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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.

 

17th Sunday of Year A – 2020

A period of pandemic… this is what we have been experiencing.
The confinement imposed on us is being relaxed but we cannot do all we used to do in the past.
During those months, many people have been busy with different types of activities, meaningful activities.

Some people have decided to spend some time in… sorting out things – things of all kinds.
Objects gathered over the years: old tools and utensils, souvenirs from journeys here and there, letters whose paper has now turned yellow, photos, etc.

Strangely enough, this is what the last part of today’s gospel invites us to do (Mt.13:47-48).
It presents us with the scene of fishermen doing precisely that:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea
and gathered some of every kind,  
which, when it was full, they drew to shore;
and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.”
 
Our sorting out will be of a different kind, the things to keep and those to throw away will vary.
But still, a choice is required…
Objects hoarded for a long time perhaps, yes, but more still perhaps: values, relationships, commitments…
Some of them to keep and develop, others to discard without hesitation.

It is interesting to hear Jesus ask his apostles:
“Have you understood all these things?”

 The question is asked of us also… the response is waiting… and the sorting out process also…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

And a reflection on the text of the 2nd reading is offered in video format in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/rencontre-inattendue/

 

Source: Image: Grace Baptist Church                    

 

16th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Praying – we know we should do it.
Of course, we would like to pray well, to pray as we should…
We have been told many things about praying.
We have read articles on prayer, we have heard sermons about prayer and…
Yes, we believe it is important to pray.

But, it seems we do not manage – manage to pray well, manage to pray as we should.
What should we say, how should we address God?
What does he expect us to say, and how?…

Long ago, reading an article about prayer I came across this definition:
“Prayer is wanting to want to be possessed by God.”
 
At times, it seems we find if hard even to want to pray…
But, wanting to want… this is already a beginning.

And the text of the 2nd reading of this Sunday (Romans 8:26-27)
tells us something most encouraging:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

This is THE answer for me!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/16e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Heartlight                    

 

 

 

15th Sunday of Year A – 2020  

There is a proverb that says: “There is no deafness worse than that of the one who does not want to hear.”
Jesus’ words as he concludes his parable in this Sunday’s gospel text (Mt.13:1-23) could be addressing this condition:

He says: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
 
It is a matter of choice, the occasion of a personal decision.
We are all aware how much our daily life is filled with sounds, and noises, and cries.
Words, music, shouts surround us, much of it hardly registered in our consciousness.

Could it be that we let God’s Word go by equally unnoticed, unacknowledged?
We would then miss the blessing that Jesus says that his apostles enjoy:

“Blessed are your eyes because they see,
and your ears because they hear.
 
I ask myself: Am I missing out?…
Lacking attention, interest, motivation?
Perhaps not aware that the Word is addressed to ME personally?
Not daring to believe that I, too, could be blessed?

LISTEN – HEAR – PERCEIVE… a BLESSING!

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/15e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Wisdom and Instruction

 

 

 

14th Sunday of Year A – 2020

This period we are living – that of the Covid-19 pandemic – has taken us unawares, it is certain.
It has brought in its wake, all kinds of things totally unexpected.

But, when we think about it, our lives are filled with things which are precisely that: unexpected.

  • The promising encounter.
  • The unannounced visitor.
  • The surprise promotion.
  • The welcome help from a friend.
  • The mysterious gift left at the door.
  • The improbable happy event.
  • The unforeseen loss of work.
  • The tragic accident.
  • The sudden death…

And the list could go on of all that we had neither planned nor envisaged as possible.
Things, events, situations, people – all can belong to this category of the unexpected.

And two of the readings of this Sunday (Ze.9:9-10) (Mt.11:28-30)
make me think that the God they describe is also an… UNEXPECTED GOD!

A God who is humble, riding a donkey – not a horse as someone powerful.
A God who is gentle, humble in heart…
This is NOT the kind of God we would expect…

Yet, the story – the REALITY- started long ago…
The birth in a manger in poor surroundings,
the death on a cross condemned by jealous religious leaders and killed by the occupying power.

