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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.

 

2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2022-2023

“Life is hard!”
You may have heard a number of people say this recently, and you probably felt that you knew what they meant!
Viruses of different kinds, the cost of living with inflation, shortage of different items, lack of personnel in different services, conflicts and war –
the list could go on.
Faced with all this, people feel helpless, and they lament and complain – what else can they do, they wonder.

In today’s 2nd reading, the apostle Paul, writing to the first Christians of Rome (Romans 15:4-9), speaks of:
the God who gives endurance and encouragement”.
 
Reading, or hearing, these words, we may think that this is where help is to be found.
We are told that these will give us HOPE.
God knows – he does indeed – how we need this!

But strangely enough, Paul goes on to say that we should pray God to give us these gifts of endurance and encouragement so that we may have:
“the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
 
It becomes clear, then, that our situation can improve if… we help one another!
Our condition will get better by making it easier for others to bear their burden –
the burden of daily life and all that it entails…

We may not manage to overcome all the difficulties people are faced with, but we may be able to bring some comfort to those in need of it.
Helping one another may be the way to brighten, not only their life, but also our own!

The season of Advent is a good period to make this experience…
We may be surprised at how positive the result turns out to be!
 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-a-2022-2023/

 

Source: Image: Pinterest

 

 

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – 2 December

Every year on December 2nd, the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery draws attention to slavery that still exists in the world. This day also focuses on the eradication of contemporary slavery.
Many Americans think of slavery as something from history. This type of slavery involved the ownership and forced labor of African Americans. The country put an end to this type of slavery in 1865.

Unfortunately, however, slavery still exists. Today, modern slavery and human trafficking is a billion-dollar business. Global profits are believed to exceed $150 billion. According to the United Nations, slavery traps over 40 million people around the world. Modern slavery victimizes one in four children, globally. Additionally, victims of modern slavery experience unimaginable suffering.

The primary forms of modern slavery include:

  • Forced labor – involves migrant workers who work in domestic servitude, agriculture, and the food and garment industry. Forced labor also includes prostitution.
  • Child labor – involves children used for economic exploitation. It also includes any instance when work deprives children of their childhood or interferes with their ability to attend school.
  • Trafficking – involves recruiting, transporting, forcing, or coercing individuals to exploit them in some way. It usually refers to prostitution but also includes labor, slavery, or servitude.

Vulnerable groups in society are usually targeted for modern slavery. These groups include tribal minorities, indigenous peoples, and those who belong in a low caste. Victims also include those who can’t fight back. These victims are children, women, and those with mental illness or physical disability.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/international-day-for-the-abolition-of-slavery-day-december-2/

World AIDS Day – 1 December 2022

Equalize

Every year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to AIDS.

The inequalities which perpetuate the AIDS pandemic are not inevitable; we can tackle them. This World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is urging each of us to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS.

The “Equalize” slogan is a call to action. It is a prompt for all of us to work for the proven practical actions needed to address inequalities and help end AIDS.

Data from UNAIDS on the global HIV response reveals that during the last two years of COVID-19 and other global crises, progress against the HIV pandemic has faltered, resources have shrunk, and millions of lives are at risk as a result. 

We have only eight years left before the 2030 goal of ending AIDS as a global health threat. Economic, social, cultural and legal inequalities must be addressed as a matter of urgency. In a pandemic, inequalities exacerbate the dangers for everyone. Indeed, the end of AIDS can only be achieved if we tackle the inequalities which drive it. World leaders need to act with bold and accountable leadership. And all of us, everywhere, must do all we can to help tackle inequalities too.

Dangerous Inequalities

Dangerous Inequalities, the UNAIDS World AIDS Day report 2022, reveals that inequalities are obstructing the end of AIDS. On current trends the world will not meet agreed global targets on AIDS. Millions of lives are at stake. The new UNAIDS report shows that only urgent action to tackle inequalities can get the world’s AIDS response on track. It shows how world leaders can tackle those inequalities, and calls on them to be courageous in doing so.

