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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.

 

Feast of the Body and blood of Christ, Year C – 2019

One could be tempted to give this Sunday’s gospel text (Lk.9:11-17) the following title:

“The dynamics of problem solving: People’s way and… Jesus’ way.” 

The way of people, very often, is exemplified by the apostles’ attitude:
First, to tell Jesus what to do! “Send the people away…”
And second, to throw the responsibility on someone else to solve a problem:
“They can go to villages and farms round about to find lodging and food…”

Jesus turns the situation right around in a short statement.
His words turn the responsibility the other way around:
“Give them something to eat yourselves.”
 
But, Jesus will help them to do so, himself being ‘helped’ by the contribution of a child!
Fascinating dynamics indeed, and… what wonderful outcome results of it!

Note: Another reflections is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-du-corps-et-du-sang-du-christ-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: cccmurphysboro.wordpress.com   gruposdeJesus.com

Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year C – 2019  

Some people ask themselves questions about God.
In fact, many people would want to know more about him –
know more, more clearly, more deeply.
But could it be that they miss some important revelation about him?

Revelation: showing clearly, removing what is covering something, making known.
Yes, God has been revealed to us but… he remains GOD –
we will never have achieved knowing him fully…

In the 2nd reading of today’s feast – that of the Holy Trinity –
writing to the first Christians of Rome (Rom.5:1-5), saint Paul tells them:

“Through Jesus we have entered this state of grace…
The love of God (the Father) has been poured into our hearts
by the holy Spirit which has been given to us.”
 
It is as if Paul, in a nutshell, is giving us – as well as the Roman Christians of long ago –
the meaning of today’s feast.

We are “In a state of grace”, in other words: we are blessed, we are privileged, ‘graced’ by God.
Thanks to Jesus who made it known to us, we can be assured that God is our Father
a Father who loves us more than we will ever understand.
This certainty is given to us by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God himself.

Some theological texts will speak of ‘the mystery of the Holy Trinity’.
Sad to say, some people conclude: a mystery is something we cannot understand
so we cannot understand the Holy Trinity!

A more accurate definition of a mystery is that it is something we have never finished understanding…
And what if… this ‘mysterious’ REALITY were the meaning of our daily life?
Yes, even in its seemingly most insignificant details!…

Note: Another reflection is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-sainte-trinite-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: etsy.com

 

 

Feast of Pentecost, Year C – 2019

Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, we are given Scripture readings to ponder over.
Written in a language which is not the one of our daily conversations, it may happen that we do not grasp the full meaning of the texts.
It may also be that the truth they express is so wonderful that we wonder if we can rely on what we read or hear.
We may ask ourselves: “Are these words really meant for us as well as for the people of the past?”

The gospel of this feast of Pentecost (Jn.14:15-16,23-26) is one such texts that tell us something astonishing.
On the eve of his death, Jesus told his friends, the apostles:
 
« I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate,
to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth…
He will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.”
 
I read these words, I repeat them to myself, and… I ask myself: 
‘Is it really true for me?
Am I convinced of this?
Do I rely on this amazing reality?’

The Father cannot fail to answer Jesus’ prayer – it is absolutely unthinkable.
On the other hand, we have been baptised and we have received the Holy Spirit.
He is with us, not for a time but “for ever”, Jesus assures us.

So, it means that we have… a private teacher, a very special tutor to help us understand and remember –
understand Jesus’ message and remember it as we live from day today.

What is missing then?
Perhaps only… the faith that it is so…
And the prayer, from the heart, asking to understand and to remember.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-pentecote-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: www.stignatius.jp

 

The Feast of the Ascension, Year C – 2019

In the people we relate to, there are many qualities we appreciate:
honesty, kindness, thoughtfulness, readiness to help.

But there is one which is especially precious: it is faithfulness.
This special attitude which guarantees that we can count on people.
They are reliable, they are there for us, so to speak.
Whenever we need them, they will not fail us.

And GOD IS FAITHFUL.
This is what the last line of the 2nd reading tells us today (He 9:24-28; 10:19-23). 
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews assures us:

“The one who made the promise is faithful.”
 
Short. Simple. Straightforward.
God will not fail us, he will not abandon us – no matter the situation we are faced with.
God is for us, he is with us at all times – unfailingly, unconditionally.

So, we are urged:
“Let us keep firm in the hope we profess.”
 
And, even this perseverance in hope will be given to us if only we ask for it!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lascension-annee-c-2019/
 

Source: Image: OverviewBible

6th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019

     
A mansion, a cottage, or even a log cabin – all of them can protect us from extreme cold or suffocating heat.
The structure may be of metal, cement, or wood, any type of habitation will provide us with some kind of shelter.
We can think of an apartment, a house, a residence – we need such a place to live in.

But… most of us hope for more… we want some decent place to live, yes, but we also want to live happily.
And for this, what we really need is… a HOME.
We are aware that rare timber, or original stones, cannot make a home.
What makes of a house a ‘home’ is the atmosphere, the ambiance, the ‘feeling-good’ sensation.

We know it from experience: what truly creates a home is the relationship of the people living there.
The easy-going, smooth, respectful, sensitive attitudes of the members of the group are the building blocks of a home.

What if it is… God who makes a home?!
A surprising thought, even astonishing… but this is what today’s gospel tells us (Jn.14:23-29).
The text says:

“We shall come and make our home with him”. (v.23)
 
Saying this, Jesus speaks of the person who keeps his word.
He assures us that his Father and himself will come to stay with such a person.
They will make their ‘home’ with such a person.

I find it absolutely amazing, it is so extraordinary that it is beyond our imagining.
Many will inquire about… the possibility of this: how can this be?
I admit readily that I know nothing of the… ‘logistics’ of it, but I am absolutely convinced that it is so.
The Holy Spirit can make it so!

