image-i-nations trésor

19th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Just imagine for a moment a man standing before a group of people.
Most of them know him, they know his mother, of course, and where he comes from.
He is dressed as they are, he speaks as they do, but… what he says has never been heard before.

He says that he descended from heaven.
He even claims that he can give some food that will enable people to live eternally.
He repeats with conviction that those eating this food will never die.
And he concludes proclaiming that he, himself, is that food.

How do you think people would react?
Voices would rise to jeer, to ridicule, to condemn such claims:

“Who does he think he is?”
“He’s talking nonsense!”
“He’s out of his mind!”
”Eating the flesh of a man, who would do that?”

This is more or less a reproduction of what the scene in today’s gospel offers us (Jn.6:41-51).
The vocabulary may have changed somehow but the reactions of the listeners are very similar:
that kind of speech is just too much of them.
Who could put faith in such extravagant language?
Who would dream of following the Man of Nazareth?

“Heaven… the Father… rise on the last day… eternal life… bread of life… bread that is flesh!”

Could it be that all these words have been part of our religious language for so long that we no longer question their meaning.
In no way do they make us feel uncomfortable…

Do they touch us really?
Do they still question us?
Do they reach us in the depths of our being?
Do we allow them to challenge our faith?
Do they inspire our commitment to that Man, Jesus?

If not, that chapter of John’s gospel is just another… printed text…
We will hear it another time, at another place, perhaps… all the time remaining the same ourselves…
While Jesus is waiting for us… just waiting…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/19e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: Presentation Guru   churchofjesuschrist.org

17th Sunday of Year B – 2021

The methodology of… God can be quite surprising and sometimes rather upsetting – we have all experienced it!
He has told us about this long ago through his prophet, Isaiah, when he said openly:

“My ways are not your ways” (Is.55:8).
But it seems that we do not get used to this easily…

This thought came to me as I read the gospel text of this Sunday (Jn.6:1-15).
A crowd has been listening to Jesus’ teaching for a long time and he does not want to send them back without giving them something to eat.

 So, he asks his apostle, Philip, where they could get food for all those people.
The text says:
 
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do”.
A little frustrating for poor Philip, if he knew… he, too, has to learn God’s ways!

But then, Jesus provides the food and we are told that the people were given “as much as they wanted”.
I said Jesus provides but, in fact, a child has made this abundant feast possible with his contribution.

So, after all, God’s methodology is not one of refusal, or measured provision, but an abundance of gifts and blessings.
And, often through our own sharing with those around us!

How long do we still need to understand?…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/17e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: Jesus Film Project

12th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Some people enjoy making lists – lists of all kinds of things.
Names of places they have visited, names of stars of cinema or sports heroes,
names of best deals for items to buy, names of prospective clients for their business, etc.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a list of… temptations he, or she, has to grapple with!…
This could be an interesting – and possibly quite surprising – ­exercise!

I will not reveal here my own list of things I have to struggle with,
but I will tell you what I find perhaps the worst temptation.
It came back to me as I read the words of the apostles in the gospel of this Sunday (Mk.4:35-41).

The scene is well known to us: the apostles are caught up in a storm on the lake at nighttime.
The wind is terribly strong, the waves threatening, and the men can no longer cope with the situation.
As for Jesus, he is quietly sleeping through it all!

The gospel text says:
 “The disciples woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
 
The temptation I spoke of is NOT that of fear, of weakness, or helplessness –
NO, these are only expressions of our being human.
The temptation – insidious, vicious, really – is to think that God does not care!
 
How many of us have not given in to this temptation at one time or another?
To think that God is too far, too great, too occupied with other people’s problems,
to be concerned with our own troubles!
To think that the nitty gritty of our daily lives is too insignificant for God to be bothered with it.
Would he lower himself to care for that?…
 
This is precisely what he has done in becoming one of us!
Food and drink, sickness and sin, and whatever comes with these situations –
this is precisely what he has been caring about… and continues to do so.

And we, “who have no faith”, are still tempted to ask him the question?!

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/12e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Bijoux to Cara 

Human Rights Day – 10 December

Every so often a thing comes to pass that is of such astounding importance that we must stand up and recognize it. We must place this thing on the pedestal it deserves, and ensure that the precepts and policies put in place by it are adhered to, appreciated, and spread as far as the human voice will carry. Such is the sort of message sent by Human Rights Day.