 

Source: Text & Image: un.org

1st Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2022-2023

Week after week, the Sunday Scripture readings give us messages.
Messages that show us the way to become more and more what we are – disciples of Christ.

In today’s 2nd reading, we find Paul’s words as he writes to the first Christians of Rome (Romans 13:11-14).
He tells them:
 
“Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A somehow mysterious advice, one could say.
Yet, it gives us the true meaning of our identity as Christians.
Saint Gregory of Nyssa said that a Christian is meant to be “another Christ”an amazing expression!
Amazing and… very demanding too.

This means that the way Christ was, this should also be our way.
His way of seeing life, events, situations, people, should be our way.
His way of acting and reacting should de ours too.
The way he was with people of all conditions and situations:

  • rich like Zacchaeus, or poor like the widow offering two coins;
  • powerful like the Jewish leaders, or helpless like the paralyzed man;
  • a person in authority like the Centurion, or an outcast like a leper.

With each and every one, Jesus was welcoming and compassionate, understanding and forgiving.
But he was also demanding, calling every person to the way of truth, honesty, acceptance of others.
His call remains the same to us today.

Paul was echoing the call of Jesus in writing to the Philippians as well.
In words similar to those he had said to the Romans, he tells them clearly:

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
 
This period of Advent starting today is a good time to renew our determination to walk this way…
 
 
 
Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/1er-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-a-2022-2023/
 

Source: Image: Ryan Callahan’s Blog

World Television Day – 21 November

In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day (through resolution 51/205 of 17 December 1996).

World Television Day is not so much a celebration of the tool, but rather the philosophy which it represents. Television represents a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world.

On 21 and 22 November 1996 the United Nations held the first World Television Forum, where leading media figures met under the auspices of the United Nations to discuss the growing significance of television in today’s changing world and to consider how they might enhance their mutual cooperation. That is why the General Assembly decided to proclaim 21 November as World Television Day.

This was done in recognition of the increasing impact television has on the process of decision-making. Television was thus acknowledged as a major tool in informing, channelling and affecting public opinion. Its impact and presence and its influence on world politics could not be denied.

 

Source: Text: UN    Image: Freepik

 

Feast of Christ the King of the Universe, Year C – 2022

   

 

 

 

 

There was the day when, after multiplying the loaves, Jesus escaped from the people who wanted to make him king (John 6:14).

On another day, he entered Jerusalem, sitting on a donkey acclaimed by the crowd as “the king of Israel” (John 12:13).
A moment of glory that lasted precisely that… a moment, a few hours of a day.

And there was the event described in today’s gospel (Luke 23:35-43).
It is worth pondering that for this solemn celebration, the gospel text presented to our meditation is the one where we find:

    • People watching…
    • Leaders jeering at him…
    • Soldiers mocking him…
    • One of the criminals hanging beside abusing him…

Him – the one whose inscription on the cross pointed to as: “King of the Jews”.

The solemn celebration of today, mentioned above, is that of the Feast of “Christ, King of the Universe”.
And in this, our universe, there are:

    • those who do not know him…
    • those who do not recognize him for who he is…
    • those who do not believe in him…
    • those who pass by him, unconcerned…
    • those who think his message is not relevant…
    • those who laugh at such a king…
    • those who doubt…
    • those who wonder…

And there are also those who…
Yes, they are there too, those who have accepted to be counted among his friends and disciples.
Those for whom he is truly “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6),
and who are ready to walk with him until the end…

Of course, each one chooses for himself, or herself, to which group one belongs…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-du-christ-roi-de-lunivers-annee-c-2022/

 

Source: Images: Church of Jesus Christ  Jesus.net

 

International Students’ Day

The date of 17th November was chosen to be the International Students’ Day due to the events that unfolded in Prague during World War II.
Nine students were executed without trail in concentration camps on the 17th November 1939. Nowadays, November 17 marks a celebration of multiculturalism of international students.
Source: Text & Image: www.eusa.eu

33rd Sunday of Year C – 2022

Some people would say that the text of today’s gospel is quite shocking (Luke 21:5-19).
For them, two words may summarize the scenes we are given to witness: abomination and desolation.
It is a rather accurate perception of the ‘mood’ of this text.
The detailed description of events to take place – or taking place – in our world has something frightening about it.

