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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.

 

1st Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2021

We have entered a new period of what is called the liturgical year.
We are now in the Season of Lent – a season rich in meaning.

In the gospel text of this 1st Sunday (Mk.1:13-15), we hear Jesus tell us:
“The time has come.” 
 
The time of what? The time for what?
Jesus answers:
“The kingdom of God has come near.”
 
We are often told to turn to God, to go to him, to be near him.
We are reminded that this Lenten period is meant for that.

What if we changed the perspective, turn it right around to…
allow God to come near to us?…
What if… Lent was the time to… allow God to come near to us?…

This is what he wanted from the very beginning when he created human beings.
He wanted to live in a relationship of proximity, of intimacy with us –
this is the meaning of the 1st reading where we see God making a special alliance with his people (Gn.9:8-15).

A time to allow God to come near to us so that he may pour into our lives all that he wants to bless us with!
Of course, we must believe it, believe HIM.
Of course, we must ‘repent’ – this is part of the process of freeing some space in us so as to be able to receive all that he is offering!

What an offering that is!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/1er-dimanche-du-careme-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Facebook

Radio Day – 13 February

The world used to be a much bigger place, at least when you consider the difficulty involved with transmitting information from place to place.
In the beginning, we simply had to walk and talk to one another, and then we were able to write and exchange letters. Ideas and music traveled the world at a snail’s pace as compared to today.

But then the radio was invented, and suddenly transmitting ideas hundreds of miles became a relatively trivial matter! The world became connected, and it would never be the same. Let’s celebrate the history of the radio and the interconnectedness it brings us!

 

Source: Text & Image: daysoftheyear.com

6th Sunday of Year B – 2021

We are often told that we should turn to God.
We should come to him in all kinds of situations and pray to him for all our needs.
And, of course, many writers and preachers tell us HOW we should do this.

Today, I choose to reflect on HOW NOT to do so.
I personally believe that we should NOT turn to God with fear, hesitation, shame or doubt.

We should NOT be afraid that he is too far above or too far away to listen to us.
We should NOT hesitate to turn to him thinking that he is not concerned about our problems.
We should NOT be ashamed of our failings and failures of all kinds – they will not bother him.
We should NOT doubt that he is compassionate and merciful.

What confirms me in this conviction is the gospel text of this Sunday (Mk.1:40-45).
Here comes a man afflicted by a shameful disease – that man is a leper.
The rule in his society is that he should keep away from everyone,
as we see in the 1st reading (Lv.13:1-2,45-46).

Jesus is a respected religious leader and he is an outcast.
Yet, this leper is not afraid or ashamed, he does not hesitate or doubt.
He asks Jesus to cure him, and Jesus does so without delay!

Why do we not do the same with our difficulties, problems and, possibly, even our shameful situation?!

 

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

  

Source: Images: sharesonofgod.com

5th Sunday of Year B – 2021

When the name ‘JESUS’ is mentioned, everyone hearing the word tries to picture the one known as ‘the Man of Nazareth’.
Pictures of him abound in books, magazines, and now the web offers also countless representations of him.

I, personally, think that the best way to know him is to look at how he shows himself in the gospel.
In the text of this Sunday (Mk.1:29-39), three ‘pictures’ of him are given to us.

  We see him healing people, praying, and preaching.

These three images represent the main aspects of his personality:

a man of compassion,
a man of God,
a messenger of God.

In him, we meet God and we experience the compassion of God,
we receive God’s message and God’s healing.

Of course… we need to ask for it…

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

 

Source: Images: www.thechurchofjesuschrist.org   freepik.com

International day of Human Fraternity – 4 February 2021

With unanimous vote in the General Assembly, February 4 becomes the (first) International Day of Human Fraternity. 

  The United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to designate February 4 — the anniversary of the signing of the “Document for Human Fraternity” by Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb — as the “International Day of Human Fraternity.” 

The General Assembly voted Tuesday and invited Member States and the United Nations system to include this celebration in their calendar beginning in 2021. 

Supported by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, Burkina Faso and Venezuela, the U.N. resolution takes note of the meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, on February 4, 2019, in Abu Dhabi. 

The resolution also calls on all member states to “continue to work for a culture of peace in order to contribute to peace and sustainable development.” This includes, according to the document, the mobilization of “the efforts of the international community in favor of peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.”

While introducing the resolution, representatives of the United Arab Emirates said it was a response to growing religious hatred amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. website said. The resolution says that the General Assembly reaffirms the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Word of the Editor: The following video, from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, speaks volumes… https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Mnof8dSFIoR-mU74W8SV-l0X2CohMm8B/view?usp=sharing

Source: Text: John Burger, Aleteia Image: vaticannews.va

 

World Day for Consecrated Life – 2 February 2021

About World Day for Consecrated Life

In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. 

« This then is the consecrated life: praise which gives joy to God’s people, prophetic vision that reveals what counts. Consecrated life is not about survival (… )it’s about new life. It is a living encounter with the Lord in his people. It is a call to the faithful obedience of daily life and to the unexpected surprises from the Spirit. It is a vision of what we need to embrace in order to experience joy: Jesus ».
Pope Francis, WDCL Homily on February 2, 2019.

