“That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex 10:2) Life becomes history: A summary of Pope’s message on the 54th World Communication Sunday

By Rev. Fr. Leo Oluwaseyi Awojinrin (Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode)

1. We must be focused on telling good stories; stories that can build up and not stories that can tear our world apart. Let’s be used to telling the positive sides of every story rather than being bearers of doom tales.

2. Just like the essentials of life, stories are very important to man. Stories come in different forms and they shape the lives of those who hear them. Like textile, stories are weaved.

3. From stories heard, humans determine how they sometimes live. Stories reveal heroes and heroines that men and women pattern their lives after. Yet, stories have always been threatened by evil from inception especially by those who peddle damaging stories.

4. It is not all stories that are good stories. Some use storytelling for the purpose of exploitation. On many communication platforms, stories that can destroy rather than build up are often shared.

5. ‘By patching together bits of unverified information, repeating banal and deceptively persuasive arguments, sending strident and hateful messages, we do not help to weave human history, but instead strip others of their dignity’.

6. As it stands, our world needs stories that can help us out of the many troubles we are in already. We need more positive and heroic stories. Let us share more edifying stories.

7. The scripture is the Story of all stories. It tells of how God made everything (Genesis 1) and how God fearfully and wonderfully made us (Psalm139). It tells the stories of people we can learn from. The story of Jesus is at the heart of the scripture and it tells a lot about the coming together of the Divine and humanity.

8. The scripture teaches us that we must continue to weave our lives beautifully in furtherance of the good work that God began in each one of us. All the beautiful stories contained in the Bible help us to shape our lives properly.

9. Since God became man, man’s story has been granted a divine character and endowed with more dignity. Our stories must therefore not fall short of that dignity. So before you share a story, ensure that it is dignifying.

10. Even stories that we thought were not good enough could be re-written like in the case of the Confessions of St. Augustine and others like him. His story has continued to inspire many since it was re-written. “These stories cry out to be shared, recounted and brought to life in every age, in every language, in every medium”.

11. All our stories must be told with love especially the most bitter and painful ones because when we do, we turn a new page and move forward. We must also tell our stories to the Lord who is capable of making them better with His mercy and compassion.

12. Let us seek the help of Mary who also had her story, the story of the conception of Jesus and others. She can help us untie the knots present in our own stories.

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