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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

24th Sunday of the Year – C

Who among us, in our childhood, has not played the enjoyable game of Hide and Seek?
There was so much fun in having our friends look for us hidden in what we thought a secret place really impossible to find!
But, when in fact, our companions did not find us, the game lost some of its suspense…
So, we made a sound, or shouted, so as to give a clue about our location because…
we wanted to be found eventually!
 
At the beginning of the Bible we are given the story of, perhaps, the most famous game of Hide and Seek!
In the Book of Genesis (Gn.3:8-9), we see the first human beings hiding from… God who is in search of them!
This is an amazing story and a fascinating scene giving us a message that we are still exploring to this day!
A message which is good to ponder once again on this Sunday.

The gospel text offers us three parables of something lost and later found (Lk.15:1-32).
It is the third one which calls us to reflection: a son has been lost but by his own choice.
He has taken the initiative to go away, to ‘get lost’. 

In fact, his situation of being lost is more that of HIDING.
And, for a while, he does not seem too eager to be found…
Eventually, moved by a craving for food and, possibly too, for what he used to enjoy, he sets on the way.
Here again, it is God who does the searching!

And amazingly, this remains true for all our personal experiences of getting lost in this 21st century!
God keeps searching for us.
The question facing us is simple: DO WE WANT TO BE FOUND?…

Life’s meaning is ‘hidden’ there!

Note: There is another reflection on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/24e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/
  
Source: Image: iStock   Book of Mormon Central
 
 

23rd Sunday of Year C – 2019

 

“I don’t know what to do…”
“I wonder if I should go there or not…”
“Perhaps I should tell him… or maybe not…”

How often do we not speak these words, or reflect in this way!
Whoever wants to follow the right course of action will do this.
A person eager to act properly will ask him/herself these questions.

 

Of course, Christians should do so as it is a matter of following God’s will.
And God’s will is what is best for us, there is no doubt about it.

In today’s 1st reading (Wis.9:13-18) the Bible text uses perhaps less familiar words speaking of ‘God’s counsel’.
 
“Who can learn the counsel of God?
Or who can discern what the Lord wills?”

It refers exactly to the same thing:
what, in the past, devout Christians called: ‘God’s Holy Will’ – with capital letters!

The author of the Book of Wisdom is clear about it:
on our own, we cannot find what God wants from us.
But help is offered to us, that of God’s own Spirit, nothing less!
 
“Who has learned your counsel,
unless you have given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?”

Asking God himself what he wants from us: it is that simple.
And he will tell us, indeed HE WILL.
Not whispering to our ear, of course not.

But his message is given to us through:
– happenings in our lives,
– encounters with people,
– a magazine found in a waiting room,
– a book given to us,
– a song heard on the radio,
– a text found on the web…

Finding God’s will… a search always answered – it has been promised to us:
“Search and you will find.”   (Mt.7:7)

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/23e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: Crosswalk.com   Bibleinfo.com

 

 

22nd Sunday of Year C – 2019

People speak of the tyranny of ‘should’, the slavery of ‘must’, the compulsion of ‘ought to’ –
all the things I should be doing, the people I must see, the commitments I ought to honour!

All these lead us to get busy, and always busier, being constantly on the run, out of breath
and, at the end of the day, find ourselves empty and dispirited.

In today’s 1st reading (Ecclesiasticus 3:17-18,20,28-29) the wise man Ben Sirach offers us another lifestyle.
He gives us the picture or someone he qualifies as ‘intelligent’ and ‘wise’ as he says

“The mind of the intelligent man will ponder a parable,
and an attentive ear is the wise man’s desire.”

Pondering, being attentive, in other words: 
pausing, taking time, reflecting on serious matters and important issues.
Looking at life and events and finding the true purpose of our human existence…

Those looking for a slogan for a poster would start writing:

STOP RUNNING – START THINKING !

The perfect ad to stop people in their tracks and, perchance, direct them to the path of the wise!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/22e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

Source: Image: oosteo.com

21st Sunday of Year C – 2019

 People have described today’s society in many ways; one aspect is obvious:
ours is a society where there is much competition indeed.
It seems that most people want to be on top and ahead of others.

The gospel often speaks a message that goes against the prevailing mentality.
The last line of today’s text is a good example of this (Lk.13:22-30).

