A few weeks ago I mentioned at masses that I had heard Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, compare the community created by Facebook to a religion seeing the two billion members in the role of pastors who bring together different people and create a place of safety and security of around a common need. By belonging to Facebook members are motivated to be more charitable. He said, “Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us.”
Now, as a pastor, I see my role primarily helping members of a parish to worship God. Our coming together as a parish is more than building community and being charitable with our time, talents, and treasure. Our coming together is about offering to God our praise and thanksgiving through the Eucharistic celebration. We also come together to ask for forgiveness and to pray for the needs of others.
Religion can never be about the Self, “What’s in it for me?” Religion is always about the Other, “What can I offer to God?” It is God then who creates the meaning for Religion. It is God who offers salvation to those who remain faithful. It is the worship of God that creates community and inspires members to be charitable.
Mr. Zuckerberg has only half the picture of religion, community. Without God as the focus of the community, his Facebook religion will have to be focused on humanity “The Self” or it will fall flat.
Blessings, Father Dooley
Think about it…
What is my role in the community of faith? Do I see the obligation of worship as
pleasing to God? Could Facebook religion truly satisfy one’s spiritual thirst?