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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:


Source: Image: One Walk ǀ with Jesus




31st Sunday of Year A

«God’s word is indeed at work in you who believe. »

 Did you know it?
Are you aware of it?
Do you believe it?…

It is the message we are given in the 2nd reading of this Sunday (31st Sunday Year A – 1 Th. 2:13).
Yes, God is at work in YOU; it is Paul who says it plainly as he writes to the first Christians of Thessalonica.
And, of course, his message is valid for us today.

I like to picture God as a POTTER – the Bible presents him in this way, working the clay (Jer.18: 6) (Is.64:8).
He molds us, fashions us, slowly, patiently to create in us the image that God had in mind from all eternity.

Or, I picture God as a SCULPTOR who carves and shapes a rough piece of wood or marble.
Again slowly, carefully he chips away, corrects this or that feature and… there comes a beautiful piece of art.

Or again, I see God as the artist PAINTER who works with imagination and creativity.
He softens a colour here, he deepens the shade there, adds a stroke or removes a spot and the final product is, indeed, a masterpiece!

As we go about day in, day out, busy with all kinds of activities, often occupied and preoccupied, we are not always aware that God also is busy – busy with us, for us and… for the glory of the Father.
And, one day, we will be given to see the outcome of God’s work in us.

He will bring about this astonishing realisation.
But he needs one essential element that he cannot provide: our consent!
Our willingness to let him do, with the rough material that we are, the creation that we cannot imagine!

Believe it or not: “We are God’s work of art”, Paul assures us of it as he writes to the first Christians of Ephesus (Eph.2:10).
If only… we allow him to make us so…

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