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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.

 

30th Sunday of Year B – 2021

To speak about God and to call upon him, all kinds of names are used:
God Almighty, Heavenly King, Creator of the universe, Master of all things, Ruler of the world, etc.

Very early in the history of the people of Israel, their great leader, Moses, had asked God who he was –
how should his people know him and call upon him.
God’s answer was… enigmatic to say the least: “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14).
But God’s people recognized him as the Supreme Being and worshipped him as such.

However, in today’s 1st reading (Jeremiah 31:7-9), God’s make himself known in a way that is much more accessible, could we say.
He says plainly:

“I am a father to Israel.” 

As a father, he cares for the blind, the lame, expectant mothers, women in labor…
the great throng of his pilgrim people…
He makes sure that they do not stumble and that, in the desert, they find, streams of water.
A caring Father – this is God, this is his name, this is who he is.

A FATHER! This is how he wants to be known – REALLY!
And when the apostles asked Jesus how they should address God, this is what Jesus said:

“When you pray, say: ‘Father’…” (Luke 11:2)

Could he fail to do for his pilgrim people in our times as he did in the past?
I cannot imagine such a God, such a Father!…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/30e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: quotescosmos.com   Scripture Images

29th Sunday of Year B – 2021

To render a service to someone, most of us would be ready to do so.
But, to put oneself at the service of others… this is another proposition altogether!
And this is precisely what the Lord asks of us!

The gospel text of this Sunday (Mark 10:35-45) is quite clear about it:

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 
and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
 
To be great, who would not want to be?
To be known as a person of importance, to be famous, to have power and influence over people –
this is what so many people are struggling for, even… fighting for!

Strange how people nowadays are so much like the apostles of Jesus, 21 centuries ago!
They wanted places of honor in the kingdom to come!

But becoming a servant, even a slave, who would choose such a way of life?
Perhaps the question should not be ‘who’ but ‘WHY’ should someone make such a choice?

The answer, again, is given by Jesus himself:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, 

and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
 
The way of Christ, the way of a Christian…
Obviously, it is not a path easy to follow,
but it is definitely a path where we are sure that the Lord walks with us all along the way as it is… HIS way!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Prayers Room

28th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Daydreaming can bring someone to wish for all kinds of things –
The things that Royalty and wealthy people can have already:
power and privileges, gold, silver, and precious stones.
And sometimes, health and beauty are added to this rich mixture!
 
In today’s 1st reading (Wisdom 7:7-11), we meet the great King Solomon who enjoyed these and yet…
Yet, he said that, in his eyes, all these counted for nothing compared to… WISDOM.
An amazing statement…
I wonder how many people would endorse these words today?

In true wisdom, we can find learning, knowledge, sound judgement, insight, discernment.
To these qualities, the ancient Greeks, known for their wisdom, added prudence and self-control.

It is the attitude of someone who sees what is GOOD, judges what is RIGHT, follows what is JUST.
A wise person behaves in the way appropriate to someone created in the image of God – no less!

Of course, this is beyond what we can manage on our own – this is why Solomon says:
“I prayed… I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.”
 
We should not expect God’s ‘visitation’ to come in some unusual form or extraordinary apparition.
God’s Spirit of Wisdom can reach us in:

a conversation,
the chapter of a book,
a talk on the radio,
a television presentation,
a silent reflection,
and so many other shapes and occasions… 

Like the many small pieces of a jigsaw puzzle it then makes up our daily experience –
the experience of someone who has learnt to listen, to hear, and… to follow God’s inspiration from day to day…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/28e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

And a blog, in French, offers also a reflection on the theme of wisdom at: https://image-i-nations.com/sage-bien-sage/

 

Source: Images: commons.wikimedia.org    Dreamstime.com  

World Day for Decent Work – 7 October

It is good to ask ourselves the question: WHAT IS DECENT WORK?
And October 7th is a good day to answer it!

  • Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet (Oxfam).
  • 71% of people say governments should work towards a pay rise for workers (ITUC Global Poll 2017).
  • 80% of people say the minimum wage in their country is too low (ITUC Global Poll 2017).

