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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.

 

23rd Sunday of Year A – 2020

People may speak to give some information or to state a fact.
They may tell a story or give some instruction.

But it happens that someone makes a promise – this is a different kind of statement.
It is binding on the person who speaks and promising to the one receiving the promise.

What if it is… God himself who promises – we know he cannot fail to carry out what he has promised.

In today’s gospel (Mt.18:15-20), Jesus speaks such words of promise:
“Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
 
I wonder how many groups of people, gathered together because of Jesus are truly convinced of this?
If suddenly he appeared before their eyes, these people would be astonished.
Yet, even if invisible, Christ is no less present, no less REAL…

Perhaps he would chide them gently with the words he spoke before:
“You, of little faith…” (Mt.8:26)

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/23e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: The Church if Scotland

 

22nd Sunday of Year A – 2020

Last Sunday, the gospel text showed us Peter being praised by Jesus –
praised for recognizing him as he is, the Christ.
But in today’s text, far from being congratulated, Peter is reprimanded in no uncertain terms! (Mt.16:21-27)
 
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me;
you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
 
Peter wants the best for Jesus, his friend and Master, and he thinks that… he (Peter) knows best!
According to him, it is certainly not suffering and death at the hands of the leaders of the Jews.

Jesus sees in Peter a tempter – the meaning of the word ‘Satan’,
someone who puts obstacles on the path of Jesus carrying out his mission.

Peter has yet to learn to see life’s situations in the light of “the concerns of God,”
he is focused on “merely human concerns.”
In other words, Peter has to get adjusted to God’s ways of thinking – a life-long adjustment!

Looking at our own ways of seeing situations and people, it would seem that we need to make the same adjustment –

We are constantly in danger of thinking that we know best!
We like to believe that we know what is good and appropriate for ourselves and for others!
We would not admit it – possibly not even to ourselves – but we tend to think that God’s way should follow ours!

Yes, a life-long adjustment is needed!…

 

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/22e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: www.this-mormon-life.com.  reasonforjesus.com

 

21st Sunday of Year A – 2020

In a gospel text that is well-known, I usually try to find an aspect which has perhaps gone unnoticed in the reflections and commentaries offered by different writers.

In today’s gospel (Mt.16:13-20), my attention is drawn to the fact that Peter is being praised by Jesus.
Peter must have been surprised: receiving from the Master what we would call a compliment!

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,
for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, 
but by my Father in heaven.

But it is a compliment which has two sides to it.
It is an encouragement to Peter telling him that he has understood who he, Jesus, is.
But it is also a reminder that this perception is not purely human knowledge, it is a revelation –
a revelation given by God himself.

In simple words: to know God, to understand ever more deeply who he is,
we need his own help and guidance.
Jesus said it clearly on another occasion:

“No one knows the Son except the Father. 
Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son,
and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Mt.11:27)
 
If I am aware that I do not know God as he would like to be known by me,
perhaps it is that I do not ask him to make himself known to me…

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: ferrysburgchurch.com

 

 

 

 

20th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Praying… an activity which always finds us in need to learn –
to learn how to approach God and, of course, what to say when we are in his presence.

Bookshops and libraries are full of material published precisely to guide us with methods and advice about praying.
Many spiritual authors suggest what they consider the best way to pray; their thoughts and suggestions cover many pages.

The Syrophoenician woman we meet in today’s gospel (Mt.15:21-28) may not have known how to read, but…
she knew how to pray, and how to pray well:

“Lord, have mercy on me.
Lord, help me.”
 
Few words – short words – simple words –
but words that touched Jesus to the point that he did for that woman precisely what she was asking for.

Why do we sometimes think that God needs long explanations of our needs and detailed requests for his assistance?
Jesus has assured us: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt.6:8)
 
The Syrophoenician woman was right after all!
“Lord, have mercy on me. Lord, help me” – this could be enough at… could it not?

 

Note: This gospel scene is also offered in video format at: https://youtu.be/M-KMEFoxhSE

And another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/20e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: theministryofezra.com

 

 

 

19th Sunday of Year A – 2020

The people we live with from day to day, we claim to know them, of course.
Their ways of doing, their habits, their mannerisms.

It was the same for the apostles who were living with Jesus, travelling with him, listening to his teaching.
They knew his accent when he spoke to the crowds, they were familiar with his attitude to people.
They had observed him in all kinds of situations and learned how he reacted in different circumstances.
They knew him, at least… they thought so.

But that night on the lake when they were struggling against the storm, the mighty wind, and the waves threatening to sink their boat…
they were not so sure.
He was coming to them, walking on the water – but… this could not be him, it was a ghost, for sure.
He had to make himself known to them again, known in a new way –
a way that would bring them to recognize in him more than they had perceived up to now.
They could then say: “Truly, you are the Son of God.”  (Mt.14:22-33)
 

Knowing – Doubting – Recognizing.
Is this not the experience that is ours in so many ways and at different times in our lives?

We know God, at least we think so:
we have read about him and his message, we have been taught prayers and dogmas, we have learned much about him, yet…

It is a long pilgrimage, that of knowing God – not only knowing about him but knowing him, personally, truly.
Not an image of him, not stories about him, but the REAL God, as he wants to be known by us.
A life-long endeavour…

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/19e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

Another presentation in blog format is offered on this theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/elle-le-connaissait/

 

Source: Image: The Heart Beat                    

 

 

 

18th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Language is made of thousands of words – short words, longer ones, easy words, more difficult ones.
Words for all occasions and situations, some words provoke laughter, others cause sadness or anger.