History of Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day was established in 1948, and ever since that auspicious day it has stood as the first major stride forward in ensuring that the rights of every human across the globe are protected. From the most basic human needs such as food, shelter, and water, all the way up to access to free and uncensored information, such has been the goals and ambitions laid out that day.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was a shout across the world by the leading countries in the world, stating loud and clear that no matter where we live, what we believe, or how we love, we are each individually deserving of the most basic fundamentals of human needs. Every year Human Rights Day marks conferences around the world dedicated to ensuring that these ideals are pursued, and that the basic Human Rights of every person is made a priority in the global theater.

Source: Text & Image: DAYSoftheYEAR

World Food Day- 15 October

World Food Day was first launched in 1945. The reason World Food Day was created was to celebrate the launch of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The main principle which World Food Day celebrates is the furtherance of food security all over the world, especially in times of crisis. The launch of the Food and Agriculture Organisation by the UN has played a huge role in taking this worthy goal forward. Its annual celebration serves as a marker of the importance of this organisation and helps to raise awareness of the crucial need for successful agriculture policies to be implemented by governments across the world to ensure there is ample food available for everyone.

In recent years, World Food Day has used its annual day of celebration to focus on different aspects of food security and agriculture, including fishing communities, climate change and biodiversity.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR   Image: hah.hr

 

 

World Population Day – 11 July

Every year the world continues to get more and more crowded. While we’ve a tendency to pack ourselves into massive cities, and there are presently still long open stretches of countryside, every year that gets whittled away at more and more. The power and food needs of the world continue to place a greater and greater strain on our ability to meet them, and resources in general are becoming harder and harder to come by. World Population Day comes along each year to remind us that our present rate of population growth is unsustainable, and the present social and logistical issues we are experiencing to meet the demand of that population will only get worse if we don’t do something.

History of World Population Day
In 1987 there was an event called “Five Billion Day”, which recognized when the human population boiled over the 5 billion mark. Since then the United Nations Development Programme has been working to anticipate, support, and offset the needs of a rapidly growing population. The population had been deemed to be growing out of control, and an awareness was being spread about the need for family planning, ways to offset poverty, and the ability to ensure that proper maternal health was observed.

The existing strain of supporting our present population is already causing grievous crimes in the areas of human rights and gender equality. As more people come into an a world that’s already doing a poor job of taking care of its citizens, there are more and more of them coming vulnerable to human rights violations such as human trafficking and child labor. World Population Day reminds us that we are part of an ever growing world, and that to ensure there’s a great future ahead for any of us, there has to be a great future for all of us.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR, Image: Current Affairs 2017

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Year A

Hungering for more…

Walking across the desert…
Food given as yet unknown…
Life beyond the present…
A body more than the flesh…

Hungering for more…

Something else, something more –
So much deeper, more satisfying, more enduring…

“The Lord led you in the wilderness to test you and know your inmost heart…
to test you and so make your future the happier.”   (Dt.8:2-3,14-16)
 
This is what today’s feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord evokes…
The bread – the Body – is meant for a com-union = a union with Him who wants our happiness –
something beyond all we could imagine or dream of.

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me and I live in him.” (Jn.6:56)
 
THIS is… the MORE!…

Source: Images: shutterstock.com, renewaljournal.wordpress.com

International Human Rights Day – 10 December

Every so often a thing comes to pass that is of such astounding importance that we must stand up and recognize it. We must place this thing on the pedestal it deserves, and ensure that the precepts and policies put in place by it are adhered to, appreciated, and spread as far as the human voice will carry. Such is the sort of message sent by Human Rights Day.

History of Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day was established in 1948, and ever since that auspicious day it has stood as the first major stride forward in ensuring that the rights of every human across the globe are protected. From the most basic human needs such as food, shelter, and water, all the way up to access to free and uncensored information, such has been the goals and ambitions laid out that day.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was a shout across the world by the leading countries in the world, stating loud and clear that no matter where we live, what we believe, or how we love, we are each individually deserving of the most basic fundaments of human needs. Every year Human Rights Day marks conferences around the world dedicated to ensuring that these ideals are pursued, and that the basic Human Rights of every person is made a priority in the global the basic Human Rights of every person is made a priority in the global theater.

Source: Text & Image: Days of the Year