 

Source: Text: 2015wddw.org Images: ilo.org   International Trade Union Confederation

 

27th Sunday of Year B – 2021

If you were asked what is the most important quality of… GOD, for you,
I imagine that you would choose the attribute that speaks to you most.
I expect that the answers would vary from one person to another.
People would speak of his kindness, his mercy, his patience, his compassion, etc.

The 1st reading of this Sunday (Genesis 2:18-24) mentions one aspect of who God is that I personally find very revealing.
The text says:

“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”
 
These few words tell us something quite astonishing,
all the more so that this text appears in the second chapter of the very first book of the Bible.
What is said, in fact, is that God knows what is good for us, human beings.
And not only does he know, but this is what he wants for us, what he is ready to give us.

The scene describes man – the first human being – trying to find a companion, someone… like himself!
Someone with whom he will be able to share his life on earth.
We see him going through all the creatures already present around him, but none of them responds to man’s need.
Not any of the living beings that surround him correspond to what he is looking for…

What is interesting in the text is that before we see man searching, we are told of God’s plan:
to give man this special companion he desires so much!
God has foreseen the need, God knows what is good, God is ready to provide

To me, this is one quality of God that I find most comforting:
in any and every situation, God knows what is good for us and he is ready to give us precisely that!
 
We are sometimes slow to understand this and to rely on his willingness…
The apostle Paul had discovered this and he was convinced that it was so whatever happened.
He wrote to the first Christians of Rome, saying:

“By turning everything to their good, God cooperates with all those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

Do we?…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/27e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: PrimoBibleVerses

 

26th Sunday of Year B – 2021

People sometimes talk about things ‘as old as the world’ – to them, it seems that some situations, or attitudes, have always been there with us, human beings.

One of them, I believe is… JEALOUSY.
This ‘demon’ which torments a person filling him/her with regrets, envy, desire to dispossess another of some perceived good. 

We see this present in the first chapters of the Bible (Genesis 4:1-8).
The scene described shows us Cain angry that: 

“The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering.
But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering,
and Cain was very angry and downcast.”
 
The Lord addresses Cain and shows him how he is the prey of:
“a crouching beast hungering for him which he must master.”
This is jealousy – the evil overpowering someone and making that person forget all the good he/she has been blessed with. 

In the 1st reading of this Sunday (Numbers 11:25-29), we hear Moses telling Joshua:
“Are you jealous on my account?”
 
Joshua has been faithfully serving Moses for many years and cannot accept that other people may also be prophets as his master is.
Moses corrects Joshua in no uncertain terms:

“If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets
and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!”
 
The sad thing is that jealousy makes us blind, blind to the ‘treasure’ that is ours –
the treasure of all our own gifts and talents.
It makes us compare ourselves with others and underestimate what we are and what we can do. 

Perhaps this reflection could lead us to make an inventory of precisely this treasure of ours:
the person that we are and what we can become…
If only we stop desiring to be like someone else… which is not what God has in mind for us!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/26e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: ASHISH LACKSMAN GOVADCAR- WordPress.com    Free Bible Images   

 

25th Sunday of Year B – 2021

To move from the written words to what they express…
To go beyond images to perceive what they describe…
To understand situations to the point of perceiving the reality they suggest…

This is the task that we are faced with in trying to understand the texts of Scripture, especially those of the gospel.
 
In simple words it means: to appropriate a text, to make it my own.
It demands of me that I try to discover what it really means in my own life.
The gospel text of this Sunday (Mark 9:30-37) can serve as an example.
The last verse mentions the words of Jesus:
 
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me;
and whoever welcomes me
does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”   

If someone were to ask you: ‘Did you ever welcome God?’,
you would probably hesitate to say ‘Yes’, or ‘No’.
But, did you ever welcome a child… in the name of Jesus?
If so, you have indeed welcomed God!

