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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.

 

7th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Some people delight in finding unusual things, they marvel at extraordinary events.
And, in this day and age, there is plenty to satisfy their search for what is special and exceptional!
The landing of a human being on the moon ranks among such happenings.

The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, is quoted as saying:
« That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. » 

The discoveries in the different fields of science,
the wonderful achievements in medicine,
the sensational realizations of engineering,
the amazing feats of technology –
all this, and more, give sufficient reasons for astonishment.

Personally, I found another reason for astonishment…
It is recorded in the gospel text of today (John 17:20:26).
We find there the words of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper with the apostles on the eve of his death.

Addressing his Father, Jesus says:
“I have loved them even as you have loved me”.

And he asks the Father:
“That the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Who could have imagined such a… reality?
For it is REAL!

To think that a god – no, THE God revealed to us by Jesus as the Father – loves us
with the same love as he loves Jesus, the beloved Son!

Unimaginable! Unbelievable! Unfathomable!…
but TRUE!
Of course… we must believe it…

Belief in science?… Yes.
Belief in human beings?… Yes.
Belief in God?………………

 

Note: Another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/7e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2022/ 

Source: Images: NASA    thebottomofabottle.WordPress.com

Feast of the Ascension, Year C – 2022

Today’s feast is somehow mysterious…
In the 1st reading, we are told that, risen from the dead, Jesus has been appearing to his apostles a number of times (Acts 1:1-11).
A few verses later, we see him disappearing from their sight.

Appearing, disappearing – these two words bring to mind the two realities of presence and absence.
But, more still, they remind us of the two ways of understanding: through seeing and through perceiving.

Personally, I see this feast of the Ascension as an invitation to a new way of recognizing God among us.
It is no longer a presence that our eyes can see but a presence perceived by our hearts.

Our ‘vision’ of God no longer depends on our eyesight but on… our faith!
We no longer rely on what the eyes of our body can ascertain but on what God’s Spirit reveals to us in the depths of ourselves.

This reflection started with referring to this feast as ‘mysterious’.
All too often, people interpret a mystery as something we cannot understand.
This is a short-sighted explanation.
A mystery is rather something so great and so wonderful that we have never finished discovering it!

Exactly as God’s presence with us is!

God’s promise is clear: “Know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time” (Matthew 28:20).
No if… but… perhaps…
Purely and simply Jesus’ promise, God’s promise!

Note: And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lascension-annee-c-2022/

 

Source: Image: Scripture Images

 

Africa Day – 25 May

Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world. The organisation was transformed into the African Union on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, but the holiday continues to be celebrated on 25 May.

Background

The First Congress of Independent African States was held in AccraGhana on 15 April 1958. It was convened by Prime Minister of Ghana Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and comprised representatives from Egypt (then a constituent part of the United Arab Republic), EthiopiaLiberiaLibyaMoroccoSudanTunisia, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon and of the host country Ghana. The Union of South Africa was not invited. The conference showcased progress of liberation movements on the African continent in addition to symbolising the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. Although the Pan-African Congress had been working towards similar goals since its foundation in 1900, this was the first time such a meeting had taken place on African soil.

The Conference called for the founding of an African Freedom Day, a day to « …mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. »

The conference was notable in that it laid the basis for the subsequent meetings of African heads of state and government during the Casablanca Group and the Monrovia Group era, until the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.

 

Source: Text: Wikipedia    Image: facebook

Vesak Day – 16 May 2022

Photo: Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.

« Let us seize this moment of spiritual renewal, and honour Buddha’s wisdom by coming together as one, in solidarity, and shaping a better, more peaceful world for all people. »  UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
« Vesak », the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 B.C., that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away.

The General Assembly, by its resolution 54/115 of 1999, recognized internationally the Day of Vesak to acknowledge the contribution that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, has made for over two and a half millennia and continues to make to the spirituality of humanity. This day is commemorated annually at the UN Headquarters and other UN offices, in consultation with the relevant UN offices and with permanent missions, which also wish to be consulted.

Background

The teachings of the Buddha, and his message of compassion and peace and goodwill have moved millions. Millions around the world follow the teachings of the Buddha and on the Day of Vesak commemorate the birth, the attainment of enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha.

A Message from the former Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, to Buddhists on the Day of Vesak in May 1986 reads:

« For Buddhists everywhere it is indeed a felicitous opportunity, while commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Guatama Buddha, to celebrate his message of compassion and devotion to the service of humanity. This message is today perhaps more relevant than ever before. »

Peace, understanding and a vision of humanity that supersedes national and other international differences are essential if we are to cope with the complexities of the nuclear age.

This philosophy lies at the heart of the Charter of the United Nations and should be prominent in all our thinking, especially during this International Year of Peace »–Javier Perez de Cuellar.

Source: Text: UN  Photo: UNPengfei Mi

International Day for Biological Diversity – 22 May 2022

May 22 is celebrated as International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The day also marks the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The United Nations General Assembly took this decision in December 2000. The day is celebrated every year with different themes to create awareness about the importance of biodiversity. This year’s theme is “We’re part of the solution”.

What is the International Day for Biological Diversity?

The International Day for Biological Diversity is an annual event that celebrates the importance of biodiversity. It is held on May 22nd each year.

The day was first established by the United Nations in 1993. The goal of the day is to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and the need to protect it.

Biodiversity is essential for the survival of all life on Earth. It helps to provide food, water, and other resources that we need to live. Biodiversity also helps to regulate the Earth’s climate and provides a home for millions of species of plants and animals.

The International Day for Biological Diversity is a chance to learn about the importance of biodiversity and what we can do to protect it.