This has been – this remains – God’s choice… we have yet to understand…
to really meet and come to know… the ‘unexpected’ God.

Then, slowly, we may come to realize that he can also work – unexpectedly – wonderful things in our lives.
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/14e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Zoe Ministries

 

 

 

13th Sunday of Year A – 2020

“Small is beautiful” – people like to repeat it.
And it is true.
A small drop of dew on a bud is a thing of beauty.

Small things are beautiful and they are important.
This is the thought that came to my mind as I read the last verse of this Sunday’s gospel (Mt.10:37-42).
Jesus tells us:

 “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple,
truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
 
A cup of water amounts to nothing, some would say.
It costs nothing really, apart from the effort to care and to give!…
Yet, for someone thirsty, really thirsty, it can mean so much.

At times, we think that, to please God, we need to do extraordinary things.
We believe that only hard and painful actions will draw his attention.
We suppose that our humble efforts, our daily struggle, will go unnoticed by him, so great.

This way of thinking, this kind of belief, need correction.
Yes, “small is beautiful” in the eyes of God.
He ‘proved’ this in coming to us as… a tiny baby, so small…

So, trying as best we can, in small ways, to please God is pleasing to him –
even if it is only the gift of a cup of water!
A smile, a kind word, a listening ear, a helping hand, will do too!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/13e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: image: blazdesign.com   asoundvideo.com

 

12th Sunday of Year A – 2020

In prayer, saints of all times have said all kinds of things to God – at times surprising things!
You wonder…
Think of St. Philip of Neri who, with his usual sense of humour, would tell God:
“Lord, beware of Philip, before the day is over he could have betrayed you!”
 
At times, what is said to God is very exacting, it is demanding indeed.
It is the case with what the prophet Jeremiah says in the 1st reading (Jer.20:10-13).
He tells God:

“To you I have committed my cause.”
 
In other words, he has entrusted to God whatever is of concern to him.
When we think about it, what is most of concern to us if not… ourselves!
Whatever touches us deeply, whatever involves our own selves, this is our ‘cause’.

Our thoughts, from moment to moment.
Our secret desires and most daring hopes.
Our hunger for success and recognition.
Our search for rewarding experiences.
Our eagerness to reach cherished goals.
Our striving for achievement and self-fulfilment.
Our longing for deep and lasting happiness.
Our craving for true love and companionship.
Our constant need of forgiveness…

All this is part of our very selves, it is all included when I pronounce the word ‘I’.

But there is also, we cannot forget or deny it, the more ‘shadowy’ part of us…

Our problems and difficulties.
Our bitter regrets and guilt feelings.
Our painful memories.
Our disappointements and misfortunes.
Our failings and failures.

And for each one of us , the list could go on, and on…
All this is part or who we are, part of what is called our ‘cause’.
Like a jigsaw puzzle with countless pieces that have all to fit together so as to offer a beautiful picture.

Dare we say to God, as Jeremiah did:

“To you I have committed my cause”?

If not, what is the alternative?…
Especially in this period of pandemic when so much is unknown, unsure, unpredictable…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/12e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: Microsoft   istock

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Year A – 2020

Though the confinement is being relaxed, the pandemic has not left us yet.
Many people try to find some meaningful activity to fill the many hours spent at home… alone.

Looking back at the past can be such a meaningful activity.
This is the invitation that today’s 1st reading offers us (Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14-16)

Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you…”
 
Much can happen in a long stretch of time, a long stretch of life.
The text adds that God was somehow ‘testing’ his people

“to know what was in their heart.” 
 
What is in our hearts?
So many things, indeed all kinds of things, possibly the best and… the worst, at times.
Because this is what we are capable of: the best and the worst.
The most compassionate, generous, self-giving, other-centred behaviour can be ours.
And, sad to say, the opposite of these noble attitudes can be found in us as well.

There are moments when we are willing to help and comfort others, to listen to them and assist them in their need.
But there are situations that find us ready to put down, to fight, to crush those who stand in our way.
We are not always able to allow our best self to overcome the other selfish and mean part of us.