There are words which I would qualify as categorical: they are direct, explicit.
There is something final about their meaning, words such as: ALWAYS, NEVER, ALL, NOTHING.

This last one – NOTHING – is at the heart of the 2nd reading of this Sunday (Rom.8:35,37-39).
Writing to the first Christians of Rome, Paul makes a very strong statement –
his words express a very deep faith, a profound conviction.

He says:
“I am convinced that… NOTHING will be able to separate us from the love of God 
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 
And, in the space of what I wrote as … Paul lists 9 things, situations, people,
and he concludes: “Anything in all creation” cannot, really cannot, separate us from the love of God.
Is it not astonishing, absolutely amazing?!

I wonder… how many Christians share the same conviction with the same strength?
Being utterly certain that I am so important to God that he will not allow anything to separate me from him,
unless… I move away myself…
Even then, he will be searching for me – he told us so! (Luke 15:4).

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Life.Church Open Network

 

 

 

17th Sunday of Year A – 2020

A period of pandemic… this is what we have been experiencing.
The confinement imposed on us is being relaxed but we cannot do all we used to do in the past.
During those months, many people have been busy with different types of activities, meaningful activities.

Some people have decided to spend some time in… sorting out things – things of all kinds.
Objects gathered over the years: old tools and utensils, souvenirs from journeys here and there, letters whose paper has now turned yellow, photos, etc.

Strangely enough, this is what the last part of today’s gospel invites us to do (Mt.13:47-48).
It presents us with the scene of fishermen doing precisely that:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea
and gathered some of every kind,  
which, when it was full, they drew to shore;
and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.”
 
Our sorting out will be of a different kind, the things to keep and those to throw away will vary.
But still, a choice is required…
Objects hoarded for a long time perhaps, yes, but more still perhaps: values, relationships, commitments…
Some of them to keep and develop, others to discard without hesitation.

It is interesting to hear Jesus ask his apostles:
“Have you understood all these things?”

 The question is asked of us also… the response is waiting… and the sorting out process also…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

And a reflection on the text of the 2nd reading is offered in video format in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/rencontre-inattendue/

 

Source: Image: Grace Baptist Church                    

 

16th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Praying – we know we should do it.
Of course, we would like to pray well, to pray as we should…
We have been told many things about praying.
We have read articles on prayer, we have heard sermons about prayer and…
Yes, we believe it is important to pray.

But, it seems we do not manage – manage to pray well, manage to pray as we should.
What should we say, how should we address God?
What does he expect us to say, and how?…

Long ago, reading an article about prayer I came across this definition:
“Prayer is wanting to want to be possessed by God.”
 
At times, it seems we find if hard even to want to pray…
But, wanting to want… this is already a beginning.

And the text of the 2nd reading of this Sunday (Romans 8:26-27)
tells us something most encouraging:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

This is THE answer for me!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/16e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Heartlight                    

 

 

 

15th Sunday of Year A – 2020  

There is a proverb that says: “There is no deafness worse than that of the one who does not want to hear.”
Jesus’ words as he concludes his parable in this Sunday’s gospel text (Mt.13:1-23) could be addressing this condition:

He says: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
 
It is a matter of choice, the occasion of a personal decision.
We are all aware how much our daily life is filled with sounds, and noises, and cries.
Words, music, shouts surround us, much of it hardly registered in our consciousness.

Could it be that we let God’s Word go by equally unnoticed, unacknowledged?
We would then miss the blessing that Jesus says that his apostles enjoy:

“Blessed are your eyes because they see,
and your ears because they hear.
 
I ask myself: Am I missing out?…
Lacking attention, interest, motivation?
Perhaps not aware that the Word is addressed to ME personally?
Not daring to believe that I, too, could be blessed?

LISTEN – HEAR – PERCEIVE… a BLESSING!

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/15e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Wisdom and Instruction

 

 

 

14th Sunday of Year A – 2020

This period we are living – that of the Covid-19 pandemic – has taken us unawares, it is certain.
It has brought in its wake, all kinds of things totally unexpected.

But, when we think about it, our lives are filled with things which are precisely that: unexpected.

  • The promising encounter.
  • The unannounced visitor.
  • The surprise promotion.
  • The welcome help from a friend.
  • The mysterious gift left at the door.
  • The improbable happy event.
  • The unforeseen loss of work.
  • The tragic accident.
  • The sudden death…

And the list could go on of all that we had neither planned nor envisaged as possible.
Things, events, situations, people – all can belong to this category of the unexpected.

And two of the readings of this Sunday (Ze.9:9-10) (Mt.11:28-30)
make me think that the God they describe is also an… UNEXPECTED GOD!

A God who is humble, riding a donkey – not a horse as someone powerful.
A God who is gentle, humble in heart…
This is NOT the kind of God we would expect…

Yet, the story – the REALITY- started long ago…
The birth in a manger in poor surroundings,
the death on a cross condemned by jealous religious leaders and killed by the occupying power.

This has been – this remains – God’s choice… we have yet to understand…
to really meet and come to know… the ‘unexpected’ God.

Then, slowly, we may come to realize that he can also work – unexpectedly – wonderful things in our lives.
 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/14e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

 

Source: Image: Zoe Ministries