Religious life is this vision.  It means seeing what really matters in life.  It means welcoming the Lord’s gift with open arms, as Simeon did.  This is what the eyes of consecrated men and women behold: the grace of God poured into their hands.  The consecrated person is one who every day looks at himself or herself and says: “Everything is gift, all is grace”.  
2020 Papal Homily for the 24th World Day for Consecrated Life

Source: Text: NRVC (National Religious Vocation Conference, USA)   Image: The Daily Wire

4th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Recently, I watched a webinar, a seminar on the web, it is popular nowadays.
There are all kinds of them on different topics.

Of course, in this time of pandemic, many of them are about the virus causing havoc in our lives.
The doctor giving the lecture I listened to was a specialist in epidemics.
His manner was simple and he spoke in such a way that everyone could follow what he was explaining.
When the presentation was over, I said to myself: ‘That man knows what he is talking about!’

Later in the day, I took my Bible to read the gospel of this coming Sunday (Mk.1:21-28).
There, I met a group of people who could have said exactly the same words I spoke about the lecturer I watched on the web.

The text says:
“When the sabbath came, he (Jesus) entered the synagogue and taught. 
The people were astounded at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”
 
In today’s language, these people could have said of Jesus:
‘He knows what he is talking about.’

If we look at our own lives, when we are in need, this is the kind of person we look for.
In need of a lawyer for a judicial case,
in need of a financial counselor for a transaction,
in need of a doctor for some health matter,
in every situation, we want the best, someone who knows what our need is and how to remedy it –
in other words: someone who knows what he is talking about.

I personally think that, when it comes to my very life – now and… the life after this life…
I need, I really do, someone who knows what he is talking about,
someone who knows from experience what life means, and what death means as well.

I know the very Person I can address myself to…
You probably know Him also?…

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

  

Source: Image: lisu.rvasia.org

3rd Sunday of Year B – 2021

The usual tasks, the ordinary occupations, the habitual duties – yes, the everyday routine.
Not very attractive, not especially inviting, and… not really inspiring…

Yet, inspiration can be found there – this is the message I discover in today’s gospel text (Mk.1:14-20).

The four fishermen who were to become the first apostles were not in the Temple.
They were not joining in a ritual celebration, or even offering alms for the priests.
They were simply busy with the daily chore of mending their nets and getting food for their family by fishing, as they were used to.

The inspiration comes precisely in the fact that it is there, in the usual and the ordinary, that Jesus meets us.
It is in these day-to-day tasks that he calls us to share in ‘his task’, that of doing the will of the Father.

We sometimes think of the special occasions and the unusual situations as meeting-places with God.
We may see our daily work as just too ordinary for God.

What about 30 years spent as a carpenter by the Man of Nazareth?
Was that not very ordinary and commonplace?

But, I am personally convinced that, to God nothing is too common.
Nothing is too low for him to join us where we are, precisely at what we are doing.

And then… things can take on such a different meaning.
 

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

  

Source: Image: Free Bible Images

2nd Sunday of Year B – 2021

The conversations we have among ourselves take on different aspects.
We can exchange information, relate events that have taken place or, on a lighter note, crack a joke!
Questions are also very much part of our daily interaction with people.
Questions of different kinds and about many topics.

In today’s gospel text (Jn.1:35-42), we witness some questioning addressed to the one known as the Man of Nazareth.
We see two men approaching Jesus and asking him a question –
a very simple question, one that we, ourselves, sometimes ask from people we meet:

“Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 
 
I pause and ask myself whether I ever asked Jesus this question…
I suppose that I presume that I know… I know that he is everywhere,
perhaps especially in heaven (whatever definition we may give to this term).
Some people may add that he is really present in the Eucharist, but… is this… all?

I suddenly recall that on the eve of his death, Jesus told his apostles:

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (Jn.14:23)
 
Could it be that Jesus is staying much closer ‘home’ than we think?
 
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/
 
 

Source: Image: 4brosblog.com

Baptism of the Lord, Year B – 2021

Questions are asked of us throughout the day and every day.
Some are about minor things, or small matters, and they require little thinking.
Other questions are about more serious aspects of our lives
and we may need to pause before we give an answer.

Of course, much depends also on… who is asking the question.
What about if it is… GOD who is asking us questions?!
Because he does ask us and these questions reach us personally and intimately.

In the text of the 1st reading today, God’s question is addressed to us through the prophet Isaiah (Is.55:1-11).
We hear him say:

Why spend money… and your labor on what does not satisfy?”
 
This question may reach us when we did not expect it and yet…
it involves something that touches us closely:
our money, our labor, ultimately, our choices and our values.
In simple words: What do we live for?
From what do we expect to find satisfaction, in fact: where do we look for happiness?

After questioning us, God invites us:
“Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.”
 
At the beginning of a new year, this invitation opens up for us the path to follow –
to listen to the Lord and find the path to LIFE, a life full and meaningful.

Personally, I believe that if this is what God offers, it is the best that can truly SATISFY us.
 

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

 

Source: Image: Pinterest