hello

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.

 

5th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

We try to live as followers of Jesus.
We do our best to be faithful to what he asks from us.
We make special efforts to carry out what we believe is his will.
But . . .

But, when we look at the result of our efforts, we may lose heart.
We may feel discouraged at seeing the outcome of what we thought was our best…

If so, today’s message in the 2nd reading (1 Jn.3:18-24) is meant for us –
meant to give us comfort.

The apostle John writing to the first Christians assures them:

“If our hearts condemn us,
we know that God is greater than our hearts,
and he knows everything.”
 
What an encouraging thought!
What a truly wonderful reality: God knows, God understands!

God knows our inner feelings, he is aware of our good intentions.
He understands – so much better than we do – that we do not always succeed in doing what we would like to do.
We are not always able to be the person that we would like to become.
We are not yet the ‘ideal self’ that we want to be.

He knows that we are still on the way and… he walks on that way with us!
So, one more step today is what he accepts, ready to wait for what we see as our slow progress,
and not condemning us for it, simply walking with us.

Truly, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Quotefancy

4th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

It happens that, all of a sudden, two children start quarreling while each one claims:
“My father is stronger than yours.”
Or, “My father is more clever than yours, he can do this and that…”

We smile at such a behavior and we understand clearly that what is at stake is
the child’s pride at being the son, or the daughter, of that father who is so strong, so clever!

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (4th Easter Sunday, year B) is very short (1 John 3:1-2).
Yes, the text of John’s first epistle given to us has only two verses but they express an amazing message.
They invite us to become aware of who we are.

“Beloved, now are we the children of God.”
 
Probably, most of you reading these lines have been baptized long ago.
Has it ever happened to you, even only once, that you said to yourself:
I AM the child of God?
Have you ever had this experience of a sudden flash of awareness prompting you to exclaim:
“But it is true, I AM God’s son, God’s daughter!”?

If you have, I would venture to think that you still remember that occasion as a blessed experience.
This Sunday may be a good moment to recapture this graced happening and… repeat it with renewed thanksgiving to HIM – your Father…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

 Source: Image: Inspirational Bible Verse Images – Knowing Jesus

Earth Day – 22 April 2021

Climate change and other environmental degradations have broken our natural systems, leading to new and fatal diseases as well as a breakdown of the global economy. But just as climate change and coronavirus painfully remind us of the harm we’ve caused, Restore Our Earth reminds us of the opportunities that lay ahead.

We must Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.

One effort after Earth Day 2021 will be our global push for climate literacy, so the leaders of tomorrow can prepare solutions today.

Source: Text & Image: earth.org

3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

If asked about someone – whether we know the person or not – we may reply that we know of him, or her.
On the other hand, we may answer that we know him, or her – and there is a difference.
In the first instance, we may have heard about someone, or read some of his/her writings, or seen photos of them.
But we would not claim to know that person.

We are all aware that there are degrees of knowing.
We are conscious that claiming to know someone involves a relationship –
someone may be an acquaintance, a distant relative, or a close friend.

This reflection came to me as I read the gospel text of this 3rd Sunday of Easter (Lk.24:35-48).
Jesus appeared to the group of his apostles and…

“They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

The apostles knew Jesus – they had lived with him for three years, or so.
They could have claimed to know him… quite well.
Yet, they would have probably admitted that, very often, they did not understand him.
And, on that night, they simply failed to recognize him.

Their knowledge of him had to grow and somehow be transformed.
They knew him as Jesus, the former carpenter, or Jesus, the Man of Nazareth.
Now, they had to recognize in him more than that… they had to know him as the Risen Lord.
 
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

I believe that such a growth must be part of my own relationship with God.
God may have been the God of my childhood, and the God of my youth.
He may have remained my God when I became an adult, but… did he remain the same?
And, if I have reached the ‘golden age’, is he still the same for me, as he was before?

Some may hasten to reply that, of course, God is the same, they will claim that God does not change.
This may be correct in some way.
But I have changed, and I believe that my understanding of God should somehow grow with me…

For me too, God must open my mind so that I may understand who he truly is… now…
And he may reveal himself in other ways – surprising and wonderful – as I walk with him from day to day.

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

 

Source: Images: Bearing the Cross – Altervista

2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

Thomas, the apostle, has been blamed and praised probably in equal measure!
We meet him in the second part of today’s gospel (Jn.20:19-31).
It is obvious that he could speak his mind and was not easily influenced by other people.

His companions tell him that they have seen Jesus, yes, the Lord who is risen.
To Thomas, what the other apostles claim is simply impossible, it cannot be.
He will not accept such a thing, they are dreaming.
To him, his friends are mistaken, they take their hopes for reality.
Thomas tells them clearly:

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
and put my finger in the mark of the nails,
and my hand in his side,
I will not believe.”
 
One week goes by…
One week of denying… questioning himself… weighing possibilities…
Recognizing the impossibility… and then…

Recognizing the Lord himself!
A recognition that expresses itself in words that Christians have been repeating for centuries.
“My Lord and my God!”
 
From disbelief to adoration!

Thomas’ journey… which could be mine…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

Thomas introduces himself in the following video at: https://youtu.be/kp1eb-oBH6w

  

Source: Image: Twitter St. Mary’s School

Easter Sunday, Year B – 2021

Searching for Jesus – many of us do this at different moments of our lives.
We sometimes lament his absence.
We find it difficult to locate the places where, according to us, he should be found.
It seems to us that we know where he ought to be!

