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The Alphabet of Lent – Letter J

J pour Judge

Some words of Jesus are without appeal.
There is no way to discuss, or to hesitate, or even to delay in putting them into practice.

It is the case of the text of Luke, the gospel writer, reporting Jesus words (Luke 6:37-38)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. 
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 
Give, and it will be given to you”. 

Some will reply without delay:
“But we must judge…
Judge whether an affirmation is true, or false.
Judge whether a situation is dangerous, or not.
Judge whether a proposition is legal, or dishonest.
Judge whether a bargain is genuine, or deceitful.”

Of course, it is necessary to judge words, actions, situations.
Jesus does not prone naivety, nor credulity.
But he does not accept that we judge people.

Yet, this is what we do quite often…
We lend to some people intentions that they do not have.
We see in them defects which are not so.
We sometimes hold them responsible for misdeeds they have not committed.
Our judgements are based on inaccurate reporting.
The reputation we ascribe to them is without real basis, pure invention on our part…

The text of the apostle Luke goes on with a parable of Jesus which asks us a disturbing question:

“How can you say to your brother,
 ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’
when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?” (Luke 6:41).

Probably, an answer that is true would be… an admission on our part…
And a resolve… NOT to judge!


Note: In a short video (in French), Nadia Labrecque continues the reflection on this subject:


Source: Image: Scripture Images



International Day of Peace – 21 September 2023

2023 Theme – Actions for peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals

Each year the International Day of Peace (IDP) is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. Never has our world needed peace more.

This year’s theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals. It is a call to action that recognizes our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. Fostering peace contributes to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will create a culture of peace for all.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said, « Peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization. »

Sustainable Development Goals

2023 marks the mid-point in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2023 observance of the International Day of Peace coincides with the SDG summit (18 – 19 September) to mark the mid-point milestone.

The SDGs aim to bring us closer to having more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, free from fear and violence. But without the buy-in and contribution of a wide range of actors including the 1.2 billion young people alive, the goals will not be achieved. We invite you to join the United Nations’ call to take action for peace: fight inequality, drive action on climate change, and promote and protect human rights.


Source: Text & Image:

17th Sunday of Year A – 2023


Everyone would agree: our lives are filled with all kinds of things.
Actions, reactions, relations, sensations, emotions, anticipations…
Beliefs, regrets, hopes, fears, joys, memories…
Bits and pieces of experiences of all kinds!

We may see some of them as good and helpful.
Others we may judge as negative and discouraging.

Could it be that we would need to do what we see fishermen do in today’s gospel text (Matthew 13:47-48)?
These men are busy doing some sorting out – keeping and throwing away.
They choose what is good and save it, and they discard what is not.

Choices… Attachment… Detachment…

Looking closely at our daily lives, we may discover some paralyzing souvenirs.
The memory of some events overwhelms us with shame and prevents us from living with joy.
We may find out that the guilt of some past actions leads us to unhealthy reactions.

We may also be deeply sorry that we have abandoned our faith in God.
We long to turn back to him but… we hesitate… we wait… we wonder…

If this is where we find ourselves just now, we need only to remember the words of the apostle Paul in the 2nd reading:

“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
In all things – whatever they are, no exception, no qualification… ALL.
He can make all of our human experiences stepping-stones to get closer to him.

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:


Source: Image: Scripture Images     GOD’S WORD translation


Une expression qui fait réfléchir…

En cette période de Carême, il se peut que les aspects multiples de notre vécu se révèlent à vous avec plus de précision.
Les différents angles de notre quotidien nous apparaissent d’une manière plus claire nous présentant parfois de nouveaux défis..
Nos pensées, nos paroles, nos actions et réactions sont mises sous la loupe…

Il arrive parfois que l’on discerne certains messages qui nous parviennent – messages parfois surprenants, souvent interpellants…

Des messages, il nous en vient d’un peu partout.
Chaque jour, des voix nous rejoignent, d’ici, de là, qui apportent une vérité, suggèrent un questionnement, invitent à la réflexion.
Il suffit de prêter l’oreille, et de donner… l’attention du cœur!

Récemment, un message m’est parvenu par l’entremise de… ma voisine.
Elle serait surprise de l’apprendre, mais ses paroles ont suscité en moi une réflexion qui se poursuit.
Lors de nos rencontres occasionnelles, souvent je l’entends dire : « Si c’était moi… »
Et ces mots ont encore un écho en moi.

