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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 B – 2020

 We know well about spring cleaning, or autumn cleaning – a time when we clear and clean many things around our houses.

The city council also knows much about road repair – it must be done again and again at the end of a season.

In both cases there is a need for change and improvement.
These two pictures came to my mind as I read the 1st reading and the gospel of this Sunday (Is.40:1-5,9-11; Mk.1:1-8).

We might not get involved in house cleaning or road repair but it may be that… some areas of our lives need change and improvement of some kind for us to welcome the Lord…Our values may need to be upgraded…

  • Our choices may benefit from being more other-centered…
  • Our decisions may gain from being more inspired by lasting concerns…
  • Our attitude to other people may be improved with respect and acceptance…
  • Our commitments may need an increase of generosity…
  • Our faith may want to be deepened…

During this period of Advent, this could be OUR straightening of paths and lowering of mountains.
It may look, at first, as a formidable task but we are not expected to do it on our own.
The Holy Spirit within us is always willing to enable us to do what Is asked of us.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/?p=16658&preview=true

 

Source: Images: Space-O Technologies   Be HBG!

1st Sunday of Advent, Year B – 2020

All kinds of things and situations can keep us awake.
For some people, caffeine will do this.
Other substances with some stimulant will do the same.

But anxiety, fear and worry, will have the same effect: prevent us from sleeping.
On the other hand, a phone call announcing some unexpected good news or the anticipation of a pleasant event will probably keep sleep away.

The gospel text of this 1st Sunday of Advent (Year B: Mark 13:33-37) is short
and yet we are told four times to keep awake, to stay awake!

Stay awake not to watch a good movie on the screen, or play a video game.
Not to work on the computer, or read a novel.
But then, to do what?

Stay awake to wait for the Lord.
For many people, these words evoke the end of the world, or perhaps the moment of death.
This understanding is correct but, to my mind, incomplete.

Personally, I am convinced that the Lord can come at any moment, in every situation –
Not necessarily at the end of time, or the end of our lives.

His coming is discreet, gentle… it come under the form of

  • a word of praise from a colleague
  • a new idea for a project
  • an additional supply of patience in a trying situation
  • some encouragement from a friend who sees I am at my wit’s end
  • an increase of strength when I just can’t go on
  • the sudden understanding of the puzzling reaction of a loved one…

His presence can become close and very real in whatever happens if only we are alert,
AWAKE to his being there with us.
If only…

The period of Advent starting today is a good time to do this from day to day.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/1er-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-b-2020/

 

Source: Images: human life   AppleGate Recovery   Stockfreeimages   SoundCloud

34th Sunday of Year A – Feast of Christ the universal King – 2020

In many areas of Quebec Province, countless orange cones raise their heads – they seem to be everywhere.
We are used to their presence, used also to seeing near them a familiar road sign which reads:

The 1st reading of today’s Feast of Christ the universal King brings to mind another sign that could read:

You are surprised? Yet, the text of the reading suggests this rather forcefully (Ez.34:11-12,15-17):

“This is what the Lord says: 

 I will search for my sheep and look after them.
I will look after my sheep.
I will rescue them… I will gather them.
I will bring them in their own land.
I will pasture them.
I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down.
I will search for the lost.
I will bring back the strays.
I will bind up the injured.
I will strengthen the weak.
I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

This is the picture of God who is indeed… very active, full of concern, caring in so many ways.
He goes literally out of his way to make sure that we are safe.
He takes all necessary means so that our needs are provided in every way.

Quite the opposite of how men have sometimes described God: quietly resting in his heavenly mansion waiting for the praises and sacrifices of human beings!
GOD AT WORK – no doubt about it!
And in the lives of each one of us in a very personal way. 

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-fete-du-christ-roi-2020/

 

Source: Images : jalmanthan.wordpress.com   Christian Cohort

33rd Sunday of Year A – 2020

The text of the 2nd reading of this Sunday could be addressed to us, and it is!
The words of Paul to the Thessalonians seem to take on a new meaning in this period of pandemic (1 Th.5:1-6).

