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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.

 

3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A – 2020

The scene of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, today’s gospel (Luke 24:13-35)
offers many interesting aspects for reflection.

One especially retains my attention; the text says:
“Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 
but they were kept from recognizing him. »

Many writers have been speculating on the cause of this:
what was it that prevented the disciples from recognizing Jesus?
What caused them to be blind in this way, unable to see that the man walking with them was Jesus?

Different commentators have proposed different reasons.
As far as their explanations are concerned, the usual expression can be used:
‘On this matter, the jury is still out.’
In other words, nobody knows for sure! 

The reason why this verse keeps me thinking does not belong to exegesis.
It is more personal, much closer to ‘home’, one could say.
The question then becomes formulated in a different way,
and it is addressed to me directly:
‘What is it that prevents ME from recognizing Jesus in my own life?

What prevents me from perceiving Christ, the Risen Lord, present with me from day to day?
What is the cause if this unusual blindness,
this failure to be aware of the obvious presence –
even though hidden from the eyes of my body?

An impediment of what kind?
An obstacle of what sort?

Fear of seeing something within myself that I would prefer not to see?
Shame for something of the past which I do not want to acknowledge?
Inattention? Indifference?

Perhaps simply forgetfulness?
Whenever I walk alone on whatever road or path, perhaps I could find out?…
 

Note: A video presentation of this scene can be found at: https://youtu.be/4QwKU442-80

And another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Catholic online

2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A – 2020

If we are to believe something, it must be credible.
If we are to believe someone, the person must be reliable.
One should not be naive, or gullible.
Faith demands some… requirements, does it not?

This is human logic, based on experience some will pretend.
The gospel text of this Sunday gives us to meet Thomas (Jn.20:19-31)
who seems to follow precisely this human logic.

Before agreeing to what the other apostles claim, he has to check it out!
Before accepting that Jesus is alive, he must see for himself – see and touch.
He wants to make sure…
So, he states very clearly, and in detail, his requirements… so that he can believe.

Putting requirements to… God!
Making sure that… God is what he says he is!
Is this not the attitude of some of us?

And the wonderful thing is that God does not scoff at our childish demands.
He does not walk away from us, or brush aside these requirements of ours.

He takes us where we are to lead us to where he wants us to be!
This is our God!

Note: A presentation of the gospel scene is offered in a video at: https://youtu.be/kp1eb-oBH6w
 
Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-a-2020/

Source: Image: churchofjesuschrist.org

Easter Sunday, Year A – 2020

What we see… what we do not see…
 
It is always like this in life, is it not?
We see certain things and we miss others.
We perceive certain realities while we cannot distinguish others.

The gospel text of this Easter Sunday made me realize this anew (Jn.20:1-9).
Peter and John come to the tomb where Jesus had been laid and…
they see the pieces of linen neatly folded and the cloth that had been around Jesus’ head also laid on the side.
But the person for whom these items had been used, they do not see.
 
Jesus’ body – this is what they were looking for – his body was not there.
The two apostles could not fathom that he, himself, could have been there.
They were looking for a corpse… they had to meet a living person!
They were looking for something, they were to encounter SOMEONE.

Their perception had to be transformed,
their vision had to be enlarged,
their understanding had to be deepened.

Is it not what EASTER is all about?
Seeing with eyes that go beyond appearances.
Perceiving with a mind that stretches beyond the obvious.
Understanding with a heart that is attuned to the depths of reality.

The Risen Lord can give all of this… from day to day…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/dimanche-de-paques-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Good Friday, Year A – 2020

At the scene, when God is dying…

Some people reading this title may possibly be tempted to move on to another reflection.
They may want a text that is less… shocking.
GOD DYING?

At Christmas time, some were reluctant to pronounce the words: GOD IS BORN.
They found it less shocking in the text of John’s gospel: « The word was made flesh.” (Jn.1:14)
And yet… who is this WORD?

The very one we see nailed to the cross – God’s own Son, God himself.
God himself become one-of-us…

As he slowly, painfully, made his way to the place where he was to die,  different people were there to see him pass…
Some women lamenting, as was the custom, offering a compassionate presence to one condemned to death. (Lk.23-27)
A man called Simon, perhaps returning from his field – he was originally from Cyrene in North Africa. (Mt.27:32)
Tradition tells us that a woman named Veronica bravely approached Jesus to wipe his face covered with sweat and blood.

We can imagine Mary, his mother, and John, near the cross. (Jn.19:25-27)
The soldiers were there, of course, they had a job to do, they could not do otherwise. (Jn.19:23)
There were two other men also condemned to death – thieves we are told. (Mt.27:38)
The leaders of the Jews were present as well – at long last they had obtained what they wanted: to get rid of the Man of Nazareth. (Mk.15:31-32)

I am looking for some other people, but I cannot see them… Where are they?
The blind who can now see everything clearly.
The deaf and dumb who can hear and speak like you and me.
The paralytics no longer needing even a stick to walk.
The lepers freely joining a group without shame or fear to be sent away.
Where are they all?

God was dying… it was shocking.
The absence of those who should have been there was also shocking.
My absence would be no less so… if it means that I fail to understand that… he was dying for me.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/vendredi-saint-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Unsplash

Holy Thursday, Year A – 2020

From one extreme to the other…

Typical of Peter, is it not? He passes from one extreme to the other!  (Jean ch.13)
He does not want Jesus to wash his feet, but then… he wants that his face and hands be washed as well!

