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Feast of the Epiphany, Year C – 2022

At times, listening to some people talking, we may hear a person say:
“It’s all a question of planning”.
True, much in life depends on the plans we make to achieve our goals.

Strangely enough, this thought came to me as I reflected on the texts of this Feast of the Epiphany.
There are many plans mentioned in today’s gospel reading (Matthew 2:1-12).

We see three Magi, yes, Wise Men, planning for a long journey.
Their plan, in fact, is to find a new-born king – so they believe.
We meet a devious ruler, himself a king, having his own plans about a potential new-born rival.
Their quest having been rewarded, the three Wise Men make a new plan for the return journey.

But this summary has left out one more plan of the utmost importance: the plan of God!
While everyone speaks in terms of kingship, God speaks another language.
In the gospel text, we are told:

“You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”

A shepherd, this is the one who has come to us from God – God himself.
This is what God wants to be for us: someone who watches over us, someone who cares.
Long before his birth, the description of this shepherd had been made by the prophet Isaiah (40:11):

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”

Perhaps, at the beginning of this new year, this is something we need to learn:
to be shown the way,
to be led and…
to be carried when needs be!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lepiphanie-annee-c-2022/

 

Source: Images: allinnet.info    Wikipedia

World Oceans Day – 8 June 2021

« Love ocean, he will not betray you. »

On June 8, the entire world comes together for the largest water body surrounding us, which is the ocean. It is an important part of our earth as it provides us with water, the most integral element that we need in our daily lives.

However, over the years, the oceans have to bear the brunt of man-made destruction. From industrial waste to throwing unwanted litter, its degradation is destabilizing the earth’s dynamics with its natural resources that will lead to an eventual and unfortunate end.

Therefore, it becomes all the more important to save the oceans around the world.

World Ocean Day History

This was first suggested in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The aim behind this was to not only celebrate the vast water body and its benefits in our lives but also to raise awareness about what can be done to make it a part of sustainable development. On December 5, 2008, a resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly to designate this day.

World Ocean Day Significance

UNESCO states that this day is observed to remind everyone that oceans are the lungs of our planet. Awareness is raised about how to conserve it and rescue it from the eventual degradation that is caused by our careless activities. Therefore, World Ocean Day is celebrated for this reason all across the world.

World Ocean Day Theme

This year, the theme of World Ocean Day is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’. Owing to the pandemic, all the celebrations today will happen virtually.

World Ocean Day Quotes

  1. “Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.” —William Arthur Ward
  2. « No water, no life. No blue, no green. »- Sylvia Plath
  3. « There is going to be no life. We are going to save our oceans. On the occasion of World Oceans Day, Let us join hands to save them. Happy World Oceans Day. »
  4. « You will love the ocean. It makes you feel small. But not in a bad way. Small because you realize you’re part of something bigger. »- Lauren Myracle
  5. Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time. – H. P. Lovecraft
  6. .Being out there in the ocean, God’s creation, it’s like a gift he has given us to enjoy. – Bethany Hamilton
  7. To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships, with men in them. What stranger miracles are there? – Walt Whitman

 

Source: Texte: www.timesnownews.com.    Image: latestly.com

Ascension of the Lord, Year B – 2021

Time, moments in time, seasons… they rule our life.
But we need to learn how to live according to their rhythm.

The 1st reading of this Feast of the Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:1-11) shows him teaching his apostles for the last period during which he will be visibly present with them.
We are told that he is speaking to them about the kingdom of Godin other words, the way God wants to welcome people into relationship with him.

But the apostles ask Jesus:

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
 
Obviously, they are not on the same wavelength…
Jesus corrects them in no uncertain terms:

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
 
I wonder if we, ourselves, would not sometimes deserve the same correction…
What concerns us most, very often, is the time when our own plans are going to be fulfilled.

God’s plan may seem to us more remote, distant, not very real or concrete.
We focus on the goals we set for ourselves, the realizations we want to see achieved.
Our moments are those of the immediate, we look for instant gratification…

We find is so difficult to adjust ourselves to God’s timetable.

Peter, the apostle, was reminding the first Christians:

“Beloved, do not forget this one thing,
that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day”.    (2 Peter 3:8).    

A lesson we are in constant need to learn…
And learning together with it patience and the meaning of TIME…
 
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/ascension-du-seigneur-annee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: iStock   Bible Verses Pictures – Scripture Images  

International Day of Sign Languages – 23 September

New York, USA, 19 December 2017: The United Nations General Assembly has declared 23 September as International Day of Sign Languages. The resolution (A/C.3/72/L.36/Rev.1 – International Sign version here) was initially adopted by consensus during the 48th meeting of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, 16 November 2017 and officially adopted today at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

The resolution was proposed, or sponsored, through the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, following an original request by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). The WFD worked with its country members to garner support from their respective Permanent Missions to the United Nations, who have the power at the United Nations General Assembly to vote for adoption of the resolution as co-sponsors. The resolution was co-sponsored by 97 United Nations Member States and adopted by consensus.

Ambassador Walton Webson of the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations: ´This resolution is an important milestone in our international promise “to leave no one behind”. The acclimation of 23 September as the international day of sign languages is a significant step in the universalization of all communities to recognize the objectives set out in article 21 of the UNCRPD to meet our universal goal of inclusion. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is pleased to be part of this international day that will focus the world’s attention on the principles of the UNCRPD in calling for equality, especially in terms of accessibility, that allows an individual freedom of choice, dignity and independence of self without discrimination.´

The choice of 23 September commemorates the date that the WFD was established in 1951. This day marks the birth of an advocacy organisation, which has as one of its main goals, the preservation of sign languages and deaf culture as pre-requisites to the realisation of the human rights of deaf people.

