Rome (Italy) On 24 January 2020, the memorial of St. Francis of Sales, Pope Francis made known his message for the 54th World Day of Social Communications that will be celebrated on 24 May 2020 on the theme: “That you may recount to your children and grandchildren” (Exodus 10:2). Life becomes history.
“I would like to devote this year’s Message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that, so as not to lose our bearings, we need to make our own the truth contained in good stories. Stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together.” These are the words of the Holy Father who with his message invites us to recuperate storytelling in communities and environments where the Salesian Family is called to bring the Good News.
As a background for the Message, Pope Francis uses the metaphor of the loom with which stories are woven to create cloth (texts) that become clothing that dress, cover, safeguard the body:
“We are not just the only beings who need clothing to cover our vulnerability (cf. Gen 3: 21); we are also the only ones who need to be ‘clothed’ with stories to protect our lives.”
The title of this Message is taken from the Book of Exodus, the fundamental Bible story in the great History of Salvation in which the category of memory has a role of primary importance. God continues to make Himself present and to save His people thanks to the recounting of His miracles generation after generation. He is a God, who in Jesus, has woven Himself personally into our humanity, thus giving us a new way of weaving our stories.
Here is the importance of telling and re-telling to generate life around you. It is up to us to decide whether to knot the fabric of life with God, mending the rips and tears of our humanity on plots of mercy, or to feed the destructive looms of so many narratives today with the knots and fragile threads made of destructive and provocative stories, of unverified information, of proclamations of hatred that deprive humanity of its dignity.
In all this, the Teacher is Mary, “a woman who knit together in her womb the humanity of God and wove together the events of her life” (Lk 2: 19).