We need help – the very help that is offered to us in today’s gospel (Jn.6:51-58):

“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”
 
The journey goes on, the road ahead will see us on the way, day in, day out,
but NOT alone – not alone to struggle, to find meaning to our existence.
Someone is there with us, will always be there…
And this changes everything.
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-du-corps-et-du-sang-du-christ-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Unsplash

 

 

 

Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year A – 2020

 

 

 

 

 

There is an activity that some of us enjoy doing from time to time.
It is that of clearing out things –
we look at them, sort them out, discard some, and push others into another place.
We may get busy with that in the house, the garage, the garden shed, or simply an old cupboard.
It can be with items of clothing, utensils, tools, or the toys of the children.

But could we do the same with… our minds?
Would we be ready to do it also about…GOD?

Today’s feast of the Holy Trinity is perhaps the appropriate moment to do this:
Removing from our minds and hearts…
our false ideas, our incorrect concepts, our mistaken beliefs, about God –
all that is not according to what he, HIMSELF, says about who he is.

We hear him tell us in today’s 1st reading (Ex.34:4-6,8-9):

“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious,
longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”

This is what he is, what he wants to be, for each one of us.
If we could only understand this… and delight in his mercy and graciousness!

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

 

Source: Images: Unsplash

 

 

Feast of Pentecost, Year A – 2020

Nowadays, public surveys are popular.
People want to be informed about popular opinions about this or that topic.
An unusual event, especially, will prompt reporters to analyze and publish detailed information about such happening.

The first reading of today’s feast (Acts 2:1-11) is interesting in that respect –
it is a little as if we were given a report about precisely an unusual event.
We are told in much detail about what has been happening.
 
“A sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven;
what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of the apostles;
they began to speak in other tongues.”

“A crowd came together in bewilderment…”
The listeners listening represented no less than 15 nations!

Not surprisingly, the text says:
 “They were utterly amazed.”
Another translation of the text adds that people were marveling at what they saw happening.
And now, fast forward to… our own 21st century…
And… three questions come to my mind:

Are we still bewildered by God’s coming to our world?
Are we amazed at what he does in our own situation?
And… do we still marvel at the wonders he works in our days?

I am personally convinced that

  • God is still present.
  • God still works among us.
  • God still realizes wonderful things for us.

Perhaps it is a question of asking God’s Spirit to give us the perception, the vision of this permanent REALITY.

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

 

 Source: Image: Aleteia

 

Feast of the Ascension, Year A – 2020

The gospel texts have much for us to learn, to reflect upon, to be inspired and to be challenged by.
But at times, there are some texts which are also giving us some comfort and encouragement.
It can be a series of verses, but it can also happen that only one line, or even a few words, have some unexpected comforting message.

This is the case in today’s gospel text (Mt.28:16-20) where we are told:
“The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”
 
This is surprising indeed.
The apostles had been with Jesus for some three years.
They had seen, heard and touched him (as John would later write: 1 Jn.1:1),
noticing what he said and observing what he did.

In the 1st reading is is also said:
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them
and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.”  (Acts 1:1-11)
 
Still some of the apostles doubted – is it not quite astonishing?
Astonishing, yes, but also encouraging for us who are struggling to believe.

There are moments when our faith is tested… questions arise in our minds.
We find ourselves in situations where we no longer see God present with us.
Some circumstances see us puzzled and perplexed, wondering and searching for meaning.
We are trying to make sense of some event that seems meaningless.

We should not think that this makes us guilty in God’s eyes.
He knows us, fragility is part of our human nature.
God understands our difficulty in trusting him in all things and at all times.
What he expects from us is that we try, and try again… and again.

And he is pleased when we make ours the prayer of the man in the gospel who said to Jesus:
“Lord, I believe but help my unbelief.” (Mk.9:24)
In other words: Help this part of me which is still struggling to overcome my doubts…

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

 
 
Source: Image: www.joyfulheart.com