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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.

 

World Environment Day – 5 June 2021

« On World Environment Day, the message is simple: reject single-use plastic. Refuse what you can’t re-use. Together, we can chart a path to a cleaner, greener world. »Secretary-General, António Guterres

Humans are both creatures and moulders of their environment, which gives them physical sustenance and affords them the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, humans have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale.

The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world, designated 5 June as World Environment Day. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 143 countries.

“Beat Plastic Pollution”
Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. The theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences.

Annually, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) organises various events but this year, the day is being hosted by Pakistan. The UN General Assembly had established World Environment Day on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment.

The theme for year`s World Environment Day is ‘Ecosystem Restoration.’ This year will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Source: Text: UN   Image: uniquenewsonline.com

Feast of the Body and blood of Christ, Year B – 2021

“A dream come true!”
We often hear this expression from someone who had been hoping for something and this very thing happens, or is given to the person.
The words are spoken spontaneously with jubilation.

This phrase came to me as I read today’s gospel text (Mk.14:12-16,22-26)
following the Alleluia verse (Jn.6:51) which says:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. 
Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 
 
Jesus had spoken these words some years before on the day after he had fed the crowd having multiplied the   loaves.
Of course, the people had come back the next day… for more!
But, the ‘more’ which they received what Jesus’ promise of another kind of bread –
the one he was now providing during this Last Supper.

We could say, in our usual way of speaking, that it was for Jesus ‘a dream come true’.
He wanted to share with us his love and his life, a life that would endure for ever.
He found the way to do precisely this in giving us the Eucharist
which is known as the sacrament of his real presence.

This is what we remember and what we celebrate today on this Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
We do so as well every time we take part in his offering of himself in the Eucharist.

A dream come true.
A promise realized.
A life enduring for ever.
A gift beyond what we could have imagined or hoped for!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:

 

Source: Images: Catholic Current   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Feast of Pentecost, Year B – 2021

There are things and situations which somehow leave us… uncertain.
We look at the different angles of a reality and we are perplexed…
We wonder whether we are right in our appraisal of a given situation.

Our identity could be one of them, who we really are.
Of course, we know who we are as human beings –
our personality, our qualities, our past experiences, our strengths and weaknesses,
our desires and hopes, our successes and failures, etc.

But what about our identity as… Christians?
Are we truly aware of what this means?
Are we conscious of what it entails, all the richness of this condition?
We recognize ourselves as followers of Christ, yes, members of the Church, yes.
And?…

Todays’ celebration, the feast of the Holy Trinity, tells us of the identity of… God.
But it also the reminds us of a wonderful aspect of our own identity as Christians.

Writing to the first Christians of Rome, the apostle Paul tells them (2nd reading: Rom.8:14-17):

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
 
Not only does our spirit tells us but God’s Spirit himself confirms this truth.
This text removes any doubt which we may have about who we are –
nothing less than God’s own children.

We have been “adopted” says Paul et he adds that we are:

“heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.”
 
It is truly wonderful, it is absolutely astonishing!
Why do we not dare to believe in this God
and in the divinely transformed people that he has made us to be?!
 
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-sainte-trinite-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: pinterest.com

Pentecost, Year B – 2021

Three readings offering 27 verses of texts, 6 verses of a Psalm, and added to all this, a poem-prayer, the Sequence, as a second Response!
Overwhelming riches – and overwhelming is the word!

How can one choose a theme?
How can we focus on a single verse or topic for reflection?
Of course, the Spirit is at the heart – no, he is THE heart – of today’s message.

What saint Paul writes to the Galatians in the 2nd reading (Gal.5:16-25) is what has retained my attention.

Since the Spirit gives us life,
let us walk under the guidance of the Spirit.”

Paul tells the first Christians that there are in us what he calls ‘tendencies’ – inclinations or dispositions –
that lead us into a way of being that is not what we are meant to be.
The apostle gives them 15 different names, no less! and he says clearly:
 
“There is a clash that prevents you from doing whatever you want.”
 
We know it from experience, very often we do not manage to master those tendencies,
we do not succeed in overcoming those inclinations.
So, we need to allow the Spirit to guide us on the way God wants us to follow.
He is the one who will enable us to be… reconciled with our best self!

So, Let us walk under the guidance of the Spirit,” indeed!
We might be astonished at the outcome of walking with this Companion!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/pentecote-annee-b-2021/

  

Source: Image: unsplash.com

Ascension of the Lord, Year B – 2021

Time, moments in time, seasons… they rule our life.
But we need to learn how to live according to their rhythm.

The 1st reading of this Feast of the Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:1-11) shows him teaching his apostles for the last period during which he will be visibly present with them.
We are told that he is speaking to them about the kingdom of Godin other words, the way God wants to welcome people into relationship with him.

But the apostles ask Jesus:

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
 
Obviously, they are not on the same wavelength…
Jesus corrects them in no uncertain terms:

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
 
I wonder if we, ourselves, would not sometimes deserve the same correction…
What concerns us most, very often, is the time when our own plans are going to be fulfilled.

God’s plan may seem to us more remote, distant, not very real or concrete.
We focus on the goals we set for ourselves, the realizations we want to see achieved.
Our moments are those of the immediate, we look for instant gratification…

We find is so difficult to adjust ourselves to God’s timetable.

Peter, the apostle, was reminding the first Christians:

“Beloved, do not forget this one thing,
that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day”.    (2 Peter 3:8).    

