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4th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 2024

Nowadays, some people speak of our ways as those of a ‘throw away culture’.
It seems that people buy a lot of objects, and they soon throw them away.
They acquire many items and discard them readily.
Not much is precious to them, it looks as if nothing is of real value.

Sad to say, this mentality sometimes spreads to the way we relate to people.
We do not value who they are, and what they can contribute to society.
Short-term relationships are prevailing, and enduring commitment are not the norm.

This is what has led me to notice a section of today’s gospel text (John 10:11-18).
It speaks of the hired man who acts as a shepherd.
Seeing a wolf coming to attack the sheep, that man runs away, and Jesus explains the reason for this attitude:
“The man does not care for the sheep”. (Another translation says: “He has no concern for the sheep”).

Jesus repeats and insists, saying:
“I am the good shepherd… I lay down my life for my sheep”.

Someone ready to give his/her life for another, surely that person is precious to him/her.
The life of the other person is of great value.
It means so much that one is ready to sacrifice his/her own existence to save another.

This is how precious we are to God.
This is really amazing, so amazing that we find it difficult to believe…

Long ago, God had given this very message to his prophet Isaiah who was to say in God’s name:
“You are precious in my eyes…
You are honored and I love you” (Isaiah 43:40).

This is GOD speaking to each one of us!
We are precious to him, and he loves us –
a message spoken long ago but always valid, permanent and unconditional.

Why do we hesitate to accept this tremendous reality?


Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: 4è dimanche de Pâques, année B -2024


Source: Image:

4th Sunday of Lent, Year B – 2024

When telling something important to someone, we are inclined to repeat it.
We want to make sure that the message has been heard, understood and… received.
The person may exclaim: “You told me already…”
To which we tend to reply: “Yes, but I wanted to be certain that you have grasped what I mean”.

This situation came to my mind as I read the 2nd reading of today’s celebration (Ephesians 2:4-10).
Paul, writing to the first Christians of Ephesus tells them:

“It is by grace you have been saved”.

A few lines below in the text, we find exactly the same words:
“It is by grace you have been saved”.

In one translation, Paul goes on telling the Ephesians that they should not take the credit for this.
While another version says:

“This is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, 
not by works, so that no one can boast”. 

Paul adds that we have not been saved by anything of our own.
No good works can obtain God’s salvation.
At the very beginning of the reading, we are told:

“God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy”.

This should change the idea of God that some of us may have received in the past, and still hold on to.
That of a God who is severe, exacting, and never satisfied with what we do for him.
As if we were the slaves of a demanding taskmaster.

God loves us with a generous and merciful love.
He delights in showering his gifts on us.
What he expects from us is to delight as much in receiving his gifts.

The story is told of a vision that Margery Kemp had one day.
She was an English mystic of the 14th century to which God reportedly said:

“Margery, do you know what pleases me most of you?
Not your prayers,
your fasting,
or your sacrifices,
but rather that you believe I love you”. 

Would it be possible that… the same is said of us?…


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


Source: Image: Scripture Images

The Alphabet of Lent – Letter M

M for Message

Messages, we receive plenty of them!
Those which used to come to us through the mail still reach us.
But the many platforms of the social media are now a more importance source.

Permanent connection, continuous information, repeated messages in loop – each second downloads them!
Each message brings its contents and… the emotions it awakens…
All comes our way: Information, invitations, questions, challenges…

Ask yourself the question: What was the latest message you received?
What was your reaction when you learnt what it said?

In the gospel of Mark, there is an interesting scene about this subject.
We meet Jairus, the leader of the synagogue asking Jesus to come and heal his daughter seriously ill (Mark 5:22-43).
Already on the way, Jesus stops to heal a woman who has been sick for a long time.

At that moment, some people arrive from Jairus’ home bringing a message to him:

 “Your daughter is dead,” they said.
“Why bother the teacher anymore?”
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, 
‘Don’t be afraid; just believe’.”

The young girl is already dead, what hope is there still?
Jesus tells Jairus not to be afraid… to believe…

I stop and I ask myself how I would have received these words?…

To believe that God is with us even when we seem unable to overcome what cannot be overcome?
To believe that we are never alone?…
To believe that God does not leave us on our own to face the desperate situations we have to deal with?…
To believe that, from death… God can draw… some good… life itself?…

It seems to me that, from deep within myself, I hear ‘a small voice’ whispering:
‘A real feat it is!’

