrespective of tribe colour and tongue. Emphasizing that the greatest poverty in the world today, is not the absence of food, shelter and clothing, but the absence of true love, He admonished that communication without love is empty and dry noise.

“Today, as we commence the celebration of the Communications Week, we are called to be ambassadors of Godโ€™s love and to communicate this love of God to all we meet; irrespective of colour, tribe, religion or political affiliations. Love is the greatest language of communication. It is a universal language that is understood by all; without the language of love we cannot communicate effectively. In fact, a communication without love is empty and dry noise.

This is why St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians chapter 13 that, ‘If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have no love, I am only a noisy gong or a resounding cymbal’. The world, my dear friends, is tired of noisy gongs; it needs men and women who will communicate Godโ€™s love effectively. Let us therefore ask God to give us the grace to realize that we are beneficiaries of his love and for this reason, be moved to share this love to others, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Furthermore, reflecting on the theme for the ComWEEK celebration – Artificial Intelligence and Wisdom of the Heart for a fully human communication, as chosen by the Holy Father, Pope Francis for the 2024 World Communications Day (WCD) celebration, the homilist stated that the Pope invites all to relay on the wisdom of the heart in making decisions, especially with the prevailing situation in our world today where technology is rapidly advancing and taking the centre stage in the life of every human. He warned that in search of technology, humans should not delude themselves to think that they can become god without God, but to look at things with God’s eye of love.

The Prelate commended all journalists for their courage and perseverance in reporting truth and condemning injustice even in the face of threats, attacks and political interference, and prayed for God’s blessings and protection upon them and their families. He noted that the evolving Artificial Intelligence technology can bring positive contributions to the media profession, but warned that it should not be used to manipulate the truth.

Archbishop Akubeze welcomed the National Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Rev. Fr. Michael Nsikak Umoh and his team to his Archdiocese. He specially commended the Director for the work he is doing towards the promotion and advancement of the media apostolate in Nigeria.

The National Director of Social Communications, CSN, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Michael Nsikak Umoh, in his Address at the Mass, thanked Archbishop Akubeze for graciously hosting the inaugural Mass for the ComWEEK. He also thanked the Archdiocesan Chancellor, Fr. Michael Oyanoafoh, the Parish Priest of St. Paul Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Charles Omojiate and the Archdiocesan Communications Director, Fr. Jude Orah for their assistance and support in making the celebration possible.

Fr. Umoh noted that the ComWEEK programme which is in its 3rd edition this year, is a week-long expansion of the World Communications Day (WCD) celebration instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1967. He used to opportunity to sensitise the people that the programme is expected to take place in all parishes, seminaries, convents and every Catholic institutions in Nigeria preferably during the daily evening Masses. He referred everyone to the ComWEEK manual posted on the Nigeria Catholic Network (NCN) app for an effective participation in the ComWEEK programme. He further called on all Catholics in the country to engage the NCN app for authentic information about the Catholic Church in Nigeria, by sending “Add me” to 09060006198 to join the broadcast platform.

Apart from the daily programme and reflections, other activities earmarked to commemorate the weeklong media literacy programme at the national level, is a Public Lecture on the topic: Artificial Intelligence: Challenges and Opportunities for Evangelisation and Social Development, scheduled to hold on Wednesday, May 8, at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Resource Centre in Abuja and the closing Mass and World Communications Day (WCD) celebration at St. John Catholic Church, Mararaba, Catholic Diocese of Lafia on Sunday, May 12, 2024.

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