Only one thing could prevent it… our refusal, our closing the ‘door’ of ourselves.
This would be a tragedy… but God would keep waiting… he always does!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: johndauherty.com   all-free-download.com   beau.adamguerino.com

5th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019  

Nowadays, technology has changed things, of course.
But at the end of the year, in the not-so-distant past, we used to see such advertisement in the doors of shops.
Business was temporarily stopped to make a list of the remaining commodities and see what needed to be bought for the coming year.
New stocks were ordered, or not renewed, according to the outcome of this important activity: an inventory.
And, for this operation, the shop was CLOSED.

Strangely enough, this memory came back to me with the text of the 1st reading of this Sunday (Acts 14:21-27).
Speaking of Paul and Barnabas, the last verse tells us:

“They assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them.”
 
To me this is an invitation to… make an inventory of a special kind with the clear sign: OPEN!
Open our awareness,
open the treasure of our memories,
open our daily experience, to uncover what is hidden there!

Have you ever made such an inventory – of all that God has done with you?
All that God has done in you, for you, through you…
I think that you may be quite surprised with the outcome.
It may be an experience providing you with some astonishing discovery.
And it may give you much encouragement…

All too often, we take for granted much of what God does for us and, yes, with us.
This Sunday may be a good occasion to have a look again at our daily life and activities and…
see from a different perspective what may lie behind the obvious.
A rewarding exercise of… ‘stock taking’!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/

Source: Images: Owler   Pexels

4th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019

Many people are familiar with this English expression: “To hold on for dear life.”
Its meaning is obvious: it involves holding on tightly to someone, or something, not to fall.

Hearing this expression recently, I went on thinking that, in life, there are quite a few occasions when we must do this.
Not always in a practical manner, but metaphorically, quite often! 
There are situations when we struggle not to give up, or give in…
We have to call on all our resources to face what life presents us with – problems, difficulties, or challenges.
We may feel we do not have what is required to overcome whatever obstacle is on our way.

We do hold on… for dear life!
But to what, or to whom?…

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (Ap.7:9,14-17) speaks of:
“the people who have been through the great persecution.”
 
The book of Apocalypse (or Revelation), has been written to encourage those in that situation.
Its author, John the apostle, wanted his words to bring comfort to those facing persecution because of their being followers of Christ.
In the first centuries after the death and Resurrection of Jesus, many believers had to suffer cruelly and even die for his sake.

What was enabling them, precisely, to hold on for dear life?
Surely, Christ himself, and most probably the conviction expressed in the last verse of the reading:
“God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
 
A conviction that could help many of us to follow the same path… holding on for dear life…
with the same faith and with no less courage.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: iStock

 

 

3rd Easter Sunday, Year C – 2019

Last Sunday’s reflection brought us to realize that God – our God – is a surprising God.
He does things, and relates to people, often in a manner that is not what we would expect from him.
He shows this constantly in our own lives, if we only take time to notice it!

In today’s gospel text (Jn.21:1-19), there is an interesting detail that illustrates this.
When the apostles return from the lake with an amazing catch of fish, totally unexpected,
they see on the shore Jesus near a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Breakfast has been prepared and is ready for them!

But then, Jesus tells them:
“Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” (v.10)
 
This is, shall I say, typical of God!
While some of us are not keen on… collaboration, God is.
This seems to be his preferred mode of action: interaction!
He does not want only to do things for us but he wants our cooperation.
He wants our contribution to the great things he is ready to work in our lives and in our world.

It is not often the idea we have of Someone with almighty power as we believe God to be!
But then, our God is not just ‘a’ god, he is the God of Jesus.
He who has become one of us to live with us as one of us.

Something we have never finished learning and reminding ourselves of!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in English at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: Free Bible Images

2nd Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019

Today’s gospel text (Jn.20:19-31) is rather discrete in terms of the apostles’ reaction to Jesus sudden appearance to them on Easter Sunday.
John simply tells us that “The disciples were filled with joy.”
 
In his telling of the same happening, Luke says that they were “in a state of alarm and fright as they thought they were seeing a ghost.” (Lk.24:37).
 
As I try to picture the scene and imagine what the apostles must have felt, the words that come to me to describe them are: surprised, astonished, amazed… utterly dumbfounded!
They knew that Jesus had been nailed on a cross (we can suppose that John who was present had given them some of the details…) and a soldier had pierced his side with a lance (Jn.19:26).
He had died, there was no doubt about this.

And now, suddenly, absolutely unexpected, there he is in front of them – ALIVE!
The word ‘surprise’ is hardly strong enough to mention what the apostles experienced at that moment.

Writing the word ‘surprise’, I recall a book published some years ago entitled: God of surprises (Gerard W. Hughes).
It may not be an attribute that is often given to God, but personally I believe it is very appropriate.

Looking at my life, what happened in the distant past and more recently, I can vouch for this truth:
God is indeed a surprising God!

  • Surprising in his amazing creativity,
  • surprising in his tremendous generosity,
  • surprising in his unfailing forgiveness,
  • surprising in his unfathomable understanding,
  • surprising in his permanent presence… in spite of sometimes having to wait for a welcome!

Surprising, absolutely!
Have you not noticed this for yourself?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/
And a video (in English) is also offered where the second part of the gospel is presented: https://image-i-nations.com/thomas-the-apostle/

Source: Image: pinterest.com

Thomas, the apostle

He was one of the Twelve, yes,
he had been following the Man of Nazareth;
but so often he did not understand what he said and did.
Until the end and then… he understood even less…
Three years of his life lost… How could this be?
But he is no longer ‘doubting Thomas’, he assures us.