Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him. MK 12:13-17
In today’s technological world we live in, the revealed Truths of Christ found in Scripture are very powerful. The Internet has become many people’s bible or false god. People look for answers to their identity on the Internet instead of praying and learning the Truths Christ revealed. There is nothing wrong with new inventions, creativity, or technology. We start to reject God’s laws when we become controlled by the Internet and technological devices or when we misuse them. I have fallen from time to time with misuse and getting caught up in what other’s think. What I have discovered about the Internet is everyone has an opinion about everything including me. Young people and adults can become confused quickly with so much information constantly changing on the Internet/TV/Social media. Especially, with the alarming amount of time people sit in front of a TV, computer, smart phone, or device. Our beliefs, our creed, and our opinions are constantly being formed by information we allow into our brains. It is important for us to learn the Truth, so we know the Way, and live our lives for God and others in Love! Fr. Mike Schmitz wisely says, “What we believe in is what we belong to and what we belong to is how we live and what we are willing to die for.” What do you belong to? For Christians, the Apostles wrote a Creed that people have been dying for since it was created (and before). It contains the revealed Truths of Christ and is protected by every pope since Peter.
Current statistics from TechJury.net shows how much time people spend on social media:
- An average user spent 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media in 2020.
- 50.1% of the time spent on mobile was done using social media apps in 2020.
- Facebook is the most popular, costing people an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes each day.
- Youtube takes an average of 40 minutes per day.
- Users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on Snapchat.
- Instagram users are spending an average of 28 minutes on the platform daily
- Pinterest users take it slow and scroll through ideas for only 14.2 minutes every day.
Impressive, considering there are 3.196 billion people actively using social networks. What’s more, the internet user of today spends those 2 hours and 33 minutes socializing online mostly on the six most popular platforms.
According to GlobalWebIndex, Philippines residents lead the way with 3 hours and 57 minutes a day on social media channels. The second place goes to Brazilians with 3 hours and 39 minutes. Last are the Japanese with only 48 minutes of social media time.
Between April and September, 83% of all internet-users were engaged with social media. And only 24% of those find it has a positive effect on their work. -https://techjury.net/blog/time-spent-on-social-media/#gref
It can easily begin to lead to identity confusion and needing other people’s validation to be confident. If we want to know answers to life’s hardest questions, today kids can look for advice on the Internet although I believe most kids still look to their parents, priests, and teachers for the truth. We can quickly begin to trust strangers. I find this to be true not only of people who do not have parents who are involved in their lives but also great parents with good kids who are very involved in their lives. The Internet plays no favorites and has changed our world and our lives dramatically. Most social media use is for entertainment and connecting to people. These are good things, but can also have negative effects.
Why? ”God who created man out of love also calls him to love—the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.” CCC 1604 We are made for relationships and have a need to be loved and know we are needed. The Internet, good or bad, plays on this fundamental necessity–to feel loved or needed. People connect through these media platforms and being connected is what God is all about.
Facebook was started by a guy who was trying to get back at a girl who dumped him or would not go out with him (relationships). Snapchat was invented for sending inappropriate pictures (people confused in the point of a relationship). Instagram is owned by Facebook. Most social media is made up of human opinion although some people do use it for religious meditations or inspiring quotes. Again, it is a way to connect to others. So, what would Jesus say about the way we use social media today?
Today’s Gospel message could easily be lost on Pharisees and Herodians trying to trip up Jesus, but the bottom line is Jesus is the Truth and He has all of the answers to the questions deep in our heart. He helps us to know who we are and what we are made for-to love. He has no human opinion because He is God. It is important to rise each day with His Words, “the Words of everlasting life”. This is where we gain knowledge of Christ’s revealed Word (Divine Revelation) then apply it to our lives and continue the struggle of trying to live it. When we do, it doesn’t matter what people are saying or doing on social media, we know our identity is in our Creator, we are made to love and serve. We are stamped with God’s brand on our souls as a son or daughter of God.
We then begin to use social media to motivate and inspire, build up, not tear down. We don’t rely on it for status and validation. If we are going to use the Internet it is important to follow specific guidelines to keep it from controlling us and filling our minds up with human opinion. Jesus always wins because He is, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. Truth is not opinion, facts, theories, or experiments. The revealed teachings of Christ are Truth. He promises if we follow His teachings we will have joy, peace, love (being fulfilled-not wanting), self-control, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and eternal life for which St. Paul tells us “there is no law against these things”. Deep down isn’t that what you really want? God wired us this way, so stop fighting it, be vulnerable with God, and give into His love. Jesus wants to be your best friend. So much so that He died to be with you forever and bring you back to the Father. Let Jesus love you.
Today’s challenge: Use the Internet to bring God’s grace to your soul, download the Laudate app that contains the daily readings, saint of the day, Liturgy of the Hours, rosary and chaplet, how to make a good confession, stations of the cross, prayers, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, EWTN, Catholic media, and Vatican documents. Watch Rome reports on Youtube to see what Pope Francis is teaching and doing to stay connected with the Shepherd of the Church.
Do an experiment. Fast from social media and see if your life is better or worse. Search for who you are and who God is in the silence of your heart, in prayer, in the Scriptures, and with the human beings God put around you physically not in fantasy land.
Be a servant become a saint!