La semaine dernière, elle me racontait une visite qu’elle avait faite à une dame âgée qui se sent bien seule.
Ma voisine me racontait sa sortie et ajoutait : « Tu sais, je n’avais vraiment pas le goût de me préparer, me maquiller, prendre l’autobus et me rendre chez cette dame, mais je me suis dit : ‘Si c’était moi…’ moi qui me sens seule, qui n’ai jamais de visite… si c’était moi… alors, j’ai fait un effort et je suis allée. »



Ma voisine n’en est pas consciente mais, pendant nos conversations, elle utilise cette expression assez souvent.
Chaque fois, je me sens interpelée et, de retour chez moi, je continue à imaginer des situations en me répétant : ‘Si c’était moi…’

  • Si c’était moi qui suis prisonnier de mon fauteuil roulant et ne peut sortir que rarement…
  • Si c’était moi qui n’ai plus de famille et me sens inutile et souvent ‘déprimée’…
  • Si c’était moi qui me répète toujours les mêmes choses et… qui en oublie tant d’autres…
  • Si c’était moi qui suis lente à comprendre et… gauche pour m’exprimer…
  • Si c’était moi le jeune qui cherche… qui se cherche…
  • Si c’était moi la mère monoparentale encore enceinte sans le vouloir…
  • Si c’était moi le réfugié qui balbutie avec peine les mots d’une langue difficile…
  • Si c’était moi le prisonnier condamné injustement… (ça arrive parfois, vous savez!…)


Oui, si c’était moi, j’aimerais, oh combien j’aimerais une visite amicale, une parole encourageante, un regard qui dit qu’on comprend, une taquinerie qui me fasse sourire – alors que j’ai presque oublié ce que c’est que de sourire!
J’aimerais tellement qu’on pense un peu à moi, qu’on réalise que je suis là et que j’ai besoin d’un peu de chaleur humaine.

Évidemment, on ne peut pas dire ces choses-là, mendier ouvertement, ça ne se fait pas… mais… peut-être qu’un jour quelqu’un se dira : ‘Si c’était moi…’ et… et fera quelque chose…

Source: Images: dissolve,

4th Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2023

From the very beginning, human beings have wanted to be like God (Genesis 3:5).
But it is only gradually that we learn the way to become like him.
One thing we especially need to learn is: TO SEE AS GOD SEES.

This is the message of today’s 1st reading (1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13):
“God does not see as man sees;
man looks at appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
People looking at others can be attracted by beauty.
They can be fascinated by skill.
They can be interested in wealth.
People can be put off by infirmity.
They can be disappointed by weakness.
They can be misled by timidity.

But these are simply attributes that are not the person himself, or herself.
What defines a human being is something much deeper.

The thoughts and the intentions.
The values and the beliefs.
The actions and the reactions.
The interventions to help.
The intercession to free another.
The mediation to bring peace.
And so much more…

God sees all this and more…
And he invites us to look also at all that is hidden in the… more.

Then, we will avoid:
          the hasty judgements,
          the unfair criticisms,
          the wrongful accusations,
          the mistaken condemnations.

All that leads to misunderstanding, hostility, conflict, enmity, war –
this can be prevented, or at least alleviated, if we only… SEE.
SEE the good will and the efforts of others…

If we only learn, from day to day, to see as God sees…
Note: In the following video, Laiju Panikassery personifies the Man born-blind and tells us of his meeting with the Man of Nazareth:

Another reflection is available, in French, on a different theme, at:


Source: Image:

Journée Mondiale de la Paix – 1er janvier

Message du Pape François pour la 50è journée mondiale de la paix:

« À cette occasion, je souhaite m’arrêter sur la non-violence comme style d’une politique de paix et je demande à Dieu de nous aider tous à puiser à la non-violence dans les profondeurs de nos sentiments et de nos valeurs personnelles. Que ce soient la charité et la non-violence qui guident la manière dont nous nous traitons les uns les autres dans les relations interpersonnelles, dans les relations sociales et dans les relations internationales.(…)

Lorsqu’elles savent résister à la tentation de la vengeance, les victimes de la violence peuvent être les protagonistes les plus crédibles de processus non-violents de construction de la paix. Depuis le niveau local et quotidien jusqu’à celui de l’ordre mondial, puisse la non-violence devenir le style caractéristique de nos décisions, de nos relations, de nos actions, de la politique sous toutes ses formes! »

Source: Text & Image: Église Catholique en France: