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33rd Sunday of Year C – 2022

Some people would say that the text of today’s gospel is quite shocking (Luke 21:5-19).
For them, two words may summarize the scenes we are given to witness: abomination and desolation.
It is a rather accurate perception of the ‘mood’ of this text.
The detailed description of events to take place – or taking place – in our world has something frightening about it.

Having read the text to the end, it may be good to remain there, at the end… the last verse giving us a message that is most important (verse 19).
Different versions of this verse give an interesting perspective, telling us:

“Stand firm, and you will win life”.  (New International Version
“Your endurance will win you your lives”. (Jerusalem Bible)
“By your perseverance you shall possess your souls”. (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

In fact, what we are told is that:

  • We should not give up trying to overcome the problems and difficulties of life.
  • We should not give in to discouragement and despair.
  • We should not give way to the temptation of abandoning the struggle for good to win over evil.

Someone has coined a new expression to qualify this endurance and called it ‘stick-to-itness’!
Stick to the fight against injustice and pursue the path of honesty.
Stick to the resolution of siding with the poor and those deprived of their rights.
Stick to the struggle you started always to choose the way of peace and reconciliation.

Would this not be a way to avoid disputes and injustices, recrimination and discrimination, violence and wars?
I like to believe that it is worth trying… it has a gospel felling about it…


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


Source: Image: Scripture Images  

7th Sunday of Easter, Year B

At long last, springtime has come and, with it, nature is taking on its colourful attire in the form of all kinds of flowers.
Flowers of different kinds and shapes, of diverse colours and fragrances, for our enjoyment.

One of them has a name which always strikes me because… it has a message.
It is called: Forget-Me-Not !
Scientists surely have a more sophisticated name for it in Latin, but I prefer its popular title and… request: FORGET-ME-NOT!

The picture of it came to me as I read the Psalm of this Sunday (7th Sunday of Easter, Year B – Ps.103).
Verse 2 says: “Forget not all his (the Lord’s) blessings.”
It is not a prophet or any of Israel’s wise people who say this to the Psalmist but he speaks to himself!
He says: “My soul…” – in other words, he calls on his deepest self, not to forget.

Not to forget,
to remember,
to recall,
to be aware of all that the Lord has done for him.

But this supposes that… a person has first noticed the Lord’s action in his life.
He/she has been attentive and sensitive to the intervention of God on his behalf.
Then, later on, he/ she will be able to bring back to memory the gifts received and the blessings enjoyed.

I know of a woman who, at the beginning of each year, takes a colourful flower container which she especially likes.
No, she does not place flowers into it but, every day, she puts at least one small piece of paper on which she has listed something good and positive that has happened during the day.
It can be a small gesture of appreciation from someone, a chance meeting with someone else, the smile of a child, a good deed from a neighbour –
just about anything that has touched her in a positive way –
she writes it down and she places the small piece of paper in the jar.

Then, on those days when she feels sad or discouraged, when everything seems to go wrong, or when she simply lacks the energy to go on doing her best, she takes out one of the small pieces of paper from the flower container…
‘It works like magic’, she says!
The positive aspect of the memory – and the thanksgiving she has attached to it – bring back a feeling of joy, of renewed strength.

On this Sunday, I ask: ‘Why not do the same for the Lord’s blessings?’
They may come ‘clothed’, as it were, under the appearance of all the good things that happen to us and…
we may have failed to notice so many of them.

A colouful flower container… and the resolution NOT TO FORGET are all that is needed!…

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

Source: Images:  PxHere  

5th Sunday of Easter, Year B

At times, we may feel that we need some encouragement in our life as Christians.
We try to be faithful to God’s message.
We struggle to follow God’s way from day to day.
We strive for the kind of life we know he expects from us…
But, somehow, we feel we fall short of the ideal and we are perhaps tempted to get discouraged.

If so, the text of the 2nd reading of this Sunday (5th Sunday of Easter, Year B – 1 Jn.3:18-24) can give us some needed consolation.
In his first letter to the first Christians, the apostle John says:

“We… be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.”
In fact, John is repeating the message of Jesus – what he had said privately to Nicodemus:
“God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.”   (Jn.3:17)

And what he had said openly to the Jews listening to him:
“I have not come to condemn the world but to save the world.” (Jn.12:47)

 We, human beings, can be strange people…
And so we are when we ‘create’ a vengeful and fearsome God intent on punishing us!

We make mistakes, we go astray, we may commit awful acts for which we are indeed guilty.
But what God wants from us is that we acknowledge our wrongdoing and our sin,
and that we return to him, the God of compassion and mercy.

That simple? Yes!
That wonderful, indeed!
And… absolutely TRUE!

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

Source: Images:   Pinterest

20th Sunday of the Year, C

Some are prone to divide people into two categories: the good and the evil ones, the kind and the unkind, the just and the unjust and, yes, those who are our friends and those we label as ‘enemies’.
People who give in to such labelling can think it is wise to protect oneself from the hurt that those who are unfriendly could cause them…

Amazingly, they often forget one type of enemies… the inner ones! Yes, those we give a residence to within ourselves! Often, they lie there, well hidden from our consciousness, unrecognised. Their presence is not acknowledged and can be all the more negative.

Today, I am thinking of one such enemy which is referred to in the letter to the Hebrews (12:1-4), this Sunday’s second reading (20th Sunday of the Year, C). Courage-doesnt-mean-you-dont-get-afraid_-Courage-means-you-dont-let-fear-stop-you-Bethany-Hamilton
It is called: discouragement, or a lack of courage.
The author of this epistle warns us precisely against this.
It tells us “not (to) give up for want of courage.”

Discouragement deprives us of our inner resources.
We see situations and events in a defeatist way.
Our attitude to life and people is negative.
We give up the struggle to overcome the obstacles on our way.
We recall the failures of the past pretending they justify our refusal to make new efforts.
Nothing seems to have meaning any more.
We do not dare to move into unchartered territory in life.
We do not attempt to explore new possibilities.
Pushed to the extreme, this can lead to deep depression…

The Scripture text tells us: “We should throw off everything that hinders us…” Discouragement is definitely such a hindrance! The unrecognised specialist of… sabotage – obvious work of an ‘enemy’.

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