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.

 

18th Sunday of Year B – 2021

In the 1st reading of today’s celebration (Ex.16:2-4,12-15), we meet people greatly annoyed and showing clearly their discontent.
They grumble about their situation and reproach their leader, Moses, for having taken them where they are.

Their attitude is quite surprising:
We would think they would rejoice at having been freed from slavery and all its misery.
But they now regret their previous situation where they could enjoy bread and meat.

And in a parallel text they will even lament:
also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic” (Numbers 11:5).

Fast forward to the 21st century, to ourselves… and our own regrets!
Regrets… We all have some and for different reasons…

            • Failure in a business venture due to laziness.
            • Cherished goals not pursued through a lack of perseverance.
            • Dreams abandoned without reflection.
            • Repeated broken relationships out of selfishness.
            • Missed opportunities in many areas of life.
            • Dissatisfaction with the present when the past was so much better, it seems…

The ever-present temptations lurk in the dark area of our hearts:
lamenting, complaining, grumbling against others, searching for a scapegoat to escape responsibility…
All these will certainly not bring us to the ‘promised land’ – the land of serenity and happiness.

God is ready to give us what we need to sustain us on the way.
As he did for the people of Israel, he will provide us with whatever will enable us to keep going on the way.
He, himself, assures us:

“Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”

 The assurance of his presence should be enough to renew our confidence and restore our peace of mind.

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Joanne Viola  

17th Sunday of Year B – 2021

The methodology of… God can be quite surprising and sometimes rather upsetting – we have all experienced it!
He has told us about this long ago through his prophet, Isaiah, when he said openly:

“My ways are not your ways” (Is.55:8).
But it seems that we do not get used to this easily…

This thought came to me as I read the gospel text of this Sunday (Jn.6:1-15).
A crowd has been listening to Jesus’ teaching for a long time and he does not want to send them back without giving them something to eat.

 So, he asks his apostle, Philip, where they could get food for all those people.
The text says:
 
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do”.
A little frustrating for poor Philip, if he knew… he, too, has to learn God’s ways!

But then, Jesus provides the food and we are told that the people were given “as much as they wanted”.
I said Jesus provides but, in fact, a child has made this abundant feast possible with his contribution.

So, after all, God’s methodology is not one of refusal, or measured provision, but an abundance of gifts and blessings.
And, often through our own sharing with those around us!

How long do we still need to understand?…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: Jesus Film Project

World Snake Day – 16 July

Snakes have gotten something of a bad rap over the past few thousand years. What with that one snake tricking that nice lady into eating an apple way back when, thus condemning the entire human race to mortality, snakes have been mistrusted if not flat-out feared.

And while it is understandable that people may fear an animal that can easily kill them, we think these fascinating, diverse creatures that range from several inches to 30 feet long, and from friendly and docile to aggressive and deadly, deserve for people to find out more about them.

Did you know that there are more than 3,5000 species of a snake around the world? Of the 3,500 species of a snake around the world, there are only around 600 that are venomous. This is less than 25 percent of snakes! There are only 200 species of snake that pose a considerable risk to human life as well. Therefore, snakes are nowhere near as worrying or scary as we think they are. Of course, this does not mean that you should go up and start petting any snake that you come across! However, it is definitely something to think about.

History of World Snake Day

The snake is one of the oldest mythological characters and has been revered by civilizations the world over. There are about 3,458 species of snakes known so far, ranging from the semi-frozen tundra of northern Canada to the steamy jungles of the equator and most of the world’s oceans. Snakes are highly effective predators and play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature in each of these realms. Snakes are also fascinating in that they have a prehistoric lineage, thus giving us a glimpse back to a prehistoric time when the earth was ruled by reptiles — many people have no idea that modern reptiles are literally the living, breathing cousins of dinosaurs.

The species that seem to fascinate people the most are the King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world most people have seen in movies being coaxed out of a basket by a snake charmer; the Rattlesnake, that has forced countless people to suck its poison out of the bite before it’s too late; and the Reticulated Python, the world’s longest snake that kills its prey by strangling it.

World Snake Day was created to help people learn more about these animals and how much they contribute to the world as we know it.

 

Source: Text & Image: Days of the Year

16th Sunday of Year B – 2021

It has been said that more than food, drink, or rest, what a human being needs is meaning.
What is most necessary, in life, is a sense of direction, a purpose for living.
The statistics about suicide given in the media support this affirmation.

This thought came to me as I read the gospel text of this Sunday (Mark 6:30-34).
In the scene presented to us, we see Jesus concerned about his apostles.
As they return from their teaching tour, Jesus is aware that they need to rest for a while.
To rest and to eat, because people are coming to listen to Jesus in such great numbers that his apostles have no time even to eat.