“While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly.”

Unfortunately, there are still among us many people who refuse to acknowledge the danger of the virus that is threatening our health and our lives.
They like to believe that all the talk about the situation is only that: talk.
They pretend they are safe; they remain unaware that they might be the next victims…

Paul’s letter was not referring precisely to our own situation, it is true.
But it has a message that is valid for everyone of us.
I am not thinking especially of the Coronavirus, but of so many other threatening agents –
threatening our life as Christians…

  • the virus of selfishness where all decisions are in view of ‘me, myself, and I’…
  • the virus of pride looking down on so many people judged not as good as one pretends to be…
  • the virus of injustice where decisions are taken in view of what will achieve one’s goals…
  • the virus of resentment which feeds a desire for revenge…
  • the virus of indifference to important issues thinking only of what is gratifying for oneself…
  • the virus of chronic dissatisfaction with life while forgetting all the blessings received from God…

And you may add a few of your own findings…
They are life-threatening, they jeopardize the fullness of living that Jesus wants for us.

We need to wake up and not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security.
Strange how ‘old’ parables can have a very ‘modern’ meaning!
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/33e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image : Picuki.com

32nd Sunday of Year A – 2020

Listening to a speaker not very interesting, one may fall asleep.
Falling asleep watching a television program rather dull is also common.
It happens also that we fall asleep while waiting for someone who delays in coming.

Such situations are not serious and of not much consequence.
But… Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel – that of the Ten bridesmaids – (Mt.25:1-13) leads us to ask the question:
‘Are we falling asleep while waiting for… the Lord?’
This is more serious indeed.

It may be that we are distracted by more pressing concerns, more interesting activities, perhaps.
We have possibly somehow forgotten the presence of God and our commitment to follow him.
We may feel that he does not make his presence felt as we would like him to do…
His action in the world is not obvious and…
his intervention in our lives when we need him most does not always correspond to what we hope for.

So, Jesus’ words are a reminder – serious and urgent – that we are to keep watch,
to be alert and intent on welcoming him
at whatever time and in whatever situation he chooses to reach us.

Waiting for the Lord we should be waiting on the Lord:
being attentive to him and responsive to the inspiration of his Spirit.
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/32e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: www.marysrosaries.com   Pinterest

Feast of All Saints, Year A – 2020

We celebrate today the feast of all the saints – those well known and those perhaps not as familiar to us.
As we remember this particular saint, and that other, and others still,
we may stop thinking of them and start looking at our own lives.

And as we do, we may think that… we are not as holy as they are.
Not as patient, as humble, as prayerful, as faithful to God.
Not as generous, not as…
and our list gets longer mentioning all the qualities that we believe make a saint.

We may become dispirited and discouraged,
all the while forgetting the most important: what WE ARE.
The text of the 2nd reading says it clearly:

“Children of God! … that is what we are!
 
We have been created in God’s image – an image that cannot be erased or obliterated.
But… it can be damaged, the face of God in us can be… defaced,
yes, when we refuse to behave as his children.
But this is NOT the end of the story, God is always ready to restore his image in us.

There are people especially skillful in picture or image restoration.
A famous painting or a family picture may have been damaged but can be restored.

I personally believe that God’s Spirit present in us is a specialist in… image restoration!
The text of the 2nd reading goes on with these words:
 
What we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that… we shall be like him.”   (1 Jn.3:1-3)

We are, in fact, saints-in-the-making, nothing less!
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-toussaint-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: The New Daily

30th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Writing to the first Christians of Rome, Paul tells them:
“God has no favorites.” (Rom.2:11)

Yet, today’s 1st reading leads me to think somehow differently.
It seems that there are some people who are God’s favorites.
The text of Exodus mentions them (Ex.22:20-26):

      

“The foreigner (those we call migrants or refugees), the widow, the orphan, the poor.”
All of them have one thing in common: they are needy people.
And their need makes them reliant on God
Their need seems to draw God’s love and compassion in a special way.