The Different Types of Biological Diversity

There are many different types of biological diversity. Some of the most important types are:

1. Genetic diversity. This is the diversity of genes within a species. It is important because it helps a species to adapt to changing conditions.

2. Species diversity. This is the diversity of different species in an ecosystem. It is important because it helps to maintain the balance of an ecosystem.

3. Ecosystem diversity. This is the diversity of different ecosystems on Earth. It is important because it helps to maintain the planet’s overall biodiversity.

4. Landscape diversity. This is the diversity of different landscapes on Earth. It is important because it helps to provide habitats for different species of plants and animals.

5. Human cultural diversity. This is the diversity of cultures within humanity. It is important because it helps us to understand and appreciate the variety of ways that people live around the world.

International Day for Biological Diversity 2022: Theme

Building a shared future for all life

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is pleased to announce the Biodiversity Day 2022 slogan: “Building a shared future for all life”.

The slogan was chosen to continue building momentum and support for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15).

 

Source: Text & Image: https://newsd.in/international-day-for-biological-diversity-2022

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development – 21 May

Held every year on 21 May, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but also the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development. The United Nations General Assembly first declared this World Day in 2002, following UNESCO’s adoption of the 2001 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, recognizing the need to “enhance the potential of culture as a means of achieving prosperity, sustainable development and global peaceful coexistence.” 

With the adoption in September 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations, and the Resolution A/C.2/70/L.59 on Culture and Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2015 , the message of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is more important than ever. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can best be achieved by drawing upon the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures, and engaging in continuous dialogue to ensure that all members of society benefit from sustainable development. 

Source: Text: Unesco   Image: Depositphotos

International Tea Day – 21 May

Why drink tea?

Tea is a beverage made from the Camellia sinesis plant. Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water. It is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China, but the exact place where the plant first grew is not known. Tea has been with us for a long time. There is evidence that tea was consumed in China 5,000 years ago.

Tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries and is the main means of subsistence for millions of poor families, who live in a number of least developed countries.

The tea industry is a main source of income and export revenues for some of the poorest countries and, as a labour-intensive sector, provides jobs, especially in remote and economically disadvantaged areas. Tea can play a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries, being one of the most important cash crops.

Tea consumption can bring health benefits and wellness due to the beverage’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and weight loss effects. It also has cultural significance in many societies.

International Tea Day

Re-emphasizing the call from the Intergovernmental Group on Tea to direct greater efforts towards expanding demand, particularly in tea-producing countries, where per capita consumption is relatively low, and supporting efforts to address the declining per capita consumption in traditional importing countries, the General Assembly decided to designate 21 May as International Tea Day.

The Day will promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

 

Source: Text: International Tea Day | United Nations     Image: eventlas.com

World Fish Migration Day – 21 May

Global awareness raising event

World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) culminates every two years in a global celebration to create awareness about the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers. This international day of events is coordinated by the World Fish Migration Foundation. On World Fish Migration Day, organizations from around the world coordinate their own event around the common theme of: CONNECTING FISH, RIVERS AND PEOPLE. And this year it’s all about breaking free.

After a year of lockdowns, we all want to break free. With millions of man-made barriers littering the world’s waterways, migratory fish do too! This year we want to celebrate the hundreds of dam removals executed and planned in recent years, and encourage fish heroes far and wide to advocate for free flowing rivers, the removal of barriers, and the return of rivers full of fish! Let’s Break Free!

Source: Text: World Fish Migration Day     Image: RiverWatch

6th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Among us, people, we often exchange services of different kinds.
We go to a neighbor, a friend, a doctor, a teacher, a builder, asking them to provide us with whatever we need at any given time.
And, we do the same… with God!

Very often, our prayer to God takes the form of a petition –
We bring to him all kinds of requests for ourselves and for people dear to us, or people we see in need.
We trust that he will answer our needs, our dreams, our hopes.
And he does so, very often.

But have you realized that, often, God gives us things that we never asked for?
He pours into our lives blessings and gifts that we would have never thought – or dared – to ask him for!

The text of today’s gospel is an obvious example of this (John 14:23-29).
On the eve of his death, Jesus assures his apostles:

“Anyone who loves me… my Father will love them,
and we will come to them
and make our home with them…
the Advocate, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things 
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

Amazing promises indeed!
Gifts we would not have dreamt of!
Relationships we would never have dared to imagine possible!

All this is given freely to “Anyone who loves me…” says Jesus.
Given with no conditions attached other than… our readiness to receive!

 

Note: And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2022/

 

Source: Image: DailyVerses.net

5th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Looking at our lives, we sometimes pause to consider what is important to us.
We may look at this or that aspect and we question what is really… essential!

Our personal needs may first come to our minds.
And, of course, our relationships with the people near and dear to us are most important.

But… something is still missing… which can be found in a verse of today’s 1st reading (Acts 14:21-27).
It speaks of the two apostles, Paul and Barnabas, and says:
“Paul and Barnabas… committed the Elders of the communities to the Lord in whom they had put their trust”.

 To be committed to the Lord and put our trust in him – is this not essential to our very being?

Committed to the Lord by the people who love us, the people to whom we really matter –
this is, in fact, the best gift they can give to us.

Committed to the Lord also as something that WE, ourselves, do.
Committed, being engaged in an on-going relationship with him.
Committed, being faithful to what we know he expects from us.

A commitment which supposes that we have put our trust in him.
We have confided to him whatever is important to us,
we rely on him in all situations,
we surrender to him the small and big things of our daily life,
we confide to him our very selves.

I have noted with interest that in one version of the Bible, the word ‘believe’ is translated by ‘to trust’, ‘to rely on’.
This rendering of the text places faith in a perspective that offers all at once security and serenity…

 

Note: And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2022/

 

Source: Image: Commonweal Magazine