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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 C – 2019

Children have this special ‘gift’ of… asking until they get what they want!
We know it, and parents especially know it from experience!
Asking, begging, demanding – with screams and tears if need be – children are past masters at that.

I suppose that we, grown-ups, would not judge this to be the proper attitude when…
we come to God!
Well, perhaps not the screams and tears, but the perseverance in asking, DEFINITELY!

This is precisely the point of Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel text (Lk.11:1-13).
A friend waking up his friend to ask for his help and insisting, keeping on begging for what he needs:
this is exactly what Jesus gives us as an example to follow.

Of course, this supposes that, first of all, we consider God as a Friend – no less!
And then that we remain absolutely sure that he cannot not give us what we are in need of.

And, in the process, a touch of bargaining is not excluded –
the first reading is clear on this as well (Gn.18:20-32).
Abraham shows himself very skilled in praising God as a way of obtaining what he wants!
His insistence and his on-going pleading are truly inspiring!

“Will the judge of the whole earth not administer justice?”

And while admitting that he is ‘bold’ Abraham, with due respect, dares telling God what he should not do!

“Do not think of doing such a thing!”
 
I personally think that, as guidelines on ‘How to Pray’, these readings can hardly be surpassed!

Note: Another reflections is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

Source: Image: daleargot.com   papaboys.org

16th Sunday of Year C – 2019

The texts offered to us in the Bible sometimes present us with… the world upside down!
This seems to be the case in today’s 1st reading (Gn.18:1-10).

Abraham sees three people nearing his home – three passers-by unknown to him.
In such a case, we would expect the strangers to present themselves and ask for hospitality if they need it.
This is not at all what we see happening.

First, in those three personages, Abraham recognizes the Almighty –
the ONE God he worships.

Then, far from being asked for assistance, he is the one who begs the visitors
to accept the hospitality which he offers them in a truly warm manner.
He describes for them what his welcome entails –
a festive meal that would surely delight hungry pilgrims!

The icon often used to evoke the Holy Trinity is, in fact, an illustration of this scene: 
the three visitors at table having been served the promised meal.
Reflecting on the text and the scene it describes, two questions arise:

  • Do we recognize God when he comes to us… and in whatever form he choose to reach us?
  • Do we welcome him as generously as Abraham did?

The answer to these two questions could well bring about some amazing change in our life…
Of course, this supposes that we accept to be sometimes surprised by God –
a God we may think we know and yet…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/16e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

Source: Image: etsy.com

15th Sunday of Year C – 2019

Some of Jesus’ parables are well-known, nearly too well-known, yet not known well enough…
We may be tempted to think that his message is equally familiar but…
Intellectual knowledge is one thing, daily living is another – we are aware of this!

This Sunday’s parable of The Good Samaritan (Lk.10:25-37) is one of those in danger of a… simple and hasty adaptation!
The levite and the priest are no longer among us, but we may easily picture that among the members of…
this Catholic grouping, that pious association, those participants in a prayerful gathering…
well, surely there are some who would personify the attitude of… non-involvement of those two people of old.

Simple and hasty adaptation and… condemnation.
Yet, in mentally attributing blame to others, we may be missing the point altogether…
What if there were hidden within us – each one of us –
a modern-day levite and a contemporary of the priest in the time of Jesus?

Perhaps, we must admit that there are moments when soft voices within us suggest:

  • This is none of your business.
  • You have a more urgent commitment just now.
  • Someone is waiting for you, you can’t upset him.
  • Let someone else, more qualified, take care of this situation.
  • Surely you have more important things to see to.
  • After all, he’s not, she’s not, of us, really…

The words have a familiar and contemporary accent, and yet, they echo faithfully the Aramaic unspoken thoughts of the two people of Jesus’ parable.
Yes, they are sometimes part of a statement we may not dare to utter but which inspire our attitude to the one in need.

Strange how the 21st century may resemble so much… the 1st!

Note: Another reflection is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/15e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: Pinterest

14th Sunday of Year C – 2019

Many people long to be well-known and popular.
Eager to be famous, they want their reputation to spread far and wide.
They want their names to appear in newspapers or important publications.
They expect their realisations to be broadcast and their names acknowledged in social media.
For them, being forgotten, worse still being ignored, is a disaster and they cannot accept not to be in the limelight.

