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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 Year A – 2019

When keying in a text on the computer, it happens that we write a word incorrectly.
A red line appears under the faulty text and we know that a correction is required.

Practising a sport of any kind, we know from experience that we must sometimes change our technique.
A type of movement – a shot, a stretch or a sprint – may need to be corrected also.

As we travel to a certain place, we may suddenly realise that we have lost our way.
We need to turn back and take another direction.

We do it constantly and in all kinds of situations: correct, adjust, redress.
Why would we not do it with… our lives as Christians?

In a forceful manner, this is what John the Baptist calls us to do in today’s gospel (Mt.3:1-12).
He repeats that we need to REPENT.
The word may not sound appealing and what it asks of us may not appear promising.
Yet, we know that it happens that our lives need some correction and adjustment.

Another translation speaks of CONVERSION – literally this means a change of direction.
A turning back to find and take a new orientation.
It is as simple as that!
Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

But we are not expected to do this on our own.
God’s Spirit will enable us to take the direction leading us on the way of Christ.
In the 1st reading, Isaiah speaks of this “Spirit of wisdom, insight and power” (Is.11:1-10).
He is always ready to help us if only we ask him to do so…

This is what it means to be a ‘follower of Christ’: walking as he walked in the direction he took.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-a-2019/

 

Source: Images: Free Bible Images   Resources for Catholic Education

 

 

 

 

 

1st Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2019

Many people resent being told what to do!
And… we know that the giving of advice is not always welcome.
Of course, much depends on who gives the advice!

During the period of Advent starting today, the Scripture readings often remind us about living with careful attention.
We are told to be mindful of how we live and be ready for the Lord’s coming.

Today’s gospel (Mt.24:37-44) is one of them.
“So you also must be ready,
because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

We believe that such texts refer to the coming of the Lord at the end of time.
But what about in the meantime? The time between now and… the end?
It is to be expected that, before the end of time, there will be the end of our time – the moment of our death.
We may life to think that… this is not just yet but… we do not know.

But the best way to prepare for ‘the end’, would it not be to welcome the Lord’s coming every day?
Because he does come every day… often unnoticed, unrecognized, unattended to… but come, he does!
His presence is usually silent, discreet, yet real and personal.
It can make itself experienced in:

  • The words of a book opening up new perspectives…
  • A sudden inspiration to help someone in need…
  • Words of encouragement received from a colleague…
  • Some unexpected gift from a neighbour…
  • The feeling of peace at the sight of a beautiful landscape…
  • A flash of insight into who HE is…
  • An impulse to start on a new way of living the gospel…
  • Or, simply the unmistaken realisation that he is indeed present here and now.

Yes, he does come indeed!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/1er-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-a-2019/

 

Source: Image: Bible Verses

34th Sunday of Year C – 2019 : Feast of Christ the King

Some writer with a sense of humour gave today’s gospel a striking title:
“The good thief who stole… heaven!”

It is interesting to note that, on today’s feast – the celebration of Christ the King –
we are given this gospel text to reflect upon (Lk.23:35-43). 
It presents us with the picture of a king… crucified!
Not an inspiring sight in any way…

The leaders of the Jews sneer him.
The soldiers mock him.
One of the thieves taunts him.
And his followers are at a loss to make sense of what is happening.

Yet, it is to him, known as ‘the man of Nazareth’ that the thief – identified by tradition as Dismas –
addresses his prayer.
More of a desperate cry, this very short petition is all that was needed.
This man had recognized so much more than a king!

“Remember me…”
A cry of faith, words uttered in desperation or… the expression of amazing hope…
It remains valid and so very meaningful to this day:
“Remember me…”

This prayer could be ours, whatever our situation… no matter our desperation…

Note another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019-fete-du-christ-roi/

 

Source: Image: cccmurphysboro.wordpress.com

33rd Sunday of Year C – 2019

People sometimes say that poets and prophets have a way with words.
This expression means that poets and prophets have the gift of stirring up our imagination.
They offer us… visions!
Yes, they enable us to see things we had not perceived, or to see familiar things in a new way.

This is the case with Prophet Malachi that we meet in the 1st reading of today’s celebration (Mal.3:20 or, 4:2)
His message offers us the image, more still, the promise of God’s coming to us.
Coming to us like the welcome warmth of the sun – a sun that brings HEALING. 
 
“The sun of righteousness will rise
with healing in its wings.”

 
Healing… who among us does not need it?
Healing of some physical condition that causes suffering for too long…
Healing of some psychological trait of our personality that can be made less disturbing…
Healing of some memories of the past that are crippling our present…
Healing of some addiction that enslaves us and distorts our relationships with people…

It is offered to us, offered by the One who is always ready to heal in a way beyond expectation,
beyond even what the wildest imagination can suggest.

And, long ago, he has promised:
“Whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (Jn.6:37)
 
It is a promise, HIS promise.

Note: Another reflection is offered on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/33e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: Pinterest.ca

 

 

32nd Sunday of Year C – 2019

We find ourselves in all kinds of situations – some of them bring joy, others, sadness.
Encouraging experiences and dispiriting ones are all part of daily life.
Smiles and tears take turns to express our contentment or our pain.

When we look at what brings pain to us, we sometimes detect one main cause:
it is the unfaithfulness of people dear to us.
The unreliability of neighbours and colleagues may hurt us.
But what is especially distressing is that some of those we truly love can no longer be counted on.
We trusted them, we expected them to be with us at all times, but they have failed us.

Such experiences may lead us – unfortunately – to think that perhaps even… God cannot be relied upon.
If this is so, then the message that the apostle Paul in today’s 2nd reading is encouraging indeed.
It is addressed to the first Christians of Thessalonica (2 Th. 2:16 – 3:5) and Paul assures them:

The Lord is faithful.
 