With them, Jesus crosses the lake to a lonely place, but the crowd has guessed their intention and meets them there.
Seeing these people in search of him, Jesus perceives their need:
the need to hear from him the words that give meaning to their existence.
They have discovered that his message gives a sense of direction to their daily life.

They, who are “like sheep without a shepherd” have found in Jesus the Shepherd who can guide them to what they want to be and to become.

If we think seriously about it, what all of us need, is it not a reason to live and… a reason to die?…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/16e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: thechurchnews.com

15th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Many of us have collected, over the years, some pictures – photos of ourselves and our loved ones.
From time to time, we take out an album, or an envelope, where these souvenirs are safely kept.
We enjoy going through these mementoes and see what we looked like at different periods of our lives.

Do you have a picture of yourself as… a Christian, yes, as a follower of Christ?
I suppose that you wonder what this could be…

The different Bible texts that we are given to reflect upon each Sunday can serve this purpose:
to give us a picture of what a Christian looks like.
It happens that what is given to us to ponder over is absolutely… amazing!

Amazing because of what it says about God, yes, but amazing also because of what it tells us about ourselves!
The image of what a Christian is, what we are and what we have been made for.
It is the case with the 2nd reading of this Sunday where we find Paul’s words to the Ephesians (Eph.1:3-12). 

“The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us…
He chose us…
He determined that we should become his adopted sons (and daughters)…
He has let us know the mystery of his plan…
We were claimed as God’s own…
We have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit…”
 
I look at the words, I read again each sentence, and I find it absolutely astonishing!
This is what we are meant to be… if only we accept it!

Some will exclaim: “It is too good to be true!”
I personally believe that, since God is involved, it is too good NOT to be true!”

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/15e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Twitter

14th Sunday of Year B – 2021

  Those who study the history of religions usually describe in detail their origin, the beliefs of different groups, their rituals, and the practices of their followers.

They present the attributes of the deity, or god, often referred to in the plural as there are many supernatural beings invoked.

 

One thing is of particular interest: the gods are shown as all-powerful trying to enforce their will on all.
They may even fight one another to impose their rule and obtain the allegiance of all the people concerned.

This came back to me as I read the 2nd reading of this Sunday (2 Cor.12:7-10) where Paul writes to the first Christians of Corinth.
He speaks of his own experience saying how he repeatedly pleaded with God to be freed from what he saw as a weakness in himself.

He then shares with the Corinthians God’s reply to him:
“My power is made perfect in weakness.”
 
An amazing statement, absolutely – it almost sounds… ‘ungodly’!
Our God does not want to overcome us with his power – he wants to draw us to himself in meekness.
The prophets and the psalms speak of kindness, gentleness, tenderness. (Psalm 103;  Jeremiah 31:3,9;  Hosea 11:3-4)

Ours is a humble God.
In Jesus, this is how he presents himself:
“I am gentle and humble in heart.”   (Matthew 11:29)

Can you believe it?!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/14e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/
 

Source: Images:   Egyptian gods: PhilArchive      Greek gods: education.toutcomment.com     Roman gods: vecteezy.com

13th Sunday of Year B – 2021

The woman we meet in today’s gospel (Mark 5:21-43) was affected with a disease considered shameful in her society – 
a condition that should be kept well hidden.
But well hidden also was the woman’s secret hope.

She had been hoping before, going from one doctor to another, spending all her money, and the disease never left her.
But this time, things could be different, she thought.
Now, her hope was strong and daring because of her faith in the Man of Nazareth.

She did not want to be seen, she did not want people in the crowd to know, but she was brave.
Her courage would bring her close to the Teacher.
She would find a way to come so close that she would be able to touch his garment.

She did and, immediately, her faith brought about what she had hoped for.
She was healed and she was praised, in front of everyone, by this Man who had cured her, freeing her from pain and shame.

Leaving for a moment this crowd of the time of Jesus, I look at the crowds of our time…

  • crowds at sports competitions of all kinds,
  • crowds at cultural events of all descriptions,
  • crowds at camping sites and beach resorts,
  • crowds in churches, yes, liturgical gatherings…

I ask myself: among all those people, are there some with this kind of deep faith and daring hope?…
And, closer to home… I look at myself… is there such a faith and hope in me?…

The very kind that obtains… miracles! 