The gospel text of the pascal vigil (Mark 16:1-7) shows us three women who were convinced of the same thing.
They knew where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had buried Jesus.
So, they were carrying spices to anoint his body laid in the tomb.

But as they arrive at the place, they receive a message rather astonishing:
“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.
He has risen! He is not here.”

A man who is known to have died, is alive!
While his body should be resting in Jerusalem, the women are told he is waiting in Galilee.
But the messenger adds: “Just as he told you.”
 
Is the same experience not happening to us from time to time?
We need to look for Jesus… somewhere else than where we thought we would find him.
We must realize that he is alive, yes, alive and present to what we live day after day.
And we should remember… what he has told us!
 
Learning anew the meaning of his resurrection…

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

 

Source: Image: Pinterest

Good Friday, Year B – 2021

Good Friday… a day unlike all others.
The day of the Passion of the Lord.
A day when things happen and people behave in such strange ways…

The soldiers have arrested Jesus.
Jesus is brought to Annas – Annas sends Jesus to Caiaphas (Jn.18:13-14).
Jesus is brought to Pilate – Pilate sends Jesus to Herod.
Jesus is brought to Herod – Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate (Lk.23:1-12).
Pilate tells the Jews to deal with Jesus – the Jews tell Pilate it is up to him to condemn Jesus (Jn.18:31).
Pilate tries to free Jesus – The Jews want Barrabas to be freed (Mt.27:17,20).

Washing of hands… it seems no one is ready to accept responsibility… (Mt.27:25).
A serious question: “What is truth?”… but no listening to the reply… (Jn.18:38).
A day when long-time disciples run away… (Mk.14:50).
A day when a close friend denies even knowing his friend… (Mt.26:69-75).

Some time before this fateful week, Jesus had said:
“Now my soul is troubled.
And what should I say: ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”    (John 12:27)
 
And for what reason?
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1)
No wonder that we call this day: GOOD Friday!

 

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/vendredi-saint-annee-b-2021/

 
Source: Images: Devotion to Our Lady   jesus-story.net    Heartlight   Pinterest   17QQ

Holy Thursday, Year B – 2021

What has been called: The Last Supper of Jesus with his twelve apostles was a very solemn moment indeed.
It seems that, on such very special occasions, Peter always came up with some special… interventions!

After the amazing catch of fish he and his friends had taken on Jesus’ indication, Peter had said:
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” (Lk.5:8)
 
Then, a few times, Jesus had warned his apostles of what would happen to him and, again, Peter had intervened saying:
“Heaven forbid, Lord. This will never happen to you!” (Mt.16:22)
 
And, tonight, as Jesus kneels before him to wash his feet, Peter has a strong objection:
“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
And he insists:
“You will never wash my feet!” (Jn.13:6,8)
 
Jesus replies to him:
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” (Jn.13:8)
 
This reference to Jesus’ relationship with Peter overcomes his resistance.
This is what changes his mind, his attitude, and no doubt, his heart too!
His spontaneous reactions and his sudden exclamations become subdued…

To accept Jesus is to accept all of him – what he proposes, what he offers, what he asks for…
The gesture of Jesus is a sign and Peter must accept the sign if he wants the relationship with Jesus to endure and to deepen –
it is as simple as that.

Could it be that this is also what I am faced with on this Holy Thursday?…

 
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/jeudi-saint-annee-b-2021/
 

 

Source: Image: TurnbackToGod.com

Palm Sunday, Year B – 2021

At the mention of Palm Sunday, the scene immediately comes to mind (Mark 11:1-10).
The scene, and the actors as well.

  • Two disciples are sent by Jesus to bring him a colt tied, on which no one has sat”.
  • Some people observing the disciples’ intervention object but finally accept.
  • Many people spread clothes on the road, they wave branches in welcome.
  • They acclaim Jesus as the one who comes in the name of the Lord”.
  • The Pharisees protest at this glorious welcome (Luke 19:40).
  • Jesus tells them: “If they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.”

An event that took place some 2000 years ago.
A scene of the distant past.
And yet…
A reality ever present.
A message ever meaningful.
A coming ever happening…

WE could be in our world today…
Those who are sent by Jesus…
Those who object or protest…
Those who welcome and acclaim…

On this Palm Sunday, I ask myself: ‘Where do I stand?’
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/dimanche-des-rameaux-annee-b-2021/

 

 

Source: Image: Meridian Magazine

5th Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2021

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (He.5:7-9) gives us a text that is quite surprising:

“In the days of His flesh, when He (Christ) had offered up prayers and supplications, 
with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death,
and was heard because of His godly fear, 
though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
 
Taken one by one, the texts of Scripture give us messages that nourish our reflection.
But taken as a group, they can offer an overall picture that is quite challenging.
This is what I have found out when I gathered together some chosen texts.

“The Word became flesh.” (Jn.1:14)
 
“God sent his Son, born of a woman.” (Galatians 4:4)
 
He (Jesus) went down with them (Mary and Joseph) and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them…
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:51-52)
 
“My soul is troubled.” (John 12:27 – today’s gospel)
“He was troubled in spirit.” (John 13:21)
 
“Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
 
« Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. »
When he had said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)
 
This is our CREED – the faith in what theologians call ‘the mystery of INCARNATION.’
The mystery of a God so unlike what we perhaps think God should be!

A God who is born of a human mother.
A God who grows up like all children do.
A God who obeys human beings.
A God who is troubled and experiences great fear and anguish.
A God who dies as we will all do…

This is OUR God – so much like us in so many things…
Calling us to be like God… nothing less.

 Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: pinterest.com