image-i-nations trésor

24th Sunday of Year B – 2021

The gospel texts are sometimes comforting and encouraging.
At other times, they are demanding and… more than a little challenging

The text for this Sunday (Mark 7:28-35) belongs to this challenging category!
We are told that:

“He (Jesus) began to teach them (the apostles) that the Son of Man must suffer many things… be rejected…
that he must be killed…”
The perspective of such a future for their Master is surely disheartening for the apostles.
No wonder that Peter, the leader among them, protests and even tries to have Jesus change direction!
I expect that some of us would have been inclined to do the same…

It is natural to try and avoid whatever is painful, whatever causes hurt and provokes fear and discouragement.
The problem is that our attempts are so often shortsighted.
To follow this course of action may end up by depriving us of something absolutely… wonderful.

The sentence printed above is still incomplete – following the words: “he must be killed…”
the text continues with: “and after three days rise again.”

So often, what happens in our lives is that:
we see only the negative,
we focus only on the possible hurt,
we envisage only what goes against our desires…

We fail to broaden our perspective to see what will follow the… ‘must’ –
to perceive all the great things that God has prepared for us.

Of course, to take up one’s cross –
a very personal, intimate, demanding denial of oneself –
this would be more than we can cope with…
if we were left to ourselves.
But we are NOT.

Christ is with us, he who has walked this way before us.
And what he has lived through is awaiting us also: “rise again.”
Rise to a life of unending happiness!


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


Source: Images:

2nd Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019

Today’s gospel text (Jn.20:19-31) is rather discrete in terms of the apostles’ reaction to Jesus sudden appearance to them on Easter Sunday.
John simply tells us that “The disciples were filled with joy.”
In his telling of the same happening, Luke says that they were “in a state of alarm and fright as they thought they were seeing a ghost.” (Lk.24:37).
As I try to picture the scene and imagine what the apostles must have felt, the words that come to me to describe them are: surprised, astonished, amazed… utterly dumbfounded!
They knew that Jesus had been nailed on a cross (we can suppose that John who was present had given them some of the details…) and a soldier had pierced his side with a lance (Jn.19:26).
He had died, there was no doubt about this.

And now, suddenly, absolutely unexpected, there he is in front of them – ALIVE!
The word ‘surprise’ is hardly strong enough to mention what the apostles experienced at that moment.

Writing the word ‘surprise’, I recall a book published some years ago entitled: God of surprises (Gerard W. Hughes).
It may not be an attribute that is often given to God, but personally I believe it is very appropriate.

Looking at my life, what happened in the distant past and more recently, I can vouch for this truth:
God is indeed a surprising God!

  • Surprising in his amazing creativity,
  • surprising in his tremendous generosity,
  • surprising in his unfailing forgiveness,
  • surprising in his unfathomable understanding,
  • surprising in his permanent presence… in spite of sometimes having to wait for a welcome!

Surprising, absolutely!
Have you not noticed this for yourself?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:
And a video (in English) is also offered where the second part of the gospel is presented:

Source: Image:

22nd Sunday of the Year A

Some texts of Scripture are comforting and encouraging.
Others are demanding and quite challenging.
This is the case with the words we hear in the readings of this Sunday (22nd of Year A).

In his letter to the Romans, Paul invites them (12:1-2) to something especially difficult when he tells them:

“to discover the will of God and know what is good,
what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.”

Searching for what is good and pleasing to God, yes, but more still: striving for what is perfect!
This advice is a challenge indeed, it calls for an ongoing effort to stretch ourselves, to go beyond what has been achieved already.
It asks for… more!

And is there not a little irony in the fact that the well-known sign for more is… + yes, the sign of a cross!

In today’s gospel (Mt.16:21-27), Jesus tells his apostles that this is what is awaiting him: the cross.
His words meet with more than a little resistance from Peter.
As they may do from us also…

But Jesus message is clear and uncompromising:
“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine…
let him take up his cross and follow me.”  

We would rather choose another way but… this is HIS way.
And, as he asks us to follow him, we know that he is inviting us also to where this leads:
“When the Son of God comes in his glory, he will reward each one according to his behaviour.” 

Source: Image: Catholic in Brooklyn – blogger

The year comes to an end

At one time or another, you may have come across a poster with this text: « Count your blessings, not your troubles! » At the end of the year, it is a good thing to look back and see, and recognize, and REALize all that the Lord has done for us.

On Youtube, I came across an Irish choir singing the ever meaningful song composed in 1897 by Johnson Oatman Jr., with this very title: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.
Here it is for your enjoyment and reflection.