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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.

 

4th Sunday of Year C

“Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror ;
but then we shall be seeing face to face.” (1 Cor.13:12 – 2nd reading)

It is said and repeated.
It is claimed and proclaimed.
It is promised and published …

But, do we believe this?
It is so astonishing!

It is announced and assured…
It is taught and sung…
It is preached and explained…

But can we accept this?
It is so amazing!

We hear it.
We read it.
We say it…

But can we receive this?
It is so overwhelming!

One day, we will SEE GOD face à face.
This is what he meant from the beginning.
This is what we are meant for… one day!

For now: We… Believe – Accept – Receive… in hope!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2/

 
Source: Image: videoblocks.com

3rd Sunday of Year C

There are many things we do out of habit – it is our custom to perform this or that action.
We are so used to behaving in a certain way that we do those things somehow without thinking much about it.

But there are other situations when it is not the case, we hesitate, we reflect before taking a course of action.
We ponder, we look at this and that other aspect of a gesture, a response, a decision.
If asked about it, we may reply that we need to understand what is involved.
We need to make sense of something.

This need to understand lies deep within us.
We search for meaning, we try to discover the sense of what something is about,
what WE are about, in fact.

This came to me as I read the 1st reading of this Sunday (Ne.8:2-6,8-10).
There we hear of the Jews gathered to listen to God’s message to them in the Law.
We are told:

“Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense,
so that the people understood what was read.”
 
Receiving the understanding of the word of God – this is what we are meant to do. 
Not only listening, not solely hearing, not purely accepting as a matter of fact.
But understanding, deepening, making our own God’s message.

Nothing less will satisfy our need for making sense –
making sense of life, of our human existence, of… God himself!
God: what he is, what he wants to be for each one of us…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2/

Source: Image: Pixabay

2nd Sunday of Year C

A catastrophe! A crisis! A disaster! A disgrace!
A joyful celebration has turned into a shameful situation: no more wine at the wedding feast.

Of course, the story of today’s gospel (Jn.2:1-12) is well-known to us and we are familiar with its happy ending.
But let us suppose for a moment that the conclusion is yet hidden from us.
What could be called the ‘process’, or the development, of the situation would appear quite astonishing.

Mary informs Jesus of the unfortunate happening but he does not seem keen to intervene.
However, Mary approaches the servants and tells them:
“Whatever he may say to you, do it.”
 
She must have made it clear to them that she was referring to her son.
Amazingly, the servants will do exactly what Jesus tells them.
And it is amazing indeed.
The six large containers of about 34 liters each were meant to contain water, not wine.
And the water was to be used for the ablutions of the guests who were joining the feast, not to serve… wine!

We can imagine the surprise, the utter astonishment of the servants drawing from the jars what they were surely expecting to be… water!
Jesus was not known as a ‘miracle worker’… yet – John says this intervention was Jesus’ first sign.
So his credentials as either a prophet, or a man of unusual power, were not yet established.

The servants may have been doubtful… hesitant… reluctant… to do as they were told.
In fact, they may have wondered if people would not laugh at them…
Yet, they did, yes, they did what Jesus told them to do.

There are other situations where WE are concerned…

We may be doubtful… hesitant… reluctant… to do as we feel God expects us to do.
What is the outcome of the ‘process’ of OUR discernment?

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:  https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2/

Source: Image: curvetube.com

Baptism of the Lord, Year C

During the Christmas season, we have been exchanging gifts of all kinds. Gifts – small ones and bigger ones, ordinary and more unusual, wrapped in colourful paper and ribbons.

Some of them have brought delight, others we may have politely shown pleasure at receiving them but… we may have found them useless – either too big or too small in size, or definitely not to our liking. On the other hand, some gifts which we especially liked may soon be damaged, we will be sorry to see them broken or lost.

During that period, we have also received gifts… from God! Did you not include them on your list of… ‘things’ received? Well, in fact… they are not of the ‘thing category’ but, when giving blessings and favours, God gives HIMSELF.

In the 2nd reading of today’s feast: the Baptism of our Lord, Paul reminds his friend Titus (Titus 3:4-7) that God has given us his own Spirit:

“the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus.” 

God’s Spirit is his own gift to us and it will never be taken away, disappear, or be damaged.

When writing to the first Christians of Rome, Paul assured them: “God never takes back his gifts.” (Rom.11:29)

So, we have a most precious gift, totally ours, fully answering our needs and hopes, for all of 2019 and… for ever!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/?p=12952

 

Source: Image: sec-gobiemorgen-rmi.blogshpot.com

 

 

 

 

 

Feast of the Epiphany, Year C

Today’s feast – the Epiphany – is often called: ‘the Feast of the Kings’ referring to the Magi. They are presented to us as being three Wise Men that legend describes as kings.

If we accept this, the text of Matthew’s gospel today (Mt.2:1-12) refers to… five kings! You are puzzled…

Well, the three Magi, and… King Herod, and the one the Wise Men inquire about as being “the king of the Jews”!

The word ‘Epiphany’ means ‘manifestation’ – a manifestation that entails a revelation. As I reflect about this, I see in these five ‘kings’ a symbol of humanity itself.