A lesson we are in constant need to learn…
And learning together with it patience and the meaning of TIME…
 
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/ascension-du-seigneur-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: iStock   Bible Verses Pictures – Scripture Images  

6th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

Someone faced with many commitments and countless things to do may suddenly exclaim:

“First things first!”

It may be a good way to look at… our relationship with God!
This thought is suggested to us in the 2nd reading of this Sunday (1 Jn.4:7-10):

 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us.” 

And, in the gospel, Jesus reminds us: (Jn.15:9-17):
“You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
 
God has loved us first – he is the one who has gifted us in all manner of things.
He has given us blessings of all kinds.
He has poured his favors into our lives, day after day.

The apostle John tells us:

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (Jn.1:16)

Instead of thinking that we should first turn to God with prayers and offerings,
we should remember that he is the one who first turned to us drawing us to himself!

Remembering this, it is good on this day to say wholeheartedly:

“First things first!”

And… to live accordingly, that is:
to be truly conscious,
to be deeply aware,
to REAL – ize that, when it comes to love, God always takes the initiative!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: 123RF   Corona SDA Church

5th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

We try to live as followers of Jesus.
We do our best to be faithful to what he asks from us.
We make special efforts to carry out what we believe is his will.
But . . .

But, when we look at the result of our efforts, we may lose heart.
We may feel discouraged at seeing the outcome of what we thought was our best…

If so, today’s message in the 2nd reading (1 Jn.3:18-24) is meant for us –
meant to give us comfort.

The apostle John writing to the first Christians assures them:

“If our hearts condemn us,
we know that God is greater than our hearts,
and he knows everything.”
 
What an encouraging thought!
What a truly wonderful reality: God knows, God understands!

God knows our inner feelings, he is aware of our good intentions.
He understands – so much better than we do – that we do not always succeed in doing what we would like to do.
We are not always able to be the person that we would like to become.
We are not yet the ‘ideal self’ that we want to be.

He knows that we are still on the way and… he walks on that way with us!
So, one more step today is what he accepts, ready to wait for what we see as our slow progress,
and not condemning us for it, simply walking with us.

Truly, God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Quotefancy

4th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

It happens that, all of a sudden, two children start quarreling while each one claims:
“My father is stronger than yours.”
Or, “My father is more clever than yours, he can do this and that…”

We smile at such a behavior and we understand clearly that what is at stake is
the child’s pride at being the son, or the daughter, of that father who is so strong, so clever!

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (4th Easter Sunday, year B) is very short (1 John 3:1-2).
Yes, the text of John’s first epistle given to us has only two verses but they express an amazing message.
They invite us to become aware of who we are.

“Beloved, now are we the children of God.”
 
Probably, most of you reading these lines have been baptized long ago.
Has it ever happened to you, even only once, that you said to yourself:
I AM the child of God?
Have you ever had this experience of a sudden flash of awareness prompting you to exclaim:
“But it is true, I AM God’s son, God’s daughter!”?

If you have, I would venture to think that you still remember that occasion as a blessed experience.
This Sunday may be a good moment to recapture this graced happening and… repeat it with renewed thanksgiving to HIM – your Father…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

 Source: Image: Inspirational Bible Verse Images – Knowing Jesus

Earth Day – 22 April 2021

Climate change and other environmental degradations have broken our natural systems, leading to new and fatal diseases as well as a breakdown of the global economy. But just as climate change and coronavirus painfully remind us of the harm we’ve caused, Restore Our Earth reminds us of the opportunities that lay ahead.

We must Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.

One effort after Earth Day 2021 will be our global push for climate literacy, so the leaders of tomorrow can prepare solutions today.

Source: Text & Image: earth.org

3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

If asked about someone – whether we know the person or not – we may reply that we know of him, or her.
On the other hand, we may answer that we know him, or her – and there is a difference.
In the first instance, we may have heard about someone, or read some of his/her writings, or seen photos of them.
But we would not claim to know that person.

We are all aware that there are degrees of knowing.
We are conscious that claiming to know someone involves a relationship –
someone may be an acquaintance, a distant relative, or a close friend.

This reflection came to me as I read the gospel text of this 3rd Sunday of Easter (Lk.24:35-48).
Jesus appeared to the group of his apostles and…

“They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

The apostles knew Jesus – they had lived with him for three years, or so.
They could have claimed to know him… quite well.
Yet, they would have probably admitted that, very often, they did not understand him.
And, on that night, they simply failed to recognize him.

Their knowledge of him had to grow and somehow be transformed.
They knew him as Jesus, the former carpenter, or Jesus, the Man of Nazareth.
Now, they had to recognize in him more than that… they had to know him as the Risen Lord.
 
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

I believe that such a growth must be part of my own relationship with God.
God may have been the God of my childhood, and the God of my youth.
He may have remained my God when I became an adult, but… did he remain the same?
And, if I have reached the ‘golden age’, is he still the same for me, as he was before?

Some may hasten to reply that, of course, God is the same, they will claim that God does not change.
This may be correct in some way.
But I have changed, and I believe that my understanding of God should somehow grow with me…

For me too, God must open my mind so that I may understand who he truly is… now…
And he may reveal himself in other ways – surprising and wonderful – as I walk with him from day to day.

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

 

 

Source: Images: Bearing the Cross – Altervista