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21st Sunday of Year B – 2021

Reading the gospel is not an exercise that always provides… comfort.
It certainly does at times, but at other times it can be rather upsetting.

It happens that Jesus questions us, and even confronts us, in a way that can be disturbing.
 This is what we see in today’s gospel text (Jn.6:60-69).
Jesus has been speaking of giving people his body as food.
People grumble about this and they say:

“This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

To this, Jesus replies:
“Does this offend you?
 
Another translation uses a stronger expression saying:
Does this scandalize you?”
 
Does it happen that God’s words offend us?
Does it happen that God’s ways, scandalize us?

Perhaps this means that… God is God and that…
we need to recognize him as such.
Long ago, he told us through his prophet Isaiah (Is.55:8):

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
 

Something we are in constant need to remember and…
something we need to adjust ourselves to… from day to day.

But through the words of another of his messengers, Jeremiah, (Jer.29:11)
God assures us:

“I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.

A hopeful future, this is what is offered to us!
And this plan gives a new perspective to God’s ways which may… offend us!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: pixabay.com

5th Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2020

 

W A I T I N G !

I know very few people who like to… WAIT.
In general people do not like delays, postponements, adjournments.
Of course, this can mean a pause, a rest, but this is not what we want.
We are a generation where not only business but busy-ness is the order of the day!

But, if we think about it, a promise involves precisely this: waiting…
Being promised something means that we have to wait for it.
The realization of the promise will come later, it is to come true… in the future.
We will get what has been promised after a certain time, a period possibly unknown, unspecified.

And, this is true of… God’s promises!
We just do not see yet that they can come true… that they WILL come true…
We have to believe that they will.

Writing these words, I come back to the gospel of this Sunday (Jn.11:1-45).
 
“The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 
and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
“If you believe, you will see the glory of God.”
 
WILL live, WILL see, WILL never die – it is all to take place in the future,
it has definitely the form of a promise.

But the the wonderful thing is that the promises of God are… reality-in-the-making!
They are blessings-being-REALised!
 
As he was about to raise Lazarus, Jesus told his Father:
“I knew that you always hear me.”
 
FAITH should enable us to say the same… even while waiting…

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a somewhat different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-a-2020/

 

Source: Images: Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

21st Sunday of Year B

Making choices, taking decisions…
Not easy when the choice is … Someone, and when the decision is for a lifetime!

This is the situation we see in the 1st reading of this Sunday (21st Sunday of Year B – Jos.24:1-2.15-18)
where the people of Israel are told by their leader, Joshua, to make such a choice and take such a decision.
What prompts them to answer without hesitation?
They look back, they remember, they recall what happened…

“Was it not the Lord our God who brought us out of Egypt…
who worked those great wonders before our eyes…
and preserved us all along the way we travelled
and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed?

In other words: the past is a guarantee for the future –
If God has cared, sustained, protected in the past, how could he fail to do so in the future?

I pause and think of my own experience: I, too, look back and recall…
Before making the next important, life-changing decision…
I will make a list – a list of what the Lord has done in my own life.

That should be enough of a guarantee for me!
What about you?…

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/21e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: iStock   Bullet Journal

World Day of Altruism – 26 May


The day of those who want to create a better and more respectful world
No matter what your culture, your social status, your education level, your age, your desires, and your aspirations are, you are concerned by your future and the future of the planet you live on; this is the reason for the World Day of Altruism.

Because we are aware that our future relies on us and only us, on the choices we make today, and on our actions. Because we are aware that what will happen to-morrow depends on what we do today, and what we get today is the result of what we have done yesterday. We have decided not to make the same mistakes and to:

“Create something different”

   Our leitmotiv : “Life respect above all”

Because we think that you and me, all together, will succeed in giving our future a happier direction that the one we have chosen until today. Because it’s now time to take responsibilities for our planet and our future by making constructive decisions carrying the seeds of the results we want for tomorrow.

Source: Text & Image: www.planète-altruiste.com

International Day of Older Persons – 1 October

The theme of the International Day of Older Persons 2017 is:

“Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”

This year’s day is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large. It focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.

This year’s theme underscores the link between tapping the talents and contributions of older persons and achieving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which is currently undergoing its third review and appraisal process.

Between 2015 and 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, the number of older persons worldwide is set to increase by 56 per cent — from 901 million to more than 1.4 billion. By 2030, the number of people aged 60 and above will exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24.

Stepping into the future with pledges that no one will be left behind, it is starkly evident that the need to tap into the often overlooked and under-appreciated contributions of older persons is not only essential to older persons’ well-being, but also imperative for sustainable development processes.

The 2017 theme will explore effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older persons in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.

Source: Texte: UN  Image: alwaysonhealthcare.com

World Oceans Day – 8 June

2017 Theme: “Our oceans, our future”

The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and regulate climate. They are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income and serve as the backbone of international trade.

Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world’s oceans and seas.

Peace and security are also critical to the full enjoyment of the benefits that can be derived from the oceans and for their sustainable development. As has been remarked by the Secretary-General: “There will be no development without security and no security without development.”

This year’s theme for the Day is “Our oceans, our future” and is connected to the Ocean Conference taking place from 5 to 9 June at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Source: Text: UN  Image: World Ocean day