I imagine that many wonder exactly what will make it possible to be first in God’s home…
What should be done to achieve this?
Special prayers? Costly sacrifices?
What else? What more?

Perhaps, the first thing is to understand that what is expected of us is simply… to do our best!
You wonder: Is it that simple?
Yes, striving, from day to day, to follow God’s will for us in the concrete situations of our daily life.

It is an invitation to a competition of a different kind.
This type of ‘competition’ is NOT with others but… with our selves –
the less noble part of us and the best self that we can become!

And then?
Then, the apostle Paul tells us that we should remain:

“Confident of this, that he who began a good work in you (God himself)
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. » (Ph.1:6)

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: Fools for Christ

20th Sunday of Year C – 2019

“Lost in translation” – this is the expression used to say that a word, or idea, has not been rendered in a satisfactory manner.
When a text does not reflect the original meaning of a script, people say that the original or the ‘real’ meaning has been lost in translation’!

Some might argue that this applies to the first verse of the Psalm in today’s celebration.
It reads: “I waited patiently for the Lord” (Ps.40:1) (NIV: New International Version).

The Jerusalem Bible translation says:
“I waited and waited for the Lord.”

While the first translation stresses the patience involved in waiting,
the second one, with its repetition, describes an ongoing attitude.

Translated literally, the Latin text says:
“Waiting, I have been waiting for the Lord…”
 
Less elegant an expression, perhaps, but strong and really meaningful –
as if there were no place for any other activity but that of… WAITING for the Lord. 

This is not the place to quibble over the matter.
It is better and more encouraging to note the outcome of such a persevering wait:

“At last, the Lord has stooped to me and heard my cry for help.
He has pulled me out… and steadied my steps…
He has put in my mouth a song of praise to our God” (Ps.40:2-3).
 
It is indeed worthwhile to wait, is it not?…
 
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/20e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/
 

Source: Image: Pexels

19th Sunday of Year C – 2019

Waiting – who likes waiting?
I expect that not many people enjoy the experience.

Waiting… for God? 
Some will be quick to reply: ‘Of course, he will come at the end of our life.’
And what about from day to day? For he does!

But we have always so much to do, so much to care about, so much to get busy with…
Waiting?
Yes, waiting and recognizing him and… serving him?
We have been taught that this is what we must do: serve God.
Strangely enough, the text of today’s gospel (Lk.12:35-40) describes the reverse side of reality!

“Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.
I tell you solemnly, he will sit them down at table and wait on them.”
 
Simply said:
If we wait FOR him, he will wait ON us.
 
In fact, he does already – he ‘serves’ us the wonderful ‘food’ of:

  • life and health
  • strength in difficult times
  • comfort in sorrow
  • unexpected joy and deep peace… and so much more!

In the beautiful book The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Shug, one of characters (African-American), says with much wisdom:
“People think pleasing God is all God care about.
But any fool living in the world can see it (=GOD) always trying to please us back.
It (=GOD) always making little surprises and springing them on us when us (=we) least expect.”

The world… upside down, turned around?
To our eyes, perhaps but this is GOD being God!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/19e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: Unsplash 

18th Sunday of Year C – 2019

“I have s tried everything and I could not get satisfied.”

These words spoken today correspond to the experience of Qohelet
(this Hebrew word refers to someone addressing an assembly, or ‘the Preacher’)
described in today’s 1st reading (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23). 

What did this man really want?
Satisfaction from all his efforts – efforts to achieve a life of contentment:
he was trying to taste some enjoyment and pleasure.

But his experience is one of suffering, dissatisfaction, restlessness,
as he realizes that he has worked much and…
what he has gained he must leave to someone else who has not done anything to obtain it!

But in fact, that man was looking – not for pleasure – but for MEANING.
This is what a human being is most in need of: meaning.
The meaning of life… and the meaning of death too!

Who among us has not, one day, asked those existential questions:

  • Where do we come from?
  • Why are we here on this earth?
  • Where are we going?

Qohelet complains that: “Everything is vanity” – in this context vanity means futility.
It refers to something pointless, useless, meaningless…
 
What is the point of getting up in the morning, rushing to work, laboring the whole day.
returning home at night to find there… many problems… go to bed to start again the next day…
Indeed what is the point?

