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World Braille Day – 4 January

Every year on January 4th, World Braille Day reminds us of the importance of accessibility and independence for those who are blind or visually impaired.

About 36 million people around the world are blind. By 2050, the number of people diagnosed with blindness is predicted to rise to 115 million. Those who are blind or who have severe vision impairments face many challenges in life. Some of these challenges include navigating new environments, using a computer, handling cash, and arranging clothes.

Blind people have ways to successfully deal with many of these situations. In today’s world, advanced technology and voice activation make a blind person’s life much more manageable. But one invention, in particular, has helped countless numbers of blind people. This invention is called braille and it was developed nearly 200 years ago. Braille gives blind people the ability to read and even write letters. The system consists of raised dots that form letters and words which are read by touch.

Louis Braille

Louis Braille invented the reading system of raised dots in 1824. Born on January 4, 1809, in France, Louis would lose his sight after an accident in his father’s harness shop at the age of three. He would later attend the National Institute for Blind Children in Paris. There, his interest in music would benefit him when at the age of 10 he would meet Charles Barbier, a captain in Napolean’s army. The captain taught the students about a communication code using dots called Night Writing. Combining his knowledge of music and the inspiration of code communication, Louis Braille invented a 6 dot fingertip reading system when he was only 15 years old.

Louis died in 1852, two years before France’s Royal Institute for the Blind Youth adopted a braille curriculum. By 1916, schools in the United States were teaching braille to their blind students.


Source: Text & Image:

26th Sunday of Year C – 2022






Today’s gospel text probably appears to many of us as somehow strange, awkward even (Luke 16:19-31).
We may feel uncomfortable at the wording, and more still at the scenes described.
It all seems rather remote from our own experience.

What about ‘translating’ this parable of Jesus into a panorama familiar to us.

A poor man near the church begs for money,
       – a hurried parishioner enters the building without looking at him…
A distressed woman has lost her way and asks for help,
       – the rich passer-by hurries to the waiting car…
A refugee recently arrived in the country looks for the social center,
      – the family on holiday, unconcerned, runs to catch the bus…
A handicapped person is unable to move up the sidewalk,
      – the person behind makes a detour not bothering…
A blind is waiting, afraid to cross the street,
      – those around do not bother to offer assistance…

If, no, when there is a reversal of those situations, what will happen?
When those in need become rewarded and blessed, what will become of the others –
The others who…

  • did not pay attention,
  • did not bother,
  • did not get involved,
  • did not give help?…

Perhaps… yes, perhaps Jesus’ parable should make us feel uncomfortable…


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


Source: Image:

30th Sunday of Year B – 2021

To speak about God and to call upon him, all kinds of names are used:
God Almighty, Heavenly King, Creator of the universe, Master of all things, Ruler of the world, etc.

Very early in the history of the people of Israel, their great leader, Moses, had asked God who he was –
how should his people know him and call upon him.
God’s answer was… enigmatic to say the least: “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14).
But God’s people recognized him as the Supreme Being and worshipped him as such.

However, in today’s 1st reading (Jeremiah 31:7-9), God’s make himself known in a way that is much more accessible, could we say.
He says plainly:

“I am a father to Israel.” 

As a father, he cares for the blind, the lame, expectant mothers, women in labor…
the great throng of his pilgrim people…
He makes sure that they do not stumble and that, in the desert, they find, streams of water.
A caring Father – this is God, this is his name, this is who he is.

A FATHER! This is how he wants to be known – REALLY!
And when the apostles asked Jesus how they should address God, this is what Jesus said:

“When you pray, say: ‘Father’…” (Luke 11:2)

Could he fail to do for his pilgrim people in our times as he did in the past?
I cannot imagine such a God, such a Father!…


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


Source: Images:   Scripture Images

26th Sunday of Year B – 2021

People sometimes talk about things ‘as old as the world’ – to them, it seems that some situations, or attitudes, have always been there with us, human beings.

One of them, I believe is… JEALOUSY.
This ‘demon’ which torments a person filling him/her with regrets, envy, desire to dispossess another of some perceived good. 

We see this present in the first chapters of the Bible (Genesis 4:1-8).
The scene described shows us Cain angry that: 

“The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering.
But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering,
and Cain was very angry and downcast.”
The Lord addresses Cain and shows him how he is the prey of:
“a crouching beast hungering for him which he must master.”
This is jealousy – the evil overpowering someone and making that person forget all the good he/she has been blessed with. 

