image-i-nations trésor

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: https://image-i-nations.com/30e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: quotescosmos.com   Scripture Images

4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

The gospel of this Sunday (4th Sunday of Easter, Year B – Jn.10:11-18) is well known with its text on the Good Shepherd.
The words of Jesus are familiar and the picture they suggest to our minds is one similar to the picture here – a man concerned about his sheep and caring for his flock.

The example may not speak to our daily life in modern cities far away from a village in Palestine of old.
However, a book published by a well-known author expresses very well in a modern metaphor what the message of Jesus is about.
I speak of the book The Shepherd of Frederick Forsyth – not intended for spiritual reading but with rich spiritual overtones that can inspire us!

It is the story of a pilot going home for Christmas and, suddenly, his aircraft suffers a complete electrical failure en route. Lost in fog and with little fuel left, he fears the worse. Literally out of the blue and absolutely unexpected. he is met and led (or shepherded) by another pilot who has apparently been sent up to guide him and bring him to land safely.

You will say it is a clever plot from a no less clever author, and you are right.
But, strange to say – and is it really strange? – our own life can provide us with no less wonderful experiences.
We, too, can feel lost in the occasional fog of daily living and our energy may be low, depleted by the struggle to cope day after day…

To me, today’s gospel presents us someone, yes Someone, who is aware and who cares – aware of

  • who we are,
  • what we are faced with,
  • what we need.

Aware, indeed he is, and he cares – he cares enough to provide for our needs
and more abundantly than we could ever dream of!

A fairy tale? No!
An fascinating thriller? Not at all!
The on-going experience of someone (it can be you and me) who dares to believe, to trust,
and to say with the Psalmist:

“I am wandering like a lost sheep;
come and look for your servant..   (Ps.119:176)
 
Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-b/

Source: Images: catholicteacherresources.com  pinterest.com
Book illustration: Wikipedia

4th Sunday of Easter, Year A

If I pronounce the words: ‘The voice’, probably quite a few people will think of the television programme by this name.
One characteristic of the programme is that those who are to judge the performers do not see them – they only hear, yes, their voices.

This came to my mind when reading the gospel of this 4th Sunday of Easter (Year A, Jn.10:1-10).
One verse of the text says precisely:

“The shepherd goes in front of them and the sheep follow
because they know his voice.”
 
We know that – figuratively speaking, of course – we are the sheep that the Lord is leading, his followers.
But, could he say the same of us?…
Could he say that we know his voice?

Do we recognize it?
Can we identify this sound of his, calling us…
Trying to gain our attention, speaking to us personally…
And that, in the midst of so many other voices reaching us through the day?

The voices of our relatives demanding our help or giving us advice…
That of our friends and neighbours asking for assistance or offering suggestions…
The sounds of our colleagues coaxing us into doing, or not doing something…
And… the inner voices that have become part of our personality – that of our values, convictions, or… prejudices…
And, of course, the ever-present voices of publicity, propaganda, persuasive as they are…
So many voices!

What about HIS own – is it drowned in all of the surrounding sounds, becoming hardly a whisper?…
True – like the judges of the television programme – we do not, we cannot, see him.

Yet, he keeps on providing us with inspiration and guidance.
His voice… with his unique accent – altogether caring, comforting, challenging…
Could he really say that WE know his voice?

Source: Image: NCB Blog