image-i-nations trésor

31st Sunday of Year B – 2021

Today’s gospel text (Mark 12:28-34) ends with a sentence that is most hopeful:

“You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Who would not want to be told these words?
It is truly reassuring to believe that we are not far from God.
Is it not what we want: to get closer to God, day by day?

But what if it were God who draws closer to us?
This is, in fact, what Jesus says in a text from John’s gospel –
the verse that is given to us as the response (Alleluia) to the 2nd reading:

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our home with him (John 14:23).

It is a question of… love, yes, the very love that the 1st reading and the gospel are telling us about.

And keeping the word of Jesus, this is the way of loving he expects from us.
 
 
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/31e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/
 

Source: Image: Honest Talk with God

30th Sunday of Year B – 2021

To speak about God and to call upon him, all kinds of names are used:
God Almighty, Heavenly King, Creator of the universe, Master of all things, Ruler of the world, etc.

Very early in the history of the people of Israel, their great leader, Moses, had asked God who he was –
how should his people know him and call upon him.
God’s answer was… enigmatic to say the least: “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14).
But God’s people recognized him as the Supreme Being and worshipped him as such.

However, in today’s 1st reading (Jeremiah 31:7-9), God’s make himself known in a way that is much more accessible, could we say.
He says plainly:

“I am a father to Israel.” 

As a father, he cares for the blind, the lame, expectant mothers, women in labor…
the great throng of his pilgrim people…
He makes sure that they do not stumble and that, in the desert, they find, streams of water.
A caring Father – this is God, this is his name, this is who he is.

A FATHER! This is how he wants to be known – REALLY!
And when the apostles asked Jesus how they should address God, this is what Jesus said:

“When you pray, say: ‘Father’…” (Luke 11:2)

Could he fail to do for his pilgrim people in our times as he did in the past?
I cannot imagine such a God, such a Father!…

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/30e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Images: quotescosmos.com   Scripture Images

6th Sunday of Easter, Year A – 2020

After nearly two months of confinement and of social distancing, some people are longing to see…
the light at the end of the tunnel.
With the daily statistics of the Coronavirus more often going up rather than down,
people themselves start feeling… down.

No wonder that we need to repeat and remind one another:
IT WILL GET BETTER.
WE WILL OVERCOME TOGETHER.
TOMORROW WILL BE BRIGHTER.

Do we really believe it?
Do we still HOPE that it will come true?

In today’s 2nd reading (1 P 3:15-18), the apostle Peter tells the first Christians:
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have.
 
Do we still have hope and what kind of hope is ours?
We may try to make ourselves believe in better days but we soon find out that…
it does not always work.

What we need is the hope that comes from the promise given to us in today’s gospel message (Jn.14:15-21):

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever… the Spirit…”
 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. I live, you also will live…”
“He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him.”
This is solid ground, this is reliable support, this is unfailing assistance:
it is indeed true HOPE.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-a-2020/

  

Source: Image: King James Bible

 

 

Feast of the Holy Trinity, Year C – 2019  

Some people ask themselves questions about God.
In fact, many people would want to know more about him –
know more, more clearly, more deeply.
But could it be that they miss some important revelation about him?

Revelation: showing clearly, removing what is covering something, making known.
Yes, God has been revealed to us but… he remains GOD –
we will never have achieved knowing him fully…

In the 2nd reading of today’s feast – that of the Holy Trinity –
writing to the first Christians of Rome (Rom.5:1-5), saint Paul tells them:

“Through Jesus we have entered this state of grace…
The love of God (the Father) has been poured into our hearts
by the holy Spirit which has been given to us.”
 
It is as if Paul, in a nutshell, is giving us – as well as the Roman Christians of long ago –
the meaning of today’s feast.

We are “In a state of grace”, in other words: we are blessed, we are privileged, ‘graced’ by God.
Thanks to Jesus who made it known to us, we can be assured that God is our Father
a Father who loves us more than we will ever understand.
This certainty is given to us by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God himself.

Some theological texts will speak of ‘the mystery of the Holy Trinity’.
Sad to say, some people conclude: a mystery is something we cannot understand
so we cannot understand the Holy Trinity!

A more accurate definition of a mystery is that it is something we have never finished understanding…
And what if… this ‘mysterious’ REALITY were the meaning of our daily life?
Yes, even in its seemingly most insignificant details!…

Note: Another reflection is available on a similar theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-sainte-trinite-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: etsy.com

 

 

Feast of Pentecost, Year C – 2019

Week after week, Sunday after Sunday, we are given Scripture readings to ponder over.
Written in a language which is not the one of our daily conversations, it may happen that we do not grasp the full meaning of the texts.
It may also be that the truth they express is so wonderful that we wonder if we can rely on what we read or hear.
We may ask ourselves: “Are these words really meant for us as well as for the people of the past?”

The gospel of this feast of Pentecost (Jn.14:15-16,23-26) is one such texts that tell us something astonishing.
On the eve of his death, Jesus told his friends, the apostles:
 
« I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate,
to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth…
He will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.”
 
I read these words, I repeat them to myself, and… I ask myself: 
‘Is it really true for me?
Am I convinced of this?
Do I rely on this amazing reality?’

The Father cannot fail to answer Jesus’ prayer – it is absolutely unthinkable.
On the other hand, we have been baptised and we have received the Holy Spirit.
He is with us, not for a time but “for ever”, Jesus assures us.

So, it means that we have… a private teacher, a very special tutor to help us understand and remember –
understand Jesus’ message and remember it as we live from day today.

What is missing then?
Perhaps only… the faith that it is so…
And the prayer, from the heart, asking to understand and to remember.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-pentecote-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Image: www.stignatius.jp

 

12th Sunday of the Year, A

« To speak or not to speak: that is the question”, some would say…
This is what we are confronted with in the last lines of this Sunday’s gospel (Mt.10:26-33, 12th Sunday of the Year, Year A) as we hear Jesus tell us:

“If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of people,
I will declare myself for that person
in the presence of my Father in heaven.
But the one who disowns me in the presence of people,
I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.”
 
Words that are direct, challenging and perhaps a little disturbing…
Disturbing in this day and age when many will tell you that religion is a private matter.
Some people claim that one should keep to oneself what he or she believes.
We are not to bother others with matters of faith, they say.
Matters of faith which may not interest them, in any case, and which may even antagonize them.

It is true that much harm can be done by speaking in a way that shows no respect for the beliefs of others.
Trying to coerce people to take on our own ways of relating to God – for this is what religion is about – is certainly not what he expects from us.
Yet, there are times when we should speak, situations which call for our intervention.

But we should speak with tact as much as enthusiasm.
Our words should be voiced with as much discretion as conviction.
To be a witness, surely, to speak for God and about God, most certainly but…
it should be done with consideration, compassion, as much as conviction.

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to speak or not to speak…
He is the one who will enable us to blend, in the proper way, wise speech and respectful silence…

Source: Image: Dissolve