The Holy Father, Pope Francis has unveiled the theme for the 55th World Day of Social Communications, which is expected to be held in May, 2021. According to the statement shared on the Vatican WhatsApp/ Facebook page on 29 September, 2020, the Holy Father Francis has chosen the theme:“Come and see” (Jn 1,46). Communicating, encountering people as and where they are” as the theme in commemoration of the 2021 World Day of Communication. The statement reads; “In a word, life. These very words, from the Gospel of John (1, 43-46) were chosen by Pope Francis as the theme of the 55th Message for the Day of Social Communications, which will be held in May 2021.
With the subtitle, “Communicating, encountering people as and where they are”, the Holy father while narrating further on the gospel passage quotes: “The next day, after Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, He met Philip and said, ‘Follow me’. Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth’. “Nathanael said to him, ‘From Nazareth? Can anything good come from that place?’ Philip replied, ‘Come and see”. Pope went further to explain that; “Come and see”. These words of the apostle Philip are central to the Gospel.
The Christian proclamation, before words, is made up of looks, testimonies, experiences, encounters, closeness.” Pope Francis noted in the statement that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges facing the whole world today which has brought about the sudden changes that forced us to keeping social distancing, communication has become the only tool we can use to reach out to one another and bridge the gap created by the pandemic. “In the epochal change we are experiencing, in a time that obliges us to social distance due to the pandemic, communication can make possible the closeness that is necessary to recognize what is essential, and to understand truly the meaning of things.
“We do not know the truth if we do not experience it, if we do not meet people, if we do not participate in their joys and sorrows. “The old saying “God meets you where you are” can be a guide for those engaged in media or communications work in the Church. “In the call of the first disciples, with Jesus who went to encounter them and to invite them to follow Him, we also see the invitation to use all media, in all their forms, to reach people as they are and where they live,”Holy Father noted. Pope Francis celebrates World communication day every year to remind the Catholic faithfuls especially those in the media that communication is the way and tool used to spread the gospel to the people all over the world. It will be celebrated in May 2021.