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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.

 

2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2021

Thomas, the apostle, has been blamed and praised probably in equal measure!
We meet him in the second part of today’s gospel (Jn.20:19-31).
It is obvious that he could speak his mind and was not easily influenced by other people.

His companions tell him that they have seen Jesus, yes, the Lord who is risen.
To Thomas, what the other apostles claim is simply impossible, it cannot be.
He will not accept such a thing, they are dreaming.
To him, his friends are mistaken, they take their hopes for reality.
Thomas tells them clearly:

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
and put my finger in the mark of the nails,
and my hand in his side,
I will not believe.”
 
One week goes by…
One week of denying… questioning himself… weighing possibilities…
Recognizing the impossibility… and then…

Recognizing the Lord himself!
A recognition that expresses itself in words that Christians have been repeating for centuries.
“My Lord and my God!”
 
From disbelief to adoration!

Thomas’ journey… which could be mine…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b-2021/

Thomas introduces himself in the following video at: https://youtu.be/kp1eb-oBH6w

  

Source: Image: Twitter St. Mary’s School

Easter Sunday, Year B – 2021

Searching for Jesus – many of us do this at different moments of our lives.
We sometimes lament his absence.
We find it difficult to locate the places where, according to us, he should be found.
It seems to us that we know where he ought to be!

The gospel text of the pascal vigil (Mark 16:1-7) shows us three women who were convinced of the same thing.
They knew where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had buried Jesus.
So, they were carrying spices to anoint his body laid in the tomb.

But as they arrive at the place, they receive a message rather astonishing:
“You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.
He has risen! He is not here.”

A man who is known to have died, is alive!
While his body should be resting in Jerusalem, the women are told he is waiting in Galilee.
But the messenger adds: “Just as he told you.”
 
Is the same experience not happening to us from time to time?
We need to look for Jesus… somewhere else than where we thought we would find him.
We must realize that he is alive, yes, alive and present to what we live day after day.
And we should remember… what he has told us!
 
Learning anew the meaning of his resurrection…

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

 

Source: Image: Pinterest

Good Friday, Year B – 2021

Good Friday… a day unlike all others.
The day of the Passion of the Lord.
A day when things happen and people behave in such strange ways…

The soldiers have arrested Jesus.
Jesus is brought to Annas – Annas sends Jesus to Caiaphas (Jn.18:13-14).
Jesus is brought to Pilate – Pilate sends Jesus to Herod.
Jesus is brought to Herod – Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate (Lk.23:1-12).
Pilate tells the Jews to deal with Jesus – the Jews tell Pilate it is up to him to condemn Jesus (Jn.18:31).
Pilate tries to free Jesus – The Jews want Barrabas to be freed (Mt.27:17,20).

Washing of hands… it seems no one is ready to accept responsibility… (Mt.27:25).
A serious question: “What is truth?”… but no listening to the reply… (Jn.18:38).
A day when long-time disciples run away… (Mk.14:50).
A day when a close friend denies even knowing his friend… (Mt.26:69-75).

Some time before this fateful week, Jesus had said:
“Now my soul is troubled.
And what should I say: ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”    (John 12:27)
 
And for what reason?
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1)
No wonder that we call this day: GOOD Friday!

 

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

 
Source: Images: Devotion to Our Lady   jesus-story.net    Heartlight   Pinterest   17QQ

Holy Thursday, Year B – 2021

What has been called: The Last Supper of Jesus with his twelve apostles was a very solemn moment indeed.
It seems that, on such very special occasions, Peter always came up with some special… interventions!

After the amazing catch of fish he and his friends had taken on Jesus’ indication, Peter had said:
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” (Lk.5:8)
 
Then, a few times, Jesus had warned his apostles of what would happen to him and, again, Peter had intervened saying:
“Heaven forbid, Lord. This will never happen to you!” (Mt.16:22)
 
And, tonight, as Jesus kneels before him to wash his feet, Peter has a strong objection:
“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
And he insists:
“You will never wash my feet!” (Jn.13:6,8)
 
Jesus replies to him:
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” (Jn.13:8)
 
This reference to Jesus’ relationship with Peter overcomes his resistance.
This is what changes his mind, his attitude, and no doubt, his heart too!
His spontaneous reactions and his sudden exclamations become subdued…

To accept Jesus is to accept all of him – what he proposes, what he offers, what he asks for…
The gesture of Jesus is a sign and Peter must accept the sign if he wants the relationship with Jesus to endure and to deepen –
it is as simple as that.

Could it be that this is also what I am faced with on this Holy Thursday?…

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

 

Source: Image: TurnbackToGod.com

Palm Sunday, Year B – 2021

At the mention of Palm Sunday, the scene immediately comes to mind (Mark 11:1-10).
The scene, and the actors as well.

  • Two disciples are sent by Jesus to bring him a colt tied, on which no one has sat”.
  • Some people observing the disciples’ intervention object but finally accept.
  • Many people spread clothes on the road, they wave branches in welcome.
  • They acclaim Jesus as the one who comes in the name of the Lord”.
  • The Pharisees protest at this glorious welcome (Luke 19:40).
  • Jesus tells them: “If they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.”

An event that took place some 2000 years ago.
A scene of the distant past.
And yet…
A reality ever present.
A message ever meaningful.
A coming ever happening…

WE could be in our world today…
Those who are sent by Jesus…
Those who object or protest…
Those who welcome and acclaim…

On this Palm Sunday, I ask myself: ‘Where do I stand?’
 