And yet… yet… is people’s opinion that important?
Being considered famous, even being recognised as a genius, is this the aim of life?

This reflection came to me as the last line of today’s gospel (Lk.10:1-12,17-20) was read.
To his apostles, overjoyed with the miracles they have been able to perform, Jesus says:

“Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you,
but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
 
Long before, through the prophet Isaiah, God had said:
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”. (Is.49:16)

Does the rest really count for that much?
This is how close we are to God – someone he simply cannot forget!
If only the reverse were true!…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/14e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

Source: Image: thechurchinmalta.org

13th Sunday of Year C – 2019

There are things we are so used to that, somehow, we take them for granted.
This is the case, I think, for the Apostles of Jesus – we know very well that there were 12 of them.
And it is as if this number were, in a way, ‘sacred’ –
we can only imagine the group of them counting 12 men, no more, no less!

But today’s gospel text (Lk.9:51-62) could lead us to think otherwise.
It seems rather obvious that there was someone who wanted to be a disciple of Jesus 
but the Master did not seem to welcome him readily.
While it is also very clear that he, Jesus, called some people who were hesitant,
if not reluctant, to follow him.

God’s call is not something having results ‘as a matter of fact’, we could say.
His invitations are not obligations… they belong more to the realm of… fascination, I would say!
Fascination for who he is and what he asks us to be and to become. 

God has created us free beings and allows us to remain so ‘for ever after’!
He invites us to live in close friendship with him but leaves it to us to accept, or refuse, his offer.
He wants us to share in Jesus’ mission of telling of his love and of what he has in store for us,
but here again his plan can fail, as far as we are concerned…

It does not mean that everyone must leave family, relatives, and all his/her possessions.
But leaving attitudes that are not compatible with the lifestyle of a follower of Christ.
Leaving some plans that go against God’s way for us.
Leaving some decisions based on pseudo-values and not gospel values –
all this is definitely part and parcel of answering God’s call in today’s world.

We can be mistaken in thinking that the 12 men called by Jesus ended the process of God calling people.
It is rather an on-going adventure – for us and… for God.
And we definitely have a place in the unfolding of his plan in this 21st century!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/13e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: YouTube   Intersect

Feast of the Body and blood of Christ, Year C – 2019

One could be tempted to give this Sunday’s gospel text (Lk.9:11-17) the following title:

“The dynamics of problem solving: People’s way and… Jesus’ way.” 

The way of people, very often, is exemplified by the apostles’ attitude:
First, to tell Jesus what to do! “Send the people away…”
And second, to throw the responsibility on someone else to solve a problem:
“They can go to villages and farms round about to find lodging and food…”

Jesus turns the situation right around in a short statement.
His words turn the responsibility the other way around:
“Give them something to eat yourselves.”
 
But, Jesus will help them to do so, himself being ‘helped’ by the contribution of a child!
Fascinating dynamics indeed, and… what wonderful outcome results of it!

Note: Another reflections is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-du-corps-et-du-sang-du-christ-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: cccmurphysboro.wordpress.com   gruposdeJesus.com

Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year C – 2019  

Some people ask themselves questions about God.
In fact, many people would want to know more about him –
know more, more clearly, more deeply.
But could it be that they miss some important revelation about him?

Revelation: showing clearly, removing what is covering something, making known.
Yes, God has been revealed to us but… he remains GOD –
we will never have achieved knowing him fully…

In the 2nd reading of today’s feast – that of the Holy Trinity –
writing to the first Christians of Rome (Rom.5:1-5), saint Paul tells them:

“Through Jesus we have entered this state of grace…
The love of God (the Father) has been poured into our hearts
by the holy Spirit which has been given to us.”
 
It is as if Paul, in a nutshell, is giving us – as well as the Roman Christians of long ago –
the meaning of today’s feast.

We are “In a state of grace”, in other words: we are blessed, we are privileged, ‘graced’ by God.
Thanks to Jesus who made it known to us, we can be assured that God is our Father
a Father who loves us more than we will ever understand.
This certainty is given to us by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God himself.