In the 1st reading of this Sunday (Numbers 11:25-29), we hear Moses telling Joshua:
“Are you jealous on my account?”
Joshua has been faithfully serving Moses for many years and cannot accept that other people may also be prophets as his master is.
Moses corrects Joshua in no uncertain terms:

“If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets
and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!”
The sad thing is that jealousy makes us blind, blind to the ‘treasure’ that is ours –
the treasure of all our own gifts and talents.
It makes us compare ourselves with others and underestimate what we are and what we can do. 

Perhaps this reflection could lead us to make an inventory of precisely this treasure of ours:
the person that we are and what we can become…
If only we stop desiring to be like someone else… which is not what God has in mind for us!


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


Source: Images: ASHISH LACKSMAN GOVADCAR-    Free Bible Images   


Palm Sunday, Year C – 2019

Different situations can provoke different reactions in us.
A threatening possibility can inspire fear.
The anticipation of a positive happening may cause joy.
A difficult problem may, of course, leave us puzzled.

In the gospel text at the beginning of this celebration of Palm Sunday (Lk.19:28-40),
There is something which I find always… surprising, even astonishing!
We see the scene of Jesus entering Jerusalem and we are told that:

“The whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God…
for all the miracles they had seen.”
You may think this is not surprising – and you are right.
Miracles awaken people to something wonderful happening in their midst.

What is surprising is what happened – or rather, what did NOT happen – five days later!…
When Jesus was brought before his judge – the Roman procurator – no one appears to speak for him.

I ask myself: all those who benefited from these miracles, where are they?
The blind who can now see,
the lame who now walk like everyone else,
the lepers free from their terrible condition,
all the sick suffering in one way or another and who are now well,
all of them, have they nothing to say to affirm that this man did nothing but good?
To me, this is really amazing! Not one comes up to witness in favour of Jesus.

Today, the crowd shouts with joy, the following Friday the crowd will shout again in… accusation.
Fickleness, yes, the ‘changeability’ of humans, of us…

I know someone who has coined a word to express the opposite – the word is ‘stick-to-it-ness’!
You will not find it in the dictionary but I believe that the reality of it should be found…
in our lives as disciples of Christ.
It is the faithful perseverance, or endurance.

And we have been told: “Your endurance will win you your lives” (Lk.21:19).
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:


Source: Images:

30th Sunday of Year B

Let us imagine for a moment that someone would tell you: “God is calling you.”
What would your reaction be?
Many people would possibly think: “What does God want from me?”
But should the question not rather be: “What does God want FOR me?”

This thought came to me as I read the gospel of this Sunday 
(30th Sunday of Year B – Mk.10:46-52).
This text presents us with the scene of the blind man of Jericho named Bartimaeus. 
Hearing from the crowd that Jesus is coming, he shouts asking Jesus to have pity on him.

Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here’.
So they called the blind man.
‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you’.”
Many of us often suppose that God wants something from us –
prayers, good deeds, sacrifices, offerings of different kinds.
How many of us, thinking of God’s call, would immediately conclude:
’God wants to give me something!’

Yet, this is the deep meaning of God calling us:
he wants to provide us with his gifts.
He wants to shower on us blessings of all kinds.
We often speak of God’s ‘grace’ forgetting that he is a ‘gracious’ God –
a God so generous that we have never finished discovering all the wonders he has worked for us!

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

Source : Images :

3rd Sunday of the Year, C

J.Naz synagogue womeninthebible.netThe scene takes place in the synagogue of Nazareth on a Sabbath day. It is the time to read a passage of the sacred text. As any adult man can do, Jesus takes the scroll and starts reading a text from the prophet Isaiah (Is.61:1-2). Today’s gospel (Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21) tells us that “All eyes were fixed on him”. Jesus read the first verse, and the second… What followed was … unexpected, unforeseen, in fact, quite shocking!Isaiah b.

This young teacher – was he really a credible teacher? – from their town, there he was, claiming, proclaiming, that what Isaiah had said was happening there and then. The people knew the text, they knew the prophet, they thought they knew this young man – but they did not! They could not, they would not believe such a message: it was too much for them to accept, it was plainly and simply unbelievable!

Yes, God’s message to us can be precisely that: unbelievable! “Good news to the poor, comfort to the broken-hearted, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind, liberation to the oppressed, a year of favour from the Lord…” nothing less! Happening today? Really? Would we believe it, could we believe it, were we in Nazareth today? And what about here and now?…When God comes to me with the unforeseen, the unexpected, the unbelievable, am I so shocked that I fail to recognise him?

Source: Images: Jesus –      Isaiah –