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Diwali 2021

diwali againThis year from November 2th to the 6th, our Hindu friends, neighbours and colleagues are celebrating the feast of DIWALI, « the festival of lights ». The festival spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil.

Ahead of the feast, people clean and decorate their homes and offices. They light up lamps and candles inside and outside their homes and they take part in family prayers to LAKSHMI, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. A family feast follows with exchange of gifts.   (Source Wikipedia)

« In Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery… They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation, or a flight to God with love and trust. » 

(Vatican ll document on The Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, no.2)

 

20th Sunday of Year B

Going through the readings of this Sunday (20th Sunday of Year B),
I am surprised at the number of… recommendations… injunctions… commands…
we are given to take into consideration!
I note but a few and I find them… quite demanding…

“Leave your folly and you will live,
walk in the ways of perception.”     (1st reading: Proverbs 9:1-6)

“Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord…
Listen to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord…
Never yield to evil, practise good,
Seek peace, pursue it.”     (Response: Ps.34:23,10-15)

“Be careful about the sort of lives you lead…
Recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Be filled with the Spirit…
Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns…”   (2nd reading: Eph.5:15-20)

I make a summary for myself and it comes to this simple formula:
“Recognise what is the will of the Lord.
Be filled with the Spirit…

Enough there for… a lifetime!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/20e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: seton.com

24th Sunday of the Year A

The parable of Jesus in the gospel of this Sunday (24th Sunday of Year A – Mt 18:21-35) is well-known but, I must admit, I never get used to its… demanding message!
Simply put, the last verse says that if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us either.
This makes me more than a little… uncomfortable!

I wonder if there is any one among us who does not find it hard, very hard at times, to forgive someone who has hurt us.

To forgive:

  • Someone who has spread false rumours against us – ‘fake news’ is a current practice!
  • Someone who has deprived us of a promotion which was truly deserved.
  • Someone who has ‘stolen’ the love that was rightly ours from a spouse of many years…

And the list could go on, every example more painful than the previous one.
The deed may have been wicked, the outcome devastating, and the wound may seem incurable.

Every time I hear, or read, this gospel text, I feel inclined to tell the Lord: “You don’t really mean this, Lord!…”
But I know well that he does…

This time, having read the gospel, I went to the text of the 1st reading (Si.27:30 – 28:7)
and… the last verse caught my attention (in the French text):

“Ne garde pas de rancune envers le prochain…
et sois indulgent pour qui ne sait pas. »

The English translation of the Jerusalem Bible simply says:
“Do not bear your neighbour ill-will…
and overlook the offence.” (Si.28:7-8)  

(The American Bible translation has: “Overlook a mistake”).
Neither of them gave the meaning I had found in the French words…
I kept searching and…

In the King James version I found this interesting translation:
Bear no malice to thy neighbour… and wink at ignorance.”

These words immediately brought back to my mind the words Jesus spoke on the cross:
“Forgive them, Father, they do not know what they are doing” (Lc.23:34).

So often, it is so…
People do not realize, they can be foolish, but not really evil.
If they truly saw and understood, if they were aware of what their words and actions do to others, then… perhaps they would not do what they do…

When I feel like telling the Lord: “You don’t really mean this, Lord!…”, it seems to me that I hear:
“Of course, not… not on your own… but my Spirit is with you to enable you to do it…”
Personally, this is the only way I can stop protesting and … start pardoning – poorly, awkwardly perhaps, but sincerely.

Source: Image: LDS

16th Sunday of Year A

There is so much that is wrong in our world today, is it not so?
The powerful bring suffering to the weak.
The selfish – legions of them – grab all they can.
The rich keep adding to their share while the poor have to manage on what they can scrape together.

It seems that evil spreads far and wide, and goodness has a hard time existing at all.
Examples we see every day are only too many and too easy to find.

Poverty, sickness, injustice, suffering – evil under all its forms – everywhere we turn it seems that we see only more of that!
Some people mutter to themselves: “Not much sign of God in a world like this…”
Others get really angry, and yes, angry with God: Why does he not do something to right all that is wrong?
They whisper under their breath: “If I were God, things would be different!”

We have to admit it: we are troubled by the presence of evil in our world, in people…
Perhaps today’s gospel (16th Sunday of Year A – Mt.13:24-43) can bring light to this situation.
At first sight, some would think: ‘More of the same!’
Good seed has been planted and there comes an enemy who spoils the whole thing as the weeds in plenty show.
The workers question the owner of the field about it and they are ready to put things right.

The owner shows wisdom: removing the weeds may destroy the good plants as well.
So, his advice is… to wait.
WAIT – waiting… till the harvest, waiting till all has grown and then… then will be the time to sort out and to separate.

For many of us, this is not our preferred mode of operating.
Yet, surprisingly perhaps, this is the way… of God!
He waits, and waits… for us!
He waits that we change…

The 1st reading (Wis.12:13,16-19) says it beautifully:
“Your sovereignty makes you lenient to all…
You are mild in judgement,
You govern us with great leniency.”

He waits that we recognize him, accept his ways, see him as REAL – really present in our lives.
How much longer will he have to wait for this to happen?…

Source: Images: Wikipedia, Experimental Theology – blogger

 

 

World Communications Day – 28 May

The Holy See on 24 January 2017, the liturgical memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists, released the Holy Father’s Message for the 51st World Communications Day.

The Message of Pope Francis is entitled « Fear not, for I am with you (Isaiah 43:5): Communicating Hope and Trust in our Time ».

In 2017, World Communications Day will be celebrated on 28 May, which in Canada is the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. In his Message, the Pope expresses his desire « to contribute to the search for an open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamourize evil, but instead to concentrate on solutions and to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients. I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart ‘good news’. »

Source: Text: CCCB,  Image: catholicbishops.ie

 

Diwali

diwali againThis year from November 11th to the 15th, our Hindu friends, neighbours and colleagues are celebrating the feast of DIWALI, « the festival of lights ». The festival spiritually signifies the victory of good over evil.

Ahead of the feast, people clean and decorate their homes and offices. They light up lamps and candles inside and outside their homes and they take part in family prayers to LAKSHMI, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. A family feast follows with exchange of gifts.   (Source Wikipedia)

« In Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery… They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation, or a flight to God with love and trust. » 

(Vatican ll document on The Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, no.2)