Jesus tells Peter:
“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.

And when he has washed the feet of all the apostles,
“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.

For the apostles – and for us – what is required is to understand… the ‘extreme’ of God!
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
 
Real-ising, UNDERSTANDING…
Understanding a love that goes so much beyond human understanding –
So much greater, so much deeper, so much more personal, so much more compassionate.

SO MUCH . . . “to the end.”

Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/jeudi-saint-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Third Hour

 

Psalm Sunday, Year A – 2020

“Who is this man?”
The question is old…
In fact, it is over 2000 years old…

It comes at the last verse of this Palm Sunday gospel text (Mt.21:1-11).
People acclaim Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey –
they throw branches on the ground, they wave palms and they shout praises with joy.
But, some are puzzled and voice THE question:
“Who is this man?”
 
After the calming of the storm, the apostles were asking precisely this:
“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mk.4:41)

They had heard people discussing among themselves saying:
« Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets. » (Mk.8:28)

The leaders of the Jews had asked him directly:
“Who are you?” (Jn.8:25)

Herod wanted to see him to make up his mind:
“Who is this I hear such things about?” (Lk.9:9)

Pilate wanted to know what Jesus had to say for himself:
« Are you the king of the Jews? » (Jn.18:33)

Years of exegetical research, centuries of theological reflection, a long list of Councils
have pondered over the very same question about… the Man-God, God-become-man…
Philosophers, historians, scientists, artists, believers and unbelievers alike,
all have asked… and they are still asking…

The question remains – now addressed to each one of us personally:
“Who is this man”… for me?

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/dimanche-des-rameaux-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: crosswalk.com

 

 a

5th Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2020

 

W A I T I N G !

I know very few people who like to… WAIT.
In general people do not like delays, postponements, adjournments.
Of course, this can mean a pause, a rest, but this is not what we want.
We are a generation where not only business but busy-ness is the order of the day!

But, if we think about it, a promise involves precisely this: waiting…
Being promised something means that we have to wait for it.
The realization of the promise will come later, it is to come true… in the future.
We will get what has been promised after a certain time, a period possibly unknown, unspecified.

And, this is true of… God’s promises!
We just do not see yet that they can come true… that they WILL come true…
We have to believe that they will.

Writing these words, I come back to the gospel of this Sunday (Jn.11:1-45).
 
“The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 
and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
“If you believe, you will see the glory of God.”
 
WILL live, WILL see, WILL never die – it is all to take place in the future,
it has definitely the form of a promise.

But the the wonderful thing is that the promises of God are… reality-in-the-making!
They are blessings-being-REALised!
 
As he was about to raise Lazarus, Jesus told his Father:
“I knew that you always hear me.”
 
FAITH should enable us to say the same… even while waiting…

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a somewhat different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

4th Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2020

The question of the apostles to Jesus in today’s gospel (Jn.9:1-41)
reflects something of our own thinking at times:
Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
 
But long ago, God has told us:
My thoughts are not your thoughts.” (Is.55:8)
 
And he questions us:
Am I not pleased when sinners turn from their ways and live?” (Ezechiel 18:23)
 
We think: Sin means punishment.
God thinks: Sin means forgiveness in waiting.

We are so slow, so stubborn in refusing to accept God’s revelation of himself:
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.” (Ps.145:8)
 
LENT may be the time, at long last, to recognize him for who he is,
for what he wants to be for us still in need of… being healed of OUR blindness…

Note: A video showing this scene is offered at: https://youtu.be/cWtb_kH2Lf0
And another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-a-2020/

 
Source: Image: churchofmormon.org
 

 

 

A song… The Samaritan Woman

The story of the Samaritan woman is well known.
The message of this scene remains inspiring for each and everyone.
In a song, Anne Maingi, reminds us of both, the scene and the message.

3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2020

The 1st reading on this 3rd Sunday of Lent (Year A – Exodus 17:3-7) presents us with a scene known to many of us.
The people of Israel complain that they have no water and accuse Moses of bringing them to a desert place.
He, in turn, complains to the Lord who tells him what to do to remedy the situation.
Moses strikes a rock and water gushes out abundantly.

We say: Fantastic! Wonderful!
We may add with religious admiration: ‘God answers the prayer of his servant!’
This is one aspect of the scene.

There is another, no less important if seldom mentioned.
Moses gives the location where this happened the names of:
Massah which means testing, and Meribah which means quarrelling.

These names are definitely foreign to us, but the reality they describe is most certainly familiar!
No one can doubt that, in our world today, there is much of this: testing and quarrelling.

What had led the Israelites to quarrel, to test Moses, and more still, to test God?
They were thirsty.
The 1st Sunday of Lent spoke about hunger, this one speaks of thirst – basic human needs indeed.

Our hunger and our thirst can take many forms –
bread and water are only representations of all that we long for:
health and wealth, power and prestige, freedom and domination – and so much more.

This ‘so much more’ hides ONE deeper need:
it is the one mentioned in the last verse of the text:
« The Israelites “tested the Lord saying,
‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ ”
 
This is the need for God’s presence with us.
It may remain hidden deeply within us, but it is there…
This period of Lent is welcome if it enables us to identify both, the need AND the presence!

Note: The scene of the gospel of the Samaritan at the well is presented in a video (in English) at: https://youtu.be/jU09NpjS27w
And another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Wikimedia Commons