The world has become more globalised, and networks are expanding tremendously. Social media platforms can be reliable and at times, not so. Many tend to trust and believe what we read on social media. Now and then, we encounter false and misleading information on social media and in the past month, we were confronted with two fake news within the Catholic Church.
On 4 July 2022, rumours circulated that Pope Francis would be resigning as leader of the Roman Catholic Church. However, the Holy Father discredited this rumour when he told Reuters that he “dismissed the idea of resignation” and that it “never entered” his mind. Another fake news - circulated on social media on 11 July 2022 - caused a stir, as it reported the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. He is still alive in Vatican City at age 95!
It seems that fake news travels faster than any other news, so for goodness’ sake, please stop spreading them! Such unverified and untrue messages are detrimental, as it can cause anxiety and stress. This can lead to a deteriorating quality of life and may prevent us from simply seeking out the truth before jumping to conclusions. Adding to the anxiety of rumours and fake news in our daily lives, can be exhausting.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matt 11: 28). At times, we may want to give up due to fatigue and tiredness. However, amid our daily struggles, we should turn to Him for consolation, joy, strength and hope. Jesus never felt tired when fulfilling His Father’s will and mission on earth. He did everything with obedience and humility. What is lacking in our lives is the virtue of humility and strength to go on in our service for others.
All stress, troubles and hardships should drive us back into the arms of our Lord Jesus. He is in control of our lives, and He can comfort, console and strengthen us. Each experience will deepen our faith in Jesus, who holds all things in His hands and help us to grow closer to Him. When we endure - “Your endurance will win you your lives,” (Lk 21:19) and He will form us, mould us and bring us to greater life in Him.
Many of us have been serving in the Church for many years and sometimes, we may find it difficult and tiring. Perhaps we have thought about giving up, but the Lord says, “do not get tired” (2 Thessalonians 3: 13) but “put yourselves at the service of others” (1 Peter 4: 10) and “be yourselves holy in all your activity” (1 Peter 1:15) “so that in everything, God may receive the glory through Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 4: 11).