 

Note: This gospel scene is presented in video format at: https://youtu.be/ZuxiEatESS0
and https://youtu.be/_K7rfk9mZ48
 
And another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/13e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Timothy Lutheran Bible Study

12th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Some people enjoy making lists – lists of all kinds of things.
Names of places they have visited, names of stars of cinema or sports heroes,
names of best deals for items to buy, names of prospective clients for their business, etc.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a list of… temptations he, or she, has to grapple with!…
This could be an interesting – and possibly quite surprising – ­exercise!

I will not reveal here my own list of things I have to struggle with,
but I will tell you what I find perhaps the worst temptation.
It came back to me as I read the words of the apostles in the gospel of this Sunday (Mk.4:35-41).

The scene is well known to us: the apostles are caught up in a storm on the lake at nighttime.
The wind is terribly strong, the waves threatening, and the men can no longer cope with the situation.
As for Jesus, he is quietly sleeping through it all!

The gospel text says:
 “The disciples woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
 
The temptation I spoke of is NOT that of fear, of weakness, or helplessness –
NO, these are only expressions of our being human.
The temptation – insidious, vicious, really – is to think that God does not care!
 
How many of us have not given in to this temptation at one time or another?
To think that God is too far, too great, too occupied with other people’s problems,
to be concerned with our own troubles!
To think that the nitty gritty of our daily lives is too insignificant for God to be bothered with it.
Would he lower himself to care for that?…
 
This is precisely what he has done in becoming one of us!
Food and drink, sickness and sin, and whatever comes with these situations –
this is precisely what he has been caring about… and continues to do so.

And we, “who have no faith”, are still tempted to ask him the question?!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/12e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Bijoux to Cara 

11th Sunday of Year B – 2021

As we read different texts from Scripture, we are sometimes amazed at how bold some statements are.
Obviously, the writers are people of faith and they express their belief with strength and conviction.

To me, the first line of today’s 2nd reading (2 Cor.5:6-10) is a perfect example of this.
In his second letter to the first Christians of Corinth, the apostle Paul tells them:

“We are always confident…”
 
As I look at my own life, I ask myself whether I could say this in all truth…
Confidence, trust, relying on someone with the certainty that the person will not let me down nor fail me:
this can be quite risky, if not naïve, unrealistic, and immature.

It could be all of these things if the someone were not… God himself.
But it is to him that we confide our life and our very being.

Paul stresses “always confident…” 

In small things as well as in important matters.
In ordinary situations and in unusual circumstances.
On good and bad days, in joy and in sorrow, in success and in failure –
ALWAYS, at all times.

To be absolutely certain that God is and will be there.
He will give me strength, courage, hope, for whatever situation I find myself in.
He will provide all that I am in need of, whatever that may be, today, tomorrow and… all the ‘tomorrows’ to come!
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/11e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Woman’s Day

World Oceans Day – 8 June 2021

« Love ocean, he will not betray you. »

On June 8, the entire world comes together for the largest water body surrounding us, which is the ocean. It is an important part of our earth as it provides us with water, the most integral element that we need in our daily lives.

However, over the years, the oceans have to bear the brunt of man-made destruction. From industrial waste to throwing unwanted litter, its degradation is destabilizing the earth’s dynamics with its natural resources that will lead to an eventual and unfortunate end.

Therefore, it becomes all the more important to save the oceans around the world.

World Ocean Day History

This was first suggested in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The aim behind this was to not only celebrate the vast water body and its benefits in our lives but also to raise awareness about what can be done to make it a part of sustainable development. On December 5, 2008, a resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly to designate this day.

World Ocean Day Significance

UNESCO states that this day is observed to remind everyone that oceans are the lungs of our planet. Awareness is raised about how to conserve it and rescue it from the eventual degradation that is caused by our careless activities. Therefore, World Ocean Day is celebrated for this reason all across the world.

World Ocean Day Theme

This year, the theme of World Ocean Day is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’. Owing to the pandemic, all the celebrations today will happen virtually.

World Ocean Day Quotes

  1. “Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.” —William Arthur Ward
  2. « No water, no life. No blue, no green. »- Sylvia Plath
  3. « There is going to be no life. We are going to save our oceans. On the occasion of World Oceans Day, Let us join hands to save them. Happy World Oceans Day. »
  4. « You will love the ocean. It makes you feel small. But not in a bad way. Small because you realize you’re part of something bigger. »- Lauren Myracle
  5. Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time. – H. P. Lovecraft
  6. .Being out there in the ocean, God’s creation, it’s like a gift he has given us to enjoy. – Bethany Hamilton
  7. To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships, with men in them. What stranger miracles are there? – Walt Whitman

 

Source: Texte: www.timesnownews.com.    Image: latestly.com