Having read the text to the end, it may be good to remain there, at the end… the last verse giving us a message that is most important (verse 19).
Different versions of this verse give an interesting perspective, telling us:

“Stand firm, and you will win life”.  (New International Version
“Your endurance will win you your lives”. (Jerusalem Bible)
“By your perseverance you shall possess your souls”. (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

In fact, what we are told is that:

  • We should not give up trying to overcome the problems and difficulties of life.
  • We should not give in to discouragement and despair.
  • We should not give way to the temptation of abandoning the struggle for good to win over evil.

Someone has coined a new expression to qualify this endurance and called it ‘stick-to-itness’!
 
Stick to the fight against injustice and pursue the path of honesty.
Stick to the resolution of siding with the poor and those deprived of their rights.
Stick to the struggle you started always to choose the way of peace and reconciliation.

Would this not be a way to avoid disputes and injustices, recrimination and discrimination, violence and wars?
I like to believe that it is worth trying… it has a gospel felling about it…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/33e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2022/

 

Source: Image: Scripture Images  

World Science Day for Peace and Development – 10 November 2022

Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

‘The applications of basic sciences are vital for advances in medicine, industry, agriculture, water resources, energy planning, environment, communications and culture’, affirmed the United Nations General Assembly on 2 December 2021, when it endorsed the proposal for an International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. World Science Day is contributing to the Year in 2022 by celebrating this theme.

‘We need more basic science to achieve The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals’, the United Nations General Assembly noted in December 2021. It is true that the share of domestic research expenditure devoted to basic sciences varies widely from one country to another. According to data from the UNESCO Science Report 2021 for 86 countries, some devote less than 10% of their research expenditure to basic sciences and others more than 30%.

Having a capacity in basic sciences is in the interests of both developed and developing countries, given the potential for applications to foster sustainable development and raise standards of living. For example, a growing number of people around the world suffer from diabetes. Thanks to laboratory studies of the ways in which genes can be manipulated to make specific protein molecules, scientists are able to engineer genetically a common bacterium, Escherichia coli, to produce synthetic human insulin.

 

Source: Text: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-science-day    Image: news 18.com

 

World Radiography Day – 8 November

World Radiography Day - November 8

On November 8th, World Radiography Day marks the anniversary of the discovery of the X-ray. The day also recognizes the important role that radiographers and radiologists play in the health care industry.

The first thing a doctor does when a patient breaks a bone is order an X-ray. This kind of medical imaging allows healthcare professionals to see what is going on inside the body. The painless diagnostic test uses a form of electromagnetic radiation that passes through objects.

Besides bone fractures, X-rays also detects:

  • Tumors
  • Enlarged heart
  • Blood vessel blockages
  • Fluid in lungs
  • Dislocated joints
  • Internal infections
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth decay
  • Foreign objects in the body

The benefits of X-rays include being completely non-invasive and taking only a few minutes to complete. Doctors like X-rays because the results can be seen almost immediately. Radiographers perform X-rays and once the test is performed, the results are analyzed by a radiologist. The radiologist then passes that information to the doctor. In some instances, radiographers need to use other kinds of medical imaging tests to diagnose a problem. These might include a CT Scan, MRI, fluoroscopy, mammography, or ultrasound.

Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, a German mechanical engineer and physicist, discovered X-rays in 1895. He received the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901 for his discovery. The Polish-born physicist Marie Curie helped advance the X-ray using radium, an element she discovered. In the early 1900s, hospitals were already using X-ray technology. By the 1930s, X-rays were a routine part of patient diagnostics. Today, around 3.6 million diagnostic tests that use radiation in medical imaging are performed each year. Up to 80 percent of diagnostic problems are resolved with the help of X-rays.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/world-radiography-day-november-8/