The first International Day of Sign Languages will be celebrated on 23 September 2018 as part of the International Week of the Deaf.

World Federation of the Deaf President Colin Allen: ‘This resolution recognises the importance of sign language and services in sign language being available to deaf people as early in life as possible. It also emphasises the principle of “nothing about us without us” in terms of working with Deaf Communities. With effect from year 2018, the WFD is overjoyed at the prospect of observing and celebrating this day annually.’

The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 and has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity and concerted advocacy to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face in their everyday lives.

Source: Text & Image: wfdeaf.org

 

 

World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

Every year, thousands of men and women the world over put their lives in danger working in Humanitarian causes all over the world. Working in the most poverty and illness stricken third world countries the world over, often in areas of great social violence, these dedicated heroes put their lives on the line, and sometimes lose them in the pursuit of their goals. World Humanitarian Day is when we remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN. Sergio had worked at great length attempted to pull together the Draft for the official designation of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio was born in Brazil, and worked tirelessly over three decades to help those victims of armed conflict by easing their pain and making sure the world did not forget them. Awareness was a vital part of his campaign, trying to ensure that those in First World Countries and places of peace remembered that there was more to war than the deaths of combatants and conflicts between governments. These people struggle every day to survive against odds that were created in spite of their desire to just live in peace and safety.

World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize Sergio and the thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war, starvation, and pestilence.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR Image: Askideas.com

11th Sunday of the Year, B

The gospel accounts, especially that of Matthew, offers us many texts on the kingdom of God.
The specialists on those gospel texts discuss among themselves about the meaning of this term:
“the kingdom of God”.
They generally agree that it refers to God’s special relationship with human beings,
his presence and action among us – a presence and action accepted by people to guide their lives.

One of the parables of this Sunday (11th Sunday of Year B – Mk.4:26-34) speaks in this way:

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land.
Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake,
The seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.
Of its own accord, the land produces, first the shoot, then the ear;
Then the full grain in the ear.”

A few words struck me in the text: “Of its own accord…”
As if the seed had a will of its own!
Yet, mysteriously, it follows the laws of nature ‘rooted’ – literally – in the depths of itself.

The seed has no will of its own but… we do!
And our will should be … ‘in accord’ with God!
The expression is unusual, perhaps, but it is theologically true!

Our daily life and actions,
our plans and occupations,
our projects and our goals should be according to God’s will.
His presence should be the inspiration of our lives.
And pleasing him should be what we aim at from day to day… of our own accord!
Simple? Yes.
Easy? Perhaps not…
But God’s Spirit in us – the vital energy enabling us to grow – can also enable us to live in this way

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/11e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Images: inkfish.fieldsofscience.com   VideoBlocks

World Oceans Day – 8 June

World Oceans Day 2018 – The Scourge of Plastic Pollution

World Oceans Day is held every year on 8th June to raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining a healthy planet. A global celebration, it looks to bring people and organisations together across the globe in a series of events highlighting how we can all help protect and conserve the oceans.

Originally an idea put forward by the Canadian Government at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, World Oceans Day has been organised by the Ocean Project group since 2002. In 2008 the day gained official recognition from the UN General Assembly, a boost in raising the profile of the day and its goals. The number of countries and organisations who mark World Oceans Day grows each year in recognition of the importance of oceans worldwide.

In 2018 World Oceans Day aims to focus attention on the scourge of plastic pollution in our oceans. Free resources are available to download to help illustrate the many problems surrounding plastic pollution, plus ideas and tips on how to raise awareness of the subject at your events. From film screenings to art, beach cleans to festivals, events across the world will be held to mark the day.

Source : Text : www.awarenessdays.org Image : temanaotemoana.org 

Will you stop using single use plastic bags, bottles and straws to help our ocean?
Plastic trash is a serious problem for our ocean, and especially all the animals that call it home, but together we can be part of the solution.

Source: Text: www.worldoceanday.org

 

 

World Occupational Therapy Day – 27 October

What is World Occupational Therapy Day?
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) is the international voice of the occupational therapy profession which globally comprises of 92 national occupational therapy professional organisations. World Occupational Therapy Day is the opportunity to heighten the visibility of the profession’s development work and to promote the activities of WFOT locally, nationally, and internationally.

When is it? Annually on October 27th
The aim is that the WFOT World Occupational Therapy Day will be integrated with other national celebrations and promotions of the mission and goals of occupational therapy. Many countries hold occupational therapy week or month in October. If this does not fit with your country or time frame then individual events can be scheduled to suit any local time frames. This will help to increase the awareness of occupational therapists and society of the truly global impact of occupational therapy.

Source: Text & Image: WFOT

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

Sun Day – 3 May

Sun Day (May 3, 1978) was designated by Jimmy Carter President of United States of America  specifically devoted to advocacy for solar power, following a joint resolution by Congress. It was modeled on the highly successful Earth Day of April 22, 1970.

International Sun day has been celebrated over the past seven years on May 3, 2008. The day is sponsored and celebrated by NASA. Its Sun-Earth connection education forum organizes and coordinates events to highlight NASA Sun-Earth Connection research and discoveries. Sun-Earth Day is during the March equinox.

The celebration on the day is marked by the celestial events, such as total solar eclipses and the Transit of Venus, and Sun-Earth Day during the March Equinox. They participate in space science activities, demonstrations, and various interactive sessions and quiz with space scientists.

One of main goals of the day is to help scientists understand the interactions between the Sun and the Earth’s environment, which will definitely facilitate them to predict the Sun’s activity and motion, and thus, space weather conditions.

Source: Text: IDEA  Image: Clipart Library