We can depend on him in all situations, at all times for every kind of need.
Is this not the meaning of FAITHFULNESS?

When writing to his friend Timothy, Paul had told him the same thing and had added (2 Tim.2:13):
“He remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

So we can take heart and find courage, this is a true source of security and hope. 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/32e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: If.radio   daily-bible-verse.net

31st Sunday of Year C – 2019

Every Sunday, we are given some Bible texts to reflect upon.
They help us in different ways:
teaching and instructing us, guiding and inspiring us.

The 1st reading (Wis.11:22 – 12:2) and the Psalm (Ps.145:1-2,8-11,13-14) of this Sunday 
give us a description of God, they tell us what kind of a God he is.
And they tell us of his methodology, the way he is with us, human beings.

The picture of God found in these two texts are amazing!

He is merciful to all and overlooks people’s sins.
He spares all things, he who loves the living.
He corrects little by little those who trespass. (1st reading)

 “The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
    and his compassion is over all that he has made.

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
    and gracious in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
    and raises up all who are bowed down.”   (Psalm)

I wonder how many people reading these lines could say, in all truth:
‘This is exactly how I perceive God’…

So many keep away from him… fear him… do not trust what these texts say of him…
And yet… THIS IS GOD!

Note: A video presents the scene of this Sunday’s gospel, the story of Zacchaeus, at: https://youtu.be/7TIwA1YgPII

And another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/31e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

  

Source: Image: thebottomofabottle.wordpress.com

30th Sunday of Year C – 2019

The gospel of this Sunday (Lk.18:9-14) shows us a man that, nowadays, people would say is ‘full of himself’!
This Pharisee does not hesitate to remind, even God, of all his qualities and good actions.
We justly see his claims for what they are: boasting pure and simple.

But, the 2nd reading (Tm. 4:6-8,16-18) presents us with another man, Paul the apostle,
whose words are also rather astonishing in this respect.
He writes to his friend, Timothy, in these terms:

“I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
 
Before writing these lines, he has admitted: “The time for my departure is near.”
He is aware that soon his life may be coming to an end, he looks back on what his experience has been.
His positive appraisal of his life could sound like boasting but he makes it very clear where his strength has come from:

“The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength…
To him be glory for ever.”
 
Obviously, Paul was not longer the Pharisee he had been!

This is what is expected of us:
the recognition that whatever we manage to do,
whatever we succeed in achieving,
it is God who does it with us and through us.

An additional note is called for: some may argue that it happened that Paul boasted.
This is correct; in 2 Co.11:16, this is what he admits to:

“Let no one take me for a fool.
But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool,
so that I may do a little boasting.”

But he hastens to add:
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”

Who could object to that?!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/30e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: backgroundbible.com

29th Sunday of Year C – 2019

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” 
 
A question that is strange… surprising… shocking even?…
It is not from me, but it is the last line of the gospel text for this Sunday
(29th Sunday of Year C: Luke 18:1-8).
It is somehow… disturbing, and perhaps… it does not fit into our logic.

Last week, the gospel showed us 10 lepers cured by Jesus, one of them coming back to thank him (Lk.18:1-7).
We would expect Jesus to say: “Your gratefulness has saved you.”
But he said: “Your faith has saved you.”
 
When defending Mary of Magdala to the Pharisees with whom he was having a meal (Lk.7:36-50),
Jesus did not say to the sinful woman: “Your sorrow for your sins has saved you”,
but rather: “Your faith has saved you.”

When a paralytic carried on a stretcher by some friends was brought to him (Lk.5:18-25),
Jesus was not touched by their kindness for the man,
but the text says: “When Jesus saw their faith...”
 
When two blind men begged Jesus to give them their sight (Mt.9:27-31),
Jesus asked them one question:
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?

The praise he spoke about the Roman centurion must have incensed Jesus’ fellow Jews (Mt.8:10),
but it expressed clearly Jesus’ deep appreciation:
« Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. »

Faith seems to be the one thing that Jesus wants from us.
What he expects before and above everything else.

And I dare think that this kind of faith is

  • not simply to recite the creed,
  • not only to accept some dogmas,
  • not purely to follow the traditions of the Church.

it is altogether more demanding – asking for a total commitment to Jesus himself.
It entails a trust in him, and a reliance on him, that is beyond… all logic, indeed!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: sermons.faithlife.com

28th Sunday of Year C – 2019

There is an English expression used quite often by people.
It refers to the situation of ‘taking something for granted’.

It describes the attitude of making use of something as if it was ‘normal’ to have it.
We think that a certain object is meant to be at our service.
We assume that somehow we have a ‘right’ to dispose of this item.

This may not be a mistake if the object in question is ours and nobody else has a claim to it.
It is true that our possessions are meant for our own use.

But… what is seriously wrong is when we adopt the same attitude towards people.
And we do, sometimes… take people for granted!
Time and again we expect some people to do things for us, to render services to us,
as if we had a right to their help.
We take their assistance, their kindness, their patience, we take THEM for granted…

Today’s gospel (Lk.17:11-19) shows us 9 men who did exactly this with… Jesus!

And, amazingly, does it not happen that WE, also, take… God for granted?!
His tremendous generosity can be so much part of our lives that we fail to notice it.
We get used to the outpouring of his gifts and blessings, day after day, and we do not acknowledge this with thanksgiving.

This Sunday – and the Feast of Thanksgiving following on Monday – may be ideal occasions to become aware of this
and to say, wholeheartedly, THANK YOU.
THANK YOU to God who delights in showering on us so many good things!

Note: This gospel scene is presented in a video at: https://image-i-nations.com/the-grateful-leper/

Another reflection is also available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/28e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: permahaus.com