William Shakespeare has written: “All the world’s a stage” – somehow the text of Matthew somehow illustrates this.

The Wise Men are the symbol of people searching, searching for someone – the one giving the meaning of life.

King Herod is the personification of authority gone astray, clinging to power and its privileges for the selfish satisfaction of his own self.

And the one mentioned by the Magi “the king of the Jews”– this new-born child, is ‘God-with-us’ giving to all of us the power of becoming truly children of God.

Perhaps, it could be said that… “Everyone’s a stage!…”
Deep within us is the seed of someone searching…

Someone having to overcome selfishness…

Someone newly-born as God’s own child!…

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

https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lepiphanie-annee-c/

 

Source: Image: Jesus Walk   youtube.com   istockphoto.com

 

Feast of Mary, Mother of God, Year C

During this festive Season we have been exchanging good wishes of all kinds. We wish one another good health, happiness and peace, and many more good things. We sometimes summarize them in telling people that we want for them God’s blessings.

The first reading of today’s celebration (Nb.6:22-27) is, in fact, an extended blessing. The text tells us that God himself has chosen the words of it, so to speak.

One expression, repeated in the Psalm that follows (Ps.67:2-3,5,7-8), says:

“May God be gracious to you.”

The word ‘gracious’ evokes the picture of someone who is pleasant, kind, cordial, ready to help. Another definition comes to mind in the words: “filled with God’s grace”.

We are used to the language of religious faith and the expression ‘God’s grace’ is very familiar to us. Perhaps too familiar… we may no longer be aware of its deep meaning.

We may be in danger of seeing ‘grace’ as a ‘thing’, a gift from God, yes, but something different from himself.

In fact, it is the very essence of God, the very way God is for us, towards us… in us! God could not be otherwise!

God wants to ‘grace’ us, that is to share with us what he is so that we may become ever more as he is. This is the very meaning of the feast of Christmas that we have been celebrating.

One of the Fathers of the Church, saint Irenaeus, (c.120-200) said:

“God has become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself. »

This is the extent of his graciousness!

 

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

 

Feast of the Holy Family, Year C

This may have happened to you: waking up in the morning and saying to yourself: “I hope that, today, some good news will come my way…”

Well, this is what we have been celebrating on Christmas day. The gospel text gave us the angel’s words: “Today, I bring you news of great joy…” (Lk.2:10-11).

That good news is that God has become one of us.

And today, the second part of this great news unfolds for us: We have become… one of his!

It is said, it is written, it is proclaimed, in the second reading of the 1st epistle

of John: “We are called God’s children and so we are!” (1 Jn.3:1-2,21-24).

We are indeed and in truth ‘God’s family’.

It may not take all the problems away, it may not remove all pain and sorrow, but it provides strength to carry the problems and comfort in facing the painful situations.

GOOD NEWS indeed!

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

Source: Image: YouTube

27 December

For December 27, the liturgical calendar lists the feast of Saint John, the apostle and evangelist,

the very one known as « the beloved disciple. »

In the following video, he presents himself and speaks of the Master who had called him…

 

 

Christmas, Year C

Some years ago, I saw a Christmas card of a very unusual design. It depicted the star of Bethlehem, shining bright. And the shadow this star cast on the ground had the shape of… a cross.  

L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est star-of-bethlehem-1.jpg.

Quite a prophetic expression and a unique evocation of the meaning of the Nativity. More than once, I searched the web in vain to find back this illustration. But the message has remained with me…

From the darkness of the Christmas night in Bethlehem to the darkness of Golgotha, a LIGHT has shone – the very one which has led the prophet Isaiah to say:

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Is.9:2)

And of the coming of Jesus in our world, the apostle John said with conviction:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn.1:5)

The light of him who could say:

“I am the Light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (Jn.8:12)

“The light of life” this is the gift of Christmas offered to us by God himself.

A unique gift, the one we can’t do without!

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

 

Source: Image: youtube

 

 

4th Sunday of Advent, Year C

Just a few days before Christmas, many of us are rushing – hurrying to do this, to go there, to buy that. So many things to do, so many tasks to see to, so many people to contact…

So much, so many – it seems a mountain to climb to accomplish all that we are faced with before…

Before what?… Well… before Christmas!

The gospel text of today (4th Sunday of Advent, Year C – Luke 1:39-45) shows us Mary, precisely before Christmas. She, too, is in a hurry, we are told, and she too has a mountain to climb (at least, a hill, as the text describes it).

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country…”

She has just been visited by an angel, she has been asked to be the mother of God’s own Son and… she goes – she gets ready and moves on, not for herself but to help someone else. 

Some people would have expected her to stay home and reflect on what has just happened… Reflect, meditate, contemplate, adore – of course! Yes, of course, she will do all that, I believe… on the way!

Perhaps our own way to prepare for Christmas could be similar to hers: Reflect, meditate. contemplate, adore… in the midst of all the chores and duties that we are faced with.

If that way was good enough for her, should it not be good enough for us?!

 

Source: Image: infovisual.com

Note: another reflection is available on a different theme at: 

https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-c/