Yes… to believe as He alone can enable us to do…


Source: Images: (Cottonbro Studio)


The Alphabet of Lent – Letter F

F for Faith

To have faith, it is… to believe, you will say.
Of course… but still?
It is to accept a set of propositions on a given topic.
You are right but… only this?

A short text of the gospel reveals more:
 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out,
‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’
When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, 
‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied.
Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you’; 
and their sight was restored” (Matthew 9:27-30).

Jesus’ question was clear: ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’
The two blindmen did not proclaim their faith in some formulas.
They did not accept a list of beliefs which they should give their assent to.
They simply replied “Yes” to someone.

They relied on someone – this is faith – to trust someone reliable!
To dare to rely on someone, to dare to surrender to… God.

He who, since long ago, has told us through the prophet Isaiah:
“You are precious in my sight… I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).

A conviction which opens up to a relationship absolutely unique… with God himself.
Daring… to believe it…

Source: Image:     





26th Sunday of Year A – 2023


There are people we are drawn to – their look, their skill, their attitude –
whatever it is, there is something in them that attracts our attention, and awakens our admiration.
We marvel at the realizations of a talented artist, writer, painter.
The skill of an athlete may provoke our amazement.

But in most situations, we will stop at that – amazement, admiration –
we will not think of imitating those people.
We think they are too talented for us to try and emulate them.
We consider their talent and their skill to be far too great for us to try and do the same.
Be as they are? Most of us would not imagine this for a moment.

This is the reason why the text of today’s 2nd reading is quite astonishing (Philippians 2:1-11).
Writing to the first Christians of Philippi, Paul tells them:

“In your minds, you must be the same as Christ Jesus.”

Another translation of the words of the apostle Paul says:

“Your attitude must be the same as that of Christ.”
Thinking as Jesus thought, valuing what was important for him.
Being as he was in our actions and relations.
This is what is expected of a Christian.

One of the Fathers of the Church, Gregory of Nyssa, said that “a Christian is another Christ”.
“Another Christ”, no less!

Many people would spontaneously react saying: “Impossible! Who can do that?”
Of course, it is impossible for us to become such… on our own!
But precisely, we are NOT on our own.
Jesus has promised us – and sent us – his own Spirit to enable us to be as he was.

From the moment a person is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
this promise of Christ, this gift of Christ, becomes alive, real, active!
The impossible is no longer so, God’s own power is active within us.

If only… we believe it… and act accordingly…
Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:

Source: Images: Scripture Images   Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope




Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year A – 2023

Most people want to know God.
People of all ages and situations, of various background and experiences, try to discover if there is a God and…
If such a being exists, who is he?

Some specialists publish what they know about God.
Theologians and scripture scholars present what they have found about him.
Their language aims at being precise but… their texts are not always clear for all of us.

This may be the case with the name of today’s feast: the Holy Trinity.
These words translate accurately the Christian doctrine: God is ONE in THREE PERSONS.
While Christians throughout the world express their faith in this God, some people may wonder about the deep meaning of this expression.

If one of them asked me: ‘But who is this God really?’
I would repeat the words we heard in today’s first reading –
What God said of himself to his servant and friend, Moses (Exodus 34:4-6,8-9):

« God passed in front of him (Moses) and called out,
“God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient
so much love, so deeply true
loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin”. 

as he wants to be known in the threefold presence of FATHER, SON, AND SPIRIT.     

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


Source: Image:


Feast of the Ascension, Year A – 2023

The anecdote is well known of the space exploration of a Russian cosmonaut.
Returning to earth he said with deep conviction and absolute certainty:
“There is no God – I’ve been up there, and I didn’t see any sign of God!”

No wonder, could we reply, because God is NOT ‘up there’!
Of course, in the past, many people have been instructed in this way.
Preachers, and teachers of religion, would point to the sky when they mentioned God.
This familiar gesture towards the clouds was meant to describe ‘another world’.
Nowadays it is sometimes referred to as ‘another dimension’.