Some theological texts will speak of ‘the mystery of the Holy Trinity’.
Sad to say, some people conclude: a mystery is something we cannot understand
so we cannot understand the Holy Trinity!

A more accurate definition of a mystery is that it is something we have never finished understanding…
And what if… this ‘mysterious’ REALITY were the meaning of our daily life?
Yes, even in its seemingly most insignificant details!…

Note: Another reflection is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-sainte-trinite-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: etsy.com

 

 

Feast of Pentecost, Year C – 2019

Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, we are given Scripture readings to ponder over.
Written in a language which is not the one of our daily conversations, it may happen that we do not grasp the full meaning of the texts.
It may also be that the truth they express is so wonderful that we wonder if we can rely on what we read or hear.
We may ask ourselves: “Are these words really meant for us as well as for the people of the past?”

The gospel of this feast of Pentecost (Jn.14:15-16,23-26) is one such texts that tell us something astonishing.
On the eve of his death, Jesus told his friends, the apostles:
 
« I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate,
to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth…
He will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.”
 
I read these words, I repeat them to myself, and… I ask myself: 
‘Is it really true for me?
Am I convinced of this?
Do I rely on this amazing reality?’

The Father cannot fail to answer Jesus’ prayer – it is absolutely unthinkable.
On the other hand, we have been baptised and we have received the Holy Spirit.
He is with us, not for a time but “for ever”, Jesus assures us.

So, it means that we have… a private teacher, a very special tutor to help us understand and remember –
understand Jesus’ message and remember it as we live from day today.

What is missing then?
Perhaps only… the faith that it is so…
And the prayer, from the heart, asking to understand and to remember.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-pentecote-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: www.stignatius.jp

 

The Feast of the Ascension, Year C – 2019

In the people we relate to, there are many qualities we appreciate:
honesty, kindness, thoughtfulness, readiness to help.

But there is one which is especially precious: it is faithfulness.
This special attitude which guarantees that we can count on people.
They are reliable, they are there for us, so to speak.
Whenever we need them, they will not fail us.

And GOD IS FAITHFUL.
This is what the last line of the 2nd reading tells us today (He 9:24-28; 10:19-23). 
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews assures us:

“The one who made the promise is faithful.”
 
Short. Simple. Straightforward.
God will not fail us, he will not abandon us – no matter the situation we are faced with.
God is for us, he is with us at all times – unfailingly, unconditionally.

So, we are urged:
“Let us keep firm in the hope we profess.”
 
And, even this perseverance in hope will be given to us if only we ask for it!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lascension-annee-c-2019/
 

Source: Image: OverviewBible

6th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019

     
A mansion, a cottage, or even a log cabin – all of them can protect us from extreme cold or suffocating heat.
The structure may be of metal, cement, or wood, any type of habitation will provide us with some kind of shelter.
We can think of an apartment, a house, a residence – we need such a place to live in.

But… most of us hope for more… we want some decent place to live, yes, but we also want to live happily.
And for this, what we really need is… a HOME.
We are aware that rare timber, or original stones, cannot make a home.
What makes of a house a ‘home’ is the atmosphere, the ambiance, the ‘feeling-good’ sensation.

We know it from experience: what truly creates a home is the relationship of the people living there.
The easy-going, smooth, respectful, sensitive attitudes of the members of the group are the building blocks of a home.

What if it is… God who makes a home?!
A surprising thought, even astonishing… but this is what today’s gospel tells us (Jn.14:23-29).
The text says:

“We shall come and make our home with him”. (v.23)
 
Saying this, Jesus speaks of the person who keeps his word.
He assures us that his Father and himself will come to stay with such a person.
They will make their ‘home’ with such a person.

I find it absolutely amazing, it is so extraordinary that it is beyond our imagining.
Many will inquire about… the possibility of this: how can this be?
I admit readily that I know nothing of the… ‘logistics’ of it, but I am absolutely convinced that it is so.
The Holy Spirit can make it so!

Only one thing could prevent it… our refusal, our closing the ‘door’ of ourselves.
This would be a tragedy… but God would keep waiting… he always does!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: johndauherty.com   all-free-download.com   beau.adamguerino.com