There is NO point unless one has found… the meaning.
An on-going search perhaps?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

And in a video, (also in French) Rachel (personified by Nathalie Ménard) asks herself: ‘Is that all there is to life?’ ‘Est-ce tout ce qu’il y a dans la vie?’ https://youtu.be/k6wStCaBH6U
 

Source: Image: Knowing-Jesus.com

17th Sunday of Year C – 2019

Children have this special ‘gift’ of… asking until they get what they want!
We know it, and parents especially know it from experience!
Asking, begging, demanding – with screams and tears if need be – children are past masters at that.

I suppose that we, grown-ups, would not judge this to be the proper attitude when…
we come to God!
Well, perhaps not the screams and tears, but the perseverance in asking, DEFINITELY!

This is precisely the point of Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel text (Lk.11:1-13).
A friend waking up his friend to ask for his help and insisting, keeping on begging for what he needs:
this is exactly what Jesus gives us as an example to follow.

Of course, this supposes that, first of all, we consider God as a Friend – no less!
And then that we remain absolutely sure that he cannot not give us what we are in need of.

And, in the process, a touch of bargaining is not excluded –
the first reading is clear on this as well (Gn.18:20-32).
Abraham shows himself very skilled in praising God as a way of obtaining what he wants!
His insistence and his on-going pleading are truly inspiring!

“Will the judge of the whole earth not administer justice?”

And while admitting that he is ‘bold’ Abraham, with due respect, dares telling God what he should not do!

“Do not think of doing such a thing!”
 
I personally think that, as guidelines on ‘How to Pray’, these readings can hardly be surpassed!

Note: Another reflections is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

Source: Image: daleargot.com   papaboys.org

16th Sunday of Year C – 2019

The texts offered to us in the Bible sometimes present us with… the world upside down!
This seems to be the case in today’s 1st reading (Gn.18:1-10).

Abraham sees three people nearing his home – three passers-by unknown to him.
In such a case, we would expect the strangers to present themselves and ask for hospitality if they need it.
This is not at all what we see happening.

First, in those three personages, Abraham recognizes the Almighty –
the ONE God he worships.

Then, far from being asked for assistance, he is the one who begs the visitors
to accept the hospitality which he offers them in a truly warm manner.
He describes for them what his welcome entails –
a festive meal that would surely delight hungry pilgrims!

The icon often used to evoke the Holy Trinity is, in fact, an illustration of this scene: 
the three visitors at table having been served the promised meal.
Reflecting on the text and the scene it describes, two questions arise:

  • Do we recognize God when he comes to us… and in whatever form he choose to reach us?
  • Do we welcome him as generously as Abraham did?

The answer to these two questions could well bring about some amazing change in our life…
Of course, this supposes that we accept to be sometimes surprised by God –
a God we may think we know and yet…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/16e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

Source: Image: etsy.com

15th Sunday of Year C – 2019

Some of Jesus’ parables are well-known, nearly too well-known, yet not known well enough…
We may be tempted to think that his message is equally familiar but…
Intellectual knowledge is one thing, daily living is another – we are aware of this!

This Sunday’s parable of The Good Samaritan (Lk.10:25-37) is one of those in danger of a… simple and hasty adaptation!
The levite and the priest are no longer among us, but we may easily picture that among the members of…
this Catholic grouping, that pious association, those participants in a prayerful gathering…
well, surely there are some who would personify the attitude of… non-involvement of those two people of old.

Simple and hasty adaptation and… condemnation.
Yet, in mentally attributing blame to others, we may be missing the point altogether…
What if there were hidden within us – each one of us –
a modern-day levite and a contemporary of the priest in the time of Jesus?

Perhaps, we must admit that there are moments when soft voices within us suggest:

  • This is none of your business.
  • You have a more urgent commitment just now.
  • Someone is waiting for you, you can’t upset him.
  • Let someone else, more qualified, take care of this situation.
  • Surely you have more important things to see to.
  • After all, he’s not, she’s not, of us, really…

The words have a familiar and contemporary accent, and yet, they echo faithfully the Aramaic unspoken thoughts of the two people of Jesus’ parable.
Yes, they are sometimes part of a statement we may not dare to utter but which inspire our attitude to the one in need.

Strange how the 21st century may resemble so much… the 1st!

Note: Another reflection is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/15e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: Pinterest