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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 C

Daily life imposes on us a fair share of difficult things to do –

  • tasks to take care of
  • chores to be done
  • appointments to remember
  • commitments to honour…

Some pleasant perhaps, others much less so.
We feel obliged, day in, day out, to make efforts, to overcome our inclination to take things a little easy.
We may have the impression that we must constantly… stretch ourselves!

So, it comes as good news indeed when someone offers to take his/her share of the burden.
God himself is ready to do so!
This is exactly what is offered to us on this Sunday (2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C – Ph.1:4-6,8-11).
In the second reading, we hear Paul assuring the Philippians of this:

“I am quite certain that the one who began this good work in you
will see that it is finished.”

The good work is the one mentioned in last Sunday’s text of Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Th.3:12 – 4:2):
living a life pleasing to God, aiming at being holy.
Surely not a life-style that is easy to make our own!
But we are not asked, or expected, to do this by ourselves – we forget this so easily!
It is GOD’S WORK IN US.

In the chapter following the one of today’s reading, Paul will repeat to the first Christians:
“It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”    (Ph.2:13)
It cannot be clearer: why are we so reluctant to believe it and… rely on it?!

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

 
Source: Image:  Pinterest

International Volunteer Day – 5 December

The United Nations (UN) annually observes the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5. The day, which is also known as International Volunteer Day (IVD), gives volunteers a chance to work together on projects and campaigns promoting their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels.

Each year UN General Assembly invites governments to observe the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on December 5 (A/RES/40/212 of 17 December 1985). As a result of the resolution from December 17, 1985, governments, the UN, and civil society organizations work together with volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on December 5 each year.

In 2001, the International Year of Volunteers, the Assembly adopted a set of recommendations on ways that governments and the UN could support volunteering and asked that they be widely disseminated. The International Year of Volunteers aimed to stimulate national and international policy debate around, and to advocate for, recognizing, facilitating, networking and promoting voluntary action. The year led to a much better appreciation of the power of volunteerism in its many forms and the ways to support it.

Source: Text: www.timeanddate.com  Image: volunteeringnz.org.nz

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3 December

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.

The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities.

Empowerment involves investing in people – in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.

Source: Text: www.awaarenessdays.com  Image: UN

1st Sunday of Advent, Year C

Of all the prophets we are familiar with, Jeremiah may not stand out as a prophet of… joy!
He is well-known for his Lamentations!

Yet on this 1st Sunday of Advent his message is a reassuring one (Jer.33:14-16).
He tells us who our God is as he speaks of him as:

“The Lord-our-integrity”.
 
Is it not encouraging to know that the integrity we strive for is ours… in the Lord?
The perfection we make efforts to achieve is… a given!
The holiness we are told we should aim at is offered to us –
it is being fashioned in us by God himself!

Of course, we must strive, and make efforts, and do our best,
but all of this in order to welcome God-our-integrity.
This is the true meaning of Advent!

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

Source: Image: Chabad.org

34th Sunday of Year B – Feast of Christ the King

If you were to see the Prime Minister helping the janitor to clean the offices,
you would probably be shocked.

If you came to meet the CEO of a big company and found him serving at table during the Christmas party,
you would probably be astonished.

If you saw the General Manager of the National Bank washing dishes in a refugee center,
you would most likely be amazed.

And yet… yet… God, OUR God is a… servant-God!
Are we not amazed? Astonished? Shocked?

He never wore a crown other than a crown of thorns. 
Are we ready to accept this kind of King?

Accept this King and be ready to serve one another as he asked us to do –
having done it for us all his life unto death? (Jn.13:14-17)

Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-/fete-du-christ-roi/

Source : Image : 123RF.com

Universal Children’s Day – 20 November

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.

Background
On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day to encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children’s Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this recommendation and the Universal Children’s Day has since been annually observed on November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate this day.

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: YouTube

33rd Sunday of Year B

The gospel texts are rich – rich in many ways – and the teaching they give us is precious.
Precious but not always easy to understand…

The words of this Sunday’s gospel (33rd Sunday of Year B – Mk.13:24-32) can be frightening.
“The sun darkened, the moon losing its brightness, the stars falling…”
We may be tempted to let such words pass by and not give them too much attention.
We may be thinking that, after all, this is a way of speaking that was used in the past
and is not appropriate for our time.

It is true that this kind of imagery was used in the Jewish literature of long ago.
Still, today’s gospel has a valuable message for us.
I found it in one short sentence:

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree…”
 
Strange… we are not told to learn first from the stars or planets behaving in an unusual way,
but from… a fig tree (common in Jesus’ country – we could speak here of an apple tree).
We are to observe and be taught by ordinary things –
the common and the usual can have a message for us, a message for our day-to-day living.

This was Jesus’ method when he taught. He was saying:
“Look at the flowers of the field, look at the birds of the air…” (Mt.6:26-30),
He spoke of a hen with her chicks (Mt.23:37),
of sheep (Lk.15:3-7),
of a lost coin (Lk.15:8-10),
of a mustard seed (Mk.4:30-32),
of yeast in the dough (Mt.13:33) –
of so many things familiar, yes, but rich with meaning.

Perhaps, what we are to do is simply… look and see, and…
find the meaning hidden there for us!
 
Note: another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/33e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source : Images : Daily Express   QUT – Research

International Day for Tolerance – 16 November

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed on November 16 to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.

Background
In 1996 the UN General Assembly invited member states to observe the International Day for Tolerance on November 16, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public (resolution 51/95 of 12 December). This action came in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the assembly in 1993 (resolution 48/126). The year was declared on the General Conference of UNESCO’s initiative. On November 16, 1995, the UNESCO member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the year.

The 2005 World Summit Outcome document outlines the commitment of Heads of State and Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

Source: Text: timeanddate.com Image: catholicworkreport.com

(National) World Recycling Day 2018 – November 15

Ready to start recycling?

We hope so, because according to “National Geographic,” each American sends 64 tons of waste to the landfill during his/her lifetime. And considering there are more than 325 million of us in the U.S. alone, that’s 246 million tons of waste being generated each year. Thankfully, the aim of National Recycling Day on November 15 is to encourage Americans to purchase recycled products. By reducing our waste and increasing our recycling, we can convert waste into reusable material — and help save our planet in the process!

It can truly change the world
Think just one person can’t make a difference? Lauren Singer developed a zero-waste lifestyle where she’s able to reduce, reuse and recycle everything she consumes. She’s got this down to a science — and is now able to fit all of the trash she’s produced within the last four years in a single mason jar. Her website proves that if everyone lived similarly, waste wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem.

Note: The National Recycling Day has become a ‘World Recycling Day’.

Source: Text: https:nationalday.com Image shutterstock

 

World Diabetes Day – 14 November

World Diabetes Day was first introduced in 1991, and founded by both the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization. In reaction to the rise in cases of Diabetes worldwide, it was decided to choose a day of the year to raise awareness of Diabetes and related causes. The day chosen was the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, a medical scientist who co-discovered Insulin and was the first person to use it on humans.

The theme of World Diabetes Day regularly changes. For example, the theme for the day between 2009 and 2013 was education and prevention, and in the past such themes have been used such as human rights, lifestyle, obesity, the disadvantaged and vulnerable, and children/teenagers. Various events around the world mark the day including raising awareness in the media, lectures and conferences, sporting events, and leaflet/poster campaigning. “Going blue” is another global event to mark the day, where people wear blue and landmark buildings and monuments around the world are lit up in blue, to help spread awareness of the day.

Source: Text: daysoftheyear.com Image: Medindia