We should NOT see this reflection as some grammatical exercise, it is so much more than that!
It leads us to read the words of Scripture no longer as simply some sacred writings that we should understand and remember.

It enables us to receive the word of God addressed to us personally.
God’s message wants to reach us in our here-and-now situation, whatever it is at any given time.

If we allowed God’s words – God’s Word Himself in Jesus – to address us in such a personal way…
what a change this would make!

You need not take my word for it but… try it!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/25e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: www.daily-prayers.org

24th Sunday of Year B – 2021

The gospel texts are sometimes comforting and encouraging.
At other times, they are demanding and… more than a little challenging

The text for this Sunday (Mark 7:28-35) belongs to this challenging category!
We are told that:

“He (Jesus) began to teach them (the apostles) that the Son of Man must suffer many things… be rejected…
that he must be killed…”
 
The perspective of such a future for their Master is surely disheartening for the apostles.
No wonder that Peter, the leader among them, protests and even tries to have Jesus change direction!
I expect that some of us would have been inclined to do the same…

It is natural to try and avoid whatever is painful, whatever causes hurt and provokes fear and discouragement.
The problem is that our attempts are so often shortsighted.
To follow this course of action may end up by depriving us of something absolutely… wonderful.

The sentence printed above is still incomplete – following the words: “he must be killed…”
the text continues with: “and after three days rise again.”

So often, what happens in our lives is that:
we see only the negative,
we focus only on the possible hurt,
we envisage only what goes against our desires…

We fail to broaden our perspective to see what will follow the… ‘must’ –
to perceive all the great things that God has prepared for us.

Of course, to take up one’s cross –
a very personal, intimate, demanding denial of oneself –
this would be more than we can cope with…
if we were left to ourselves.
But we are NOT.

Christ is with us, he who has walked this way before us.
And what he has lived through is awaiting us also: “rise again.”
Rise to a life of unending happiness!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/24e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: thirdhour.org   Bible.com

22nd Sunday of Year B – 2021

GOD… High above?… Far away?…
Unreachable?… Unconcerned?…
Some believe this… the opposite – the reality – is so extraordinary!

The leader of God’s people, Moses, assures them that God is very near to them whenever they pray to him.
In the text of today’s 1st reading (Dt.4:1-2,6-8), he states this as a fact:

“The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.”
 
This was more than 12 centuries before Jesus came to live among us.
I ask myself, are we today as convinced as Moses was that God is indeed near to us
whenever we turn to him in prayer?

I say ‘when WE turn to him’ –
we do not need to ask him to come near us, he is always with us, but…
Are we convinced of his nearness?
Are we sure that he listens to us and is concerned about us?
 
Whenever
no matter what situation we are in,
no matter what we feel like,
no matter how long we may have been away from him,
no matter how weak, sinful, desperate, we may judge ourselves to be…

Moses’ words are still valid to this day:
“The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.
 
And, if ever we feel we do not have the faith to trust these words…
He can give even that faith!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/22e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

 

Source: Image: pinterest.com  

21st Sunday of Year B – 2021

Reading the gospel is not an exercise that always provides… comfort.
It certainly does at times, but at other times it can be rather upsetting.

It happens that Jesus questions us, and even confronts us, in a way that can be disturbing.
 This is what we see in today’s gospel text (Jn.6:60-69).
Jesus has been speaking of giving people his body as food.
People grumble about this and they say:

“This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

To this, Jesus replies:
“Does this offend you?
 
Another translation uses a stronger expression saying:
Does this scandalize you?”
 
Does it happen that God’s words offend us?
Does it happen that God’s ways, scandalize us?

Perhaps this means that… God is God and that…
we need to recognize him as such.
Long ago, he told us through his prophet Isaiah (Is.55:8):

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
 

Something we are in constant need to remember and…
something we need to adjust ourselves to… from day to day.

But through the words of another of his messengers, Jeremiah, (Jer.29:11)
God assures us:

“I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.

A hopeful future, this is what is offered to us!
And this plan gives a new perspective to God’s ways which may… offend us!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: pixabay.com