hello

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 Olive Tree Day – 26 November

World Olive Tree Day was proclaimed at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019 and takes place on 26 November every year.

The olive tree, specifically the olive branch, holds an important place in the minds of men and women. Since ancient times, it has symbolized peace, wisdom and harmony and as such is important not just to the countries where these noble trees grow, but to people and communities around the world.

Conserving and cultivating the olive tree is a growing imperative as the world combats and adapts to climate change. The protection of cultural and natural heritage, including landscapes, is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and marking World Olive Tree Day reinforces environmental sustainability efforts.

The aim of World Olive Tree Day is to encourage the protection of the olive tree and the values it embodies, in order to appreciate its important social, cultural, economic and environmental significance to humanity.

 

Source: Text: https://whc.unesco.org/    Image:  pexels.com

34th Sunday of Year A, Feast of Christ the King – 2023

Today’s feast celebrates Christ as King of the universe.
But, in the texts of our celebration, God is presented not as a king but as… a SHEPHERD.
This is how he wants to be known.
Both the first reading (Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17), and the gospel text (Matthew 25:31-46), describe him as such.

We see him searching for the lost, rescuing those in darkness,
showing them where to rest, bringing back the stray,
bandaging the wounded and making the weak strong.
watching over all of them…

And it is to a shepherd that Jesus has identified himself as he said:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

In the gospel text, He invites us to have for others the same concern and care that he has for us, his sheep.
In fact, it will be on this very attitude that we will be judged –
not only on what we did but also… on what we did not do!…

We celebrate, not his dominion, but his compassion.
And he expects us to show this compassion to all those we live and meet with…

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-christ-roi-2023/

 

Source: Image: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

World Children’s Day – 20 November 2023

2023 Theme: For every child, every right

World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.

November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since 1990, World Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the Declaration and the Convention on children’s rights.

Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, can play an important part in making World Children’s Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.

World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.

 

Source: Text & Image: World Children’s Day      PHOTO:UNICEF/UN0747721/Mark Naftalin

World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November

CALL TO ACTION: Commemorate the World Day – 19 November in synergy with the Universal Children’s Day – 20 November 2022

We call on all our coalition members, partners and friends around the world to participate again with local and national activities in the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target #16.2 « End abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children » to speed up better prevention of violence against children and youth in the world.

With every 5 minutes a child dying as a result of violence around the world, we need to mobilize not only governments, but also all citizens – adults and youth – to commit to the full implementation of children’s right to dignity and non-violence.

For those of you who are new to the 19 November World Day for prevention of child abuse, please note that the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) inaugurated this Day in the year 2000 with endorsements from many dignitaries, including from Kofi Annan, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Desmond Tutu, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, Jean Zermatten and Prof. Yang-hee Lee, both former chairs of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative lf the United Nations General Secretary.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.woman.ch/19-days-of-activism-prevention-kit/world-day-for-prevention-of-child-abuse-19-nov/

33rd Sunday of Year A – 2023

Warnings… we receive some of them from different sources.
Relatives and friends who want what is best for us will occasionally give us a warning about something possibly dangerous for us.
Articles from magazines, or other published materials, can also warn us about health hazards, or accidents of some kind.
Of course, social media offer much advice and warning about things we should be careful about.

Today, the 2nd reading of our celebration has also the form of a warning.
It comes in the letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the first Christians of Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).
The warning is about something very important indeed: it refers to our way of living as Christians.

Paul tells us:
“Let us be awake and sober”.

It is a call to be vigilant, to remain attentive to what is happening and… careful about what could happen.

There are people who pretend that whatever is to happen will happen and they cannot do anything about it!
They have given up any responsibility for their choices and actions.
They have forgotten about God’s presence and what he expects of us.

They go through life sleepwalking; they close their eyes to the reality they should be facing.
They are oblivious to God’s coming… God’s coming which is possible, probable, certain in fact and…
at an hour we do not know!