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

 

 

Source: Image: Meridian Magazine

5th Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2021

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (He.5:7-9) gives us a text that is quite surprising:

“In the days of His flesh, when He (Christ) had offered up prayers and supplications, 
with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death,
and was heard because of His godly fear, 
though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.”
 
Taken one by one, the texts of Scripture give us messages that nourish our reflection.
But taken as a group, they can offer an overall picture that is quite challenging.
This is what I have found out when I gathered together some chosen texts.

“The Word became flesh.” (Jn.1:14)
 
“God sent his Son, born of a woman.” (Galatians 4:4)
 
He (Jesus) went down with them (Mary and Joseph) and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them…
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:51-52)
 
“My soul is troubled.” (John 12:27 – today’s gospel)
“He was troubled in spirit.” (John 13:21)
 
“Being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
 
« Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. »
When he had said this, he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46)
 
This is our CREED – the faith in what theologians call ‘the mystery of INCARNATION.’
The mystery of a God so unlike what we perhaps think God should be!

A God who is born of a human mother.
A God who grows up like all children do.
A God who obeys human beings.
A God who is troubled and experiences great fear and anguish.
A God who dies as we will all do…

This is OUR God – so much like us in so many things…
Calling us to be like God… nothing less.

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

 

Source: Image: pinterest.com

4th Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2021

In the 1st reading of last Sunday (Exodus 20:1-17) God gave his people what is known as:
The ten commandments.
In that text, we can read:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image –
any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth.”
 
I sometimes reflect that God did not want people to ‘create’ a representation of him
because he wanted them to see his true image.
He, himself, was to help us discover this image through the message he was to give us.
Something of this message is given to us in today’s readings.

The 1st reading of this Sunday (2 Ch.36:14-16,19-23) describes for us something of who God is:
“The Lord, the God of their ancestors, tirelessly sent them messenger after messenger
since he wishes to spare his people.”

The 2nd reading (Ephesians 2:4-10) tells us:
“God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy.

And in the gospel (John 3:14-21), we hear that:
“God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost,
but may have eternal life.

This is the image of God – the true image of who he is and what he wants to be for us.
We should be careful not to present any other image of God –
it would be a poor image,
truly a caricature of him…

 

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

And a video (in English) presents Nicodemus meeting Jesus in today’s gospel: https://youtu.be/rfpNLx-uFMs

 

Source: Images: bibleisnpirations.org   flickr

Pope Francis visits Irak

Pope Francis arrives in Iraq as ‘penitent pilgrim’ begging for peace

Pope Francis arrived in Iraq March 5 for a three-day visit aimed at encouraging the nation’s historic but diminishing Christian community. ..

The pontiff made impassioned and repeated pleas that the country might avert further conflict.  « May the clash of arms be silenced! » exhorted Francis. « May their spread be curbed, here and everywhere! « May the voice of builders and peacemakers find a hearing! » said the pope. « The voice of the humble, the poor, the ordinary men and women who want to live, work and pray in peace.”

Source: Text (excerpts): Joshua J. McElwee March 5, 2021  Image: People.com

 

3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2021

The Scripture texts offered to our reflection for Sundays and Feast days come in different… ‘attires’.
Some interesting, some encouraging, some quite challenging.

The 2nd reading of this Sunday gives us a short text of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians (1 Cor.1:22:25).
According to me, the message we find there belongs to the last category – it is indeed quite challenging

It is focused on four words:
WISDOM, FOOLISHNESS, WEAKNESS, STRENGTH.
 
“The foolishness of God is wiser than men,
and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
 
Paul did not mince his words and this text calls on those he was writing to – and on all of us – to do some… soul-searching!
It asks of us to do some… re-vision, yes, to have a second look, at ourselves:

  • our thoughts and ideas
  • our values and preferences
  • our choices and decisions
  • our options and refusals
  • our plans and projects
  • our actions, reactions and… interactions…

A checklist to help us find out if we are guided by God’s wisdom or… our own foolishness.
Quite a project for Lent… in fact, it may serve us for a life-time!

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

 

Source: Image: Heartlight

2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2021

If I were asked to make a list of all the petitions I presented to God the past year,
I would be at a loss where to start.
I would find it impossible to remember all the things I asked from him.

He told us clearly: “Ask and it will be given to you.” (Mt.7:7)
I have no doubt that he means this but…
Somehow, I feel I may not always ask what he has in mind to give!

As he writes to the Christians of Rome, Paul tells them something rather astonishing.
The 2nd reading of this Sunday gives us his words (Rom.8:31-34):
 
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all –
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” 
 
Paul is convinced that God is ready to give us “all things”.
It is an amazing statement, an amazing expression of faith!

To believe without a doubt that God will give us ALL…

  • all that we are in need of;
  • all that he knows is best for us;
  • all that will make of us the people he had in mind when he created us – all!

It IS an amazing expression of faith indeed… and I can only hope –
no, I can expect that it is included in the ‘all’ that He is willing to give me!
Provided… I ask for it, of course.

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-b-2021/

And a blog, in French also, reflects on the 1st reading where God invites Abraham to count the stars: https://image-i-nations.com/une-invitation-quon-ne-recoit-pas-tous-les-jours/

 

Source: Image: prayersandpetitions.org