They are aware that they cannot manage on their own,
They are conscious that they need the assistance of someone else.
God is willing, he is anxious even, to come to their help.
More still he orders his people – the Jews – not to mistreat or be unjust to such people.

Could it be that God wants needy people to become… OUR favorites also?
And to treat them with God’s own compassion…
 

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/30e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: freerangekids.com   splash   AP News   The Guardian
 

29th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Cyrus the Great was born in the province of Persis, in southwest Iran in 590 BC and died in battle in 530 B.C.
History presents him as a great king whose rule stretched from India to the Mediterranean Sea; he possessed the largest empire in the world at that time.
His name is mentioned over 22 times in the Bible and his tomb in Iran can be visited today.

These biographical details are not the reason why Isaiah speaks of him in today’s 1st reading (Isaiah 45:4-6).
The purpose of Cyrus’ presence in this text is that he was chosen by God to play a special role in God’s plan for his people.
He was, in fact, God’s servant as the words of Isaiah make clear.

What has drawn my attention in this reading is NOT what Cyrus did, but what God did –
what God does over and over again.
The text reads:

“I (the Lord) summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me…
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
so that… people may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

Cyrus does not know the God of Israel – the Lord – he does not acknowledge him as the only God.
Yet, the Lord blesses him in special ways with a title of honor and with strength.

To me, this is God, OUR God!
All too often, we think that we must do things for God – offer him prayers and sacrifices.
We somehow believe that we must gain his approval and merit his blessings.

Sad to say, we have inversed this wonderful reality that God is the first to shower his gifts on us.
We must come to realize that if we can do anything for God… it is because he, himself, enables us to do so!

In the beautiful book (and movie) The Color Purple, this is what Alice Walker, the Afro-American lady, has understood when she says with amazing assurance:

“People think pleasing God is all God cares about.
But any fool in the world can see he is always trying to please us back.”

And perhaps… to please us FIRST?!

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

 

Source: Image: Total loser and Proud    Pinterest

 

28th Sunday of Year A – 2020

 It is quite surprising how often we can catch ourselves saying: ‘I hope that…’
‘I hope that this will happen…’
‘I hope that this situation will improve…’
‘I hope that my child will soon get better…’
‘I hope that my friend will get a promotion…’

Somehow, it seems that our days are filled with… wishful thinking, or is it… hope?
HOPE is something strong, enduring, it can see us through the worse and enable us to overcome.
Yes, overcome the problems and difficulties, the obstacles and worries that threaten us with despair.

HOPE is the conviction that the best is yet to come – not because we wish for it,
but because God will make it happen.

This is what has come to my mind as I read the 1st reading of this Sunday (Is.25:6-10).
The text describes a feast where abundance and delight are offered for our pure enjoyment.
And to add to this we are told, indeed we are promised:

“The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.”
 
What else could we wish for?

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/28e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: aleteia

A nomination in Rome…

Pope Francis appoints “God particle” physicist to Vatican panel

Fabiola Gianotti directs the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Her life and work for the past several years have had a lot to do with collisions. But it’s the kind of collision that yields good things. 
If her work on a Vatican commission entails any sort of conflict with other members, such “collisions” could yield similarly good fruit. 

Pope Francis on Tuesday (September 29, 2020) appointed Gianotti, the director-general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The Italian experimental particle physicist is perhaps best known for having overseen the work that led to the discovery of what many call the “God particle.” 

That was in 2012, when Gianotti led Atlas, one of several experiments being conducted at the the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The world’s largest particle accelerator, a 17-mile circular tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border, is used to smash protons into each other, traveling at near speed of light, to see what they are made of. 

First predicted in the 1960s by British particle physicist Peter Higgs, the Higgs boson particle is, in the words of the Guardian, the “elusive subatomic particle that gives mass to the basic building blocks of nature.” 

Gianotti became the first woman to be elected director-general of CERN, in 2016. Last year, she became the first director-general to be reelected to a full, five-year term. 

Source: Text (summarised): John Burger | Aleteia, Sep 30, 2020       Image: secretsoftheuniversefilm.com