image-i-nations trésor

2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C – 2021

It happens to most of us: we sometimes feel we have too much to do, too many things to see to.
The commitments we have taken on are just too many.
The people relying on us for help, or advice, are too many, and their demand on our time is more than we can afford to give.
We may sit down one night and say: « I can’t go on like this, I must make some choices, take some decisions.”

We see it: in such a situation, what is needed is to set some priorities.
What is the most important, to what should I first give my attention, my time, my energy?
In fact, what we need to do is… to discern.

This is exactly what the apostle Paul tells the Philippians to do.
In the 2nd reading of this Sunday, we hear his words (Ph.1:4-6,8-11):

“This is my prayer: (…) that you may be able to discern what is best.”
 
In this period of Advent, this may be what we, too, are called to do: see what is best.
Find out what is really important in life, what we should invest ourselves in.

  • Which are the commitments we can take on at the moment?
  • What are the causes that are worth giving our time and efforts to?
  • Who are the people really in need of assistance?
  • What are the values that should prompt us to act, or withdraw?

And… would God approve of my selection?
Is he the one inspiring me to move in this or that direction?

Discerning what is best… is all about that, and Advent is a good period to reflect on this.

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lavent-annee-c-2021/

And in a short video, also in French, Ghislaine Deslières offers us another reflection on this 2nd Sunday of Advent at: https://youtu.be/jN7uIU0V9-E

 

Source: Images: Dreamstime.com

2nd Sunday of Advent, Year B – 2020

 We know well about spring cleaning, or autumn cleaning – a time when we clear and clean many things around our houses.

The city council also knows much about road repair – it must be done again and again at the end of a season.

In both cases there is a need for change and improvement.
These two pictures came to my mind as I read the 1st reading and the gospel of this Sunday (Is.40:1-5,9-11; Mk.1:1-8).

We might not get involved in house cleaning or road repair but it may be that… some areas of our lives need change and improvement of some kind for us to welcome the Lord…Our values may need to be upgraded…

  • Our choices may benefit from being more other-centered…
  • Our decisions may gain from being more inspired by lasting concerns…
  • Our attitude to other people may be improved with respect and acceptance…
  • Our commitments may need an increase of generosity…
  • Our faith may want to be deepened…

During this period of Advent, this could be OUR straightening of paths and lowering of mountains.
It may look, at first, as a formidable task but we are not expected to do it on our own.
The Holy Spirit within us is always willing to enable us to do what is asked of us.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/?p=16658&preview=true

 

Source: Images: Space-O Technologies   Be HBG!

17th Sunday of Year A – 2020

A period of pandemic… this is what we have been experiencing.
The confinement imposed on us is being relaxed but we cannot do all we used to do in the past.
During those months, many people have been busy with different types of activities, meaningful activities.

Some people have decided to spend some time in… sorting out things – things of all kinds.
Objects gathered over the years: old tools and utensils, souvenirs from journeys here and there, letters whose paper has now turned yellow, photos, etc.

Strangely enough, this is what the last part of today’s gospel invites us to do (Mt.13:47-48).
It presents us with the scene of fishermen doing precisely that:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea
and gathered some of every kind,  
which, when it was full, they drew to shore;
and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away.”
 
Our sorting out will be of a different kind, the things to keep and those to throw away will vary.
But still, a choice is required…
Objects hoarded for a long time perhaps, yes, but more still perhaps: values, relationships, commitments…
Some of them to keep and develop, others to discard without hesitation.

It is interesting to hear Jesus ask his apostles:
“Have you understood all these things?”

 The question is asked of us also… the response is waiting… and the sorting out process also…

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2020/

And a reflection on the text of the 2nd reading is offered in video format in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/rencontre-inattendue/

 

Source: Image: Grace Baptist Church                    

 

International Day of Action for Women’s Health – 28 May

In 1987, during a reunion of members of WGNRR (Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights) in Costa Rica, May 28 was declared as International Day of Action for Women’s Health. Since then, May 28 has been internationally renowned and activities are held worldwide by women’s and health groups. In 1999, it was officially recognised by the government of South Africa.

May 28 is a special day on which the women’s health takes a center stage. It is therefore an occasion to celebrate the gains for women’s health as well as remind to the Ministries of Health, ruling presidents, governors, parliamentarians, as well as internationals agencies and for-profit companies of their commitments to women’s health and rights.

Also it has been the platform for campaigning for advocating and advancing for the recognition of the concepts of sexuality, sexual rights and reproductive rights and health frameworks at national, regional and international level. Examples of the successful of thousands of voices been sound together during this day are the recognition of the International Day by different governments, agencies and civil society around the world.

Each year, WGNRR collaborates with its members and partners on a call for action around a pressing SRHR issue. They are disseminated to all members and partners, some of whom then translate the materials into their working or local languages. These materials are used to raise awareness and to complement campaign activities. The campaign culminates on the commemoration of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health.

Source: Text: wgnrr.org Image: KJLH

34th Sunday of the Year A – Feast of Christ the King

It is interesting to note that, on this feast of Christ the King, the first and the 3rd readings do not speak of a king or a kingdom.

The 2nd reading of Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor.15:20-26.28) has a short reference to this theme when it speaks of the resurrection at the end of time when Christ will “hand over the kingdom to God the Father.”
We are told that this kingdom will be that of “those who belong to him.”

This is possibly where we can find the link with the gospel text: how are we to belong to Christ?
It is clearly spelled out in the text of Matthew: it is by welcoming Christ who came our way under the guise of the needy of all kinds.
If we have been able to recognize him in the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the sick, those in prison – all those in need of compassion and assistance, then we will find a place reserved for us in God’s home.

It is demanding indeed:
not to turn away,
not to pass by,
not to do as if we had not seen –
but precisely to SEE, and to RECOGNIZE, and to CARE.

We are busy people,
we have so many commitments and so little time,
so much to do and so little free spaces in our agenda,
so many engagements already and so few hours to spare for what is not listed in our ‘to do list’…

Perhaps, in our daily planning, it may be wise to leave a line for the unexpected encounter of some people – the very ones listed in Matthew 25:31-46…

Pic: newcreationchurch-sj.org

13th Sunday of the Year, A

“FIRST THINGS FIRST”!
We hear these words from time to time.
They usually come from someone who has a lot to do already and to whom someone may ask to do something more…
The person may feel that too many tasks demand his attention, too many commitments claim her time and energy.
There is the obvious need to set priorities and, yes, to decide what should come first!

I would say that this Sunday (13th, Year A) is the day for doing exactly that: set priorities!
In fact, it is Jesus himself who asks us to do so and in no uncertain terms! (gospel: Mt.16:37-42).

His message is demanding, exacting, challenging!
We are to… stretch ourselves beyond the here and now.
We must extend our concern from the present to the ever-present = the everlasting!

We want life to be brimming with happiness and success and we are asked to… let go of it.
Let go of what we are trying to reach – at times, desperately so – to receive a life “in abundance” (Jn.10:10) promised to us.

It is a promise… Some may be tempted to say: ‘Only a promise…’
Yes, but from the one who never fails to make them come true! 

Source : Images : Adobe, Pinterest