We celebrate today the feast of the Ascension.
The gospel text of our celebration (Matthew 28:16-20) is very short and does not describe what happened to Jesus on that day.
The other gospel writers – Mark and Luke – add something to the text of Matthew, telling us:

“The Lord Jesus… was taken up to heaven”.  (Mark 16:19)
“As he (Jesus) blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven”.  (Luke 24:51)

What the apostles see is Jesus going up and disappearing in the clouds.
This description given to us refers to the experience of Jesus’ friends:
Jesus has left them… for good – this is what they are meant to understand.
He will no longer appear to them from time to time as he has been doing since he came back to life.

They are not to imagine that Jesus is hiding behind a cloud!
What they are to believe is what he has told them on the eve of his death:

“In a short time, the world will no longer see me: but you will see me…
On that day, you will understand that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.”   (John 14:19-20)

The Ascension is the beginning of “that day”…
The day when we celebrate NOT a departure but a new way of being present!

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


Source: Image: pexels (Nikita)


3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A – 2023


Reading the gospel, sometimes a sentence, even a single word, can keep us… there –
at the thought, or the scene, or… more still, at the situation described.
We may not be fully aware of the reason, but we are drawn to remain… just there.
We feel the need to see more, understand more deeply, realize…

Yes, realize that what is described, in a given text, is very close to our own experience.
This could be said of what today’s gospel says of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35):

“Something prevented them from recognizing him.”

Of course, we wonder… what is this something?
Why is it that, while Jesus is walking with them, the two men fail to recognize him?

The two disciples see, but they do not perceive…
Their minds are puzzled, they fail to understand…
Their hearts grieve, they are unaware of the reality…

Pursuing our reflection, we may look… inwards… and ask ourselves:
What is it that prevents US from recognizing the Lord walking with us – for he does!

We are often confused by what happens to us.
We are bewildered by the situations we find ourselves in.
We grieve, we lament, we are sad and downcast.

And… we do not dare to hope, we do not dare to BELIEVE, so we fail to see…
We do not recognize ‘God-with-us’ – the very name given to Jesus: ‘Emmanuel’ – walking with us.

Until… Until when?…
Until God becomes really real for us!


Note: In the following video, Anil Das Kumar and Dominic Savio Rassalayyan, who personify the disciples of Emmaus, tell us what happened on that night as they were on the way:

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


Source: Image:



31st Sunday of Year C – 2022

Today’s 1st reading (Wisdom 11:22 – 12:2) gives us… A Portrait of God!
You wonder… you ask yourself what this really means…

Obviously, we should not look for a painting or a photo…
But let the words reach you again…

“You (Lord) are merciful to all…
You can do all things…
You overlook people’s sins…

You love all things that exist…
You spare all things, for they are yours…
You love the living…
Your immortal spirit is in all things…
You correct little by little those who trespass.”

Is this the God you believe in, the one you rely upon?…


The last line of the text tells us:
“So that their put their trust in you, O Lord.”

This is the reason we are given this… Portrait of God.


Note: The gospel scene of Zacchaeus, personified by Augustine Sellam, can be viewed in a video at:

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


Source: Image: WallpaperSafari

7th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Some people delight in finding unusual things, they marvel at extraordinary events.
And, in this day and age, there is plenty to satisfy their search for what is special and exceptional!
The landing of a human being on the moon ranks among such happenings.

The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, is quoted as saying:
« That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. » 

The discoveries in the different fields of science,
the wonderful achievements in medicine,
the sensational realizations of engineering,
the amazing feats of technology –
all this, and more, give sufficient reasons for astonishment.

Personally, I found another reason for astonishment…
It is recorded in the gospel text of today (John 17:20:26).
We find there the words of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper with the apostles on the eve of his death.

Addressing his Father, Jesus says:
“I have loved them even as you have loved me”.

And he asks the Father:
“That the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Who could have imagined such a… reality?
For it is REAL!

To think that a god – no, THE God revealed to us by Jesus as the Father – loves us
with the same love as he loves Jesus, the beloved Son!

Unimaginable! Unbelievable! Unfathomable!…
but TRUE!
Of course… we must believe it…

Belief in science?… Yes.
Belief in human beings?… Yes.
Belief in God?………………


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

Source: Images: NASA