But this is NOT a threat, it is the eventual fulfilment of all that our human existence is about:
meeting God and living with him for a life of happiness that will never end…
if only we are awake to welcome him!

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/33e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/

 

Source: Image: Biblia

World Prematurity Day – 17 November 2023

World Prematurity Day is observed worldwide on 17th of November every year to raise awareness of preterm births that include prematurity-related fatalities, challenges, and affordable ways to prevent them.

On this day, various national and international organisations, including the World Health Organisation(WHO)/ Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the March of Dimes, hospitals, non-profit organisations and healthcare professionals, come together to conduct activities and special events to increase awareness of the difficulties and burdens of premature birth worldwide.

Importance of World Prematurity Day

Prematurity is the broad category of newborns born before 37 weeks of gestation. The most significant cause of newborn mortality and the most prevalent reason for prenatal hospitalisation is preterm delivery. The three leading causes of death for premature newborns born with birth weights less than 1000 g are respiratory failure, infection, and congenital deformity.

Preterm birth can occur for a number of reasons. The majority of preterm births occur naturally. However, some are caused by medical reasons like infections or other pregnancy issues that necessitate early induction of labour or caesarean birth.

According to a new report launched by the United Nations agencies and partners, an estimated 1.34 crore babies were delivered prematurely in 2020, with roughly 10 lakhs dying as a result of preterm complications. It equates to approximately one in every ten newborns born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) worldwide.

According to the study, only one out of every ten extremely preterm newborns (28 weeks) survive in low-income nations, compared to more than nine out of ten in high-income countries. Even in high-income countries, disparities in race, ethnicity, poverty, and access to excellent care influence the likelihood of preterm birth, mortality, and disability.

Preterm birth has become the most prevalent cause of infant death, accounting for more than one-fifth of all deaths in children under the age of five. Preterm survival may endure long-term health repercussions, including a greater risk of disability and developmental delays. World Prematurity Day intends to create awareness and to work towards preventing preterm birth.

World Prematurity Day 2023 Theme

This year, 2023, the World Prematurity Day theme is « Small actions, BIG IMPACT: Immediate skin-to-skin care for every baby everywhere ». The theme emphasises that skin-to-skin contact (Kangaroo care) benefits all infants, especially premature babies. Initiated right after birth, skin-to-skin contact contributes to the baby’s awareness of touch and affection and plays a vital role in maintaining breastfeeding.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.pacehospital.com/world-prematurity-day

Feast of Diwali – 12 November 2023

Background

Diwali is called the « Festival of Lights » and is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana. People lit their houses to celebrate his victory over evil (light over darkness).

The goddess of happiness and good fortune, Lakshmi, also figures into the celebration. It is believed that she roams the Earth on this day and enters the house that is pure, clean, and bright. Diwali celebrations may vary in different communities but its significance and spiritual meaning is generally “the awareness of the inner light”.

Symbols

Lamps, fireworks and bonfires illuminate this holiday, as the word “Deepawali” means “a row or cluster of lights” or “rows of diyas (clay lamps)”. The festival symbolizes the victory of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. The goddess Lakshmi, who symbolizes wealth, happiness and prosperity, is also worshipped during Diwali.

 

Source: Text: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/diwali    Image: BSc Nursing

 

32nd Sunday of Year A – 2023

Have you ever stood at a door knocking and… being refused entry?
You knew that some people were there but did not open.
Finally, they simply said that… they did not know you.
A very frustrating experience, if ever there was one!

This is a scene we find in today’s gospel text (Matthew 25:1-13).
It is entitled: Ten bridesmaids ­­­– five of them qualify as ‘sensible’, the others are said to be ‘foolish’.
This parable of Jesus is well known to us and its message also but…
We may tend to keep seeing it as a story and remain reluctant to see where we, ourselves, stand…

All ten bridesmaids fell asleep – the problem was not there.
But some of them had prepared for a long wait… the others had not…

Waiting – there is much waiting in our lives!
Situations when we must wait for something to happen, for someone to arrive –
this is familiar to all of us.

But there is a special kind of waiting…
It is waiting for… GOD…

This means that, first, we believe that he is indeed coming, coming to us, personally.
When will he reach us?
We do not know.
How will his presence be manifest?
This is also unknown and… unpredictable!

Like us, the apostles wanted to know, and they had asked Jesus:
“The apostles came and asked him privately,
‘Tell us when is this going to happen,
and what will be the sign of your coming’.”

He, himself, says: “I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7,12).

When they asked the question from Jesus, his apostles were thinking of the end of the world.
But this is not the only moment we should expect him.
He will definitely come to us… at the end of our lives, each one of us.
But again, there is more to his coming to us than this last moment of our existence.

In fact, God is constantly coming to us.
The sudden inspiration to help someone in need – he is coming…
The unexpected arrival of a hoped for visitor – he is coming…
The strength received to be faithful to a commitment – he is coming…
The compassion received from a friend in a time of loss – he is coming…
The health restored after a serious accident – he is coming…
The forgiveness received from him in spite of much unfaithfulness – he is coming…

But to see it all, one has to be… ‘sensible’ – having this special oil of perception of his constant coming!

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/32e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/

 

Source: Image: Doyenné ­Pau – périphérie

 

Common Sense Day – 4 November

HISTORY OF USE YOUR COMMON SENSE DAY

Common sense as a concept is ancient, first being brought to the limelight by the great philosopher, Aristotle. He described it as the ability with which animals (including humans) process sense perceptions, memories, and imagination to reach many types of judgments. To his thinking, only humans have real reasoned thinking, which takes them beyond common sense. This was then carried forward in the Roman interpretation, which holds that concepts like ideas and perceptions are held by man and make them more sophisticated than animals.

French philosopher, René Descartes, established the most common modern meaning, and its controversies, when he stated that everyone has a similar and sufficient amount of common sense, but it is rarely used well.

Since the Age of Enlightenment, the term “common sense” has been used for a rhetorical effect both approvingly, as a standard for good taste, and source of scientific and logical axioms.

In modern times, common sense is defined as ‘the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live reasonably and safely”. Without any doubt, applying common sense could save one a lot of problems.

Common Sense Day was created by Bud Bilanich, a career mentor, motivational speaker, blogger, and author. He’s starred in some leading TV shows and magazines and has written 19 books that highlight how to succeed in life, and how the application of common sense is vital to that success. Common Sense Day was first celebrated in 2015.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://nationaltoday.com/use-your-common-sense-day

31st Sunday of Year A – 2023

There are things we are told that we believe we know, yet…
We sometimes think that because we have heard something said many times, we understand them, but…

This could apply to… the word of God.
Writing to the early Christians of Thessalonica, the apostle Paul tells them (1 Th.2:7-9,13):

“When you received the word of God, which you heard from us,
you accepted it not as the word of men, 
but as what it really is, the word of God.”

Could Paul say the same from us?
It is good to ask ourselves:
When picking up the Bible to read a text, are we aware, really aware, of “what it really is” as Paul says?
When we hear a passage from Scripture being read to us, are we convinced that it is indeed “the word of God”?

In fact, the word of God is often written with a capital letter: Word of God,
with the meaning that it is Jesus himself, the Son of God, speaking to us.
It is not simply a printed text, not only words from a book, but God addressing us personally.

Of course, the texts have been written by human beings –
but human beings who placed themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s own Spirit.

This changes the whole perspective – we are not considering texts, themes, or theories.
We are not reflecting about ideas, thoughts, or concepts…
We are meant to meet Someone addressing us directly!

And this Someone is God himself!
How different an experience this can be!…

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/31e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/

 

Source: Image: One Walk ǀ with Jesus