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12th Sunday of Year A – 2023

“Life is not easy” – nobody would rashly deny this statement.
Everyone has in mind many occasions when this has proved true.
Difficulties of all kinds come our way and make life something of a struggle.

How do people cope with situations where they are faced with problems?
What do they do to overcome the obstacles that they are confronted with? 

Some try to fight those who oppose them.
Others flee hoping to escape the threat and the enemy.
Some others look for help from people around them.
But such help is not always available, people are often unable to help, or refuse to do so.

Today’s 1st reading presents us with the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:10-13).
The message he spoke was not welcome and many of his people are against him.
He is aware that he is in serious danger, and he needs help.

He looks for assistance – real assistance where he is sure to find real support.
He addresses himself directly to God saying:

“To you I have committed my cause.”
I wonder how many of us dare to do the same:

  • Confiding to God whatever is a threat to us…
  • Relying on him being absolutely sure that he will not abandon us…
  • Depending on him with complete trust that he will not leave us without help…

Some may say that this is not easy either…
Perhaps… but the result can be amazingly rewarding!…

It may have already proved to be so for some of you…


Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:


Source: Image: Bible Hub


8th Sunday of Year C – 2022

Words, words, words – they can be found everywhere.
Words spoken, printed, read, proclaimed, shouted, sung.
Your words, my words, those of the learned and those of the ignorant.
Those asserted by the bold and those whispered by the fearful.

The 1st reading of this Sunday is somehow an invitation to appraise our talk.
The wise author of the text says (Ecclesiasticus 27:4-7):

“The defects of a (man) person appear in (his) talking…
The test or a (man) person is in his/her conversation.
A (man’s) person’s words betray what he/she feels.”

Most of us do quite a lot of talking.
It would be interesting to look closely at our conversations with others and see what they reveal.

What shows itself in what we say?
Patience, hope, compassion, desire to understand, readiness to help…
Or, the opposite… indifference, selfishness, boasting, lack of respect…

I believe that the best way to appraise a conversation is to see its worth in the light of the one who is THE Word – Jesus himself.

Would he say what was just said?
Would he speak in the way the person has spoken?
Would he speak in such a situation or rather… keep silent?
Would he encourage, comfort, correct, reprove, invite, show the way?

This is the test for everyone who wants to be a follower of his…


Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:


Source: Image:

21st Sunday of Year A – 2020

In a gospel text that is well-known, I usually try to find an aspect which has perhaps gone unnoticed in the reflections and commentaries offered by different writers.

In today’s gospel (Mt.16:13-20), my attention is drawn to the fact that Peter is being praised by Jesus.
Peter must have been surprised: receiving from the Master what we would call a compliment!

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah,
for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, 
but by my Father in heaven.

But it is a compliment which has two sides to it.
It is an encouragement to Peter telling him that he has understood who he, Jesus, is.
But it is also a reminder that this perception is not purely human knowledge, it is a revelation –
a revelation given by God himself.

In simple words: to know God, to understand ever more deeply who he is,
we need his own help and guidance.
Jesus said it clearly on another occasion:

“No one knows the Son except the Father. 
Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son,
and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Mt.11:27)
If I am aware that I do not know God as he would like to be known by me,
perhaps it is that I do not ask him to make himself known to me…

Note: Another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at:


Source: Image:





20th Sunday of Year A – 2020

Praying… an activity which always finds us in need to learn –
to learn how to approach God and, of course, what to say when we are in his presence.

Bookshops and libraries are full of material published precisely to guide us with methods and advice about praying.
Many spiritual authors suggest what they consider the best way to pray; their thoughts and suggestions cover many pages.

The Syrophoenician woman we meet in today’s gospel (Mt.15:21-28) may not have known how to read, but…
she knew how to pray, and how to pray well:

“Lord, have mercy on me.
Lord, help me.”
Few words – short words – simple words –
but words that touched Jesus to the point that he did for that woman precisely what she was asking for.

Why do we sometimes think that God needs long explanations of our needs and detailed requests for his assistance?
Jesus has assured us: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt.6:8)
The Syrophoenician woman was right after all!
“Lord, have mercy on me. Lord, help me” – this could be enough… could it not?


Note: This gospel scene is also offered in video format at:

And another reflection on a similar theme in French can be found at:


Source: Image:




4th Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2019

Do you have in your life some… ‘wingless angels’?
You smile, but they can be very REAL!

We are used to the representation of old showing us cherubim and seraphim angelic messengers.
It was the imagery of ancient times and it has made its way up to our days.
The illustration of today’s gospel – the dream of Saint Joseph – is one such picture (Mt.1:18-24).

Some may find it helpful, others not.
But the identity and the mission of such messengers remain valid and meaningful.

If you pause for a moment and look at your daily life, you will most probably recognize some people who are there –
there precisely when you need them!

  • There with some information you are looking for.
  • There with some help in a given situation.
  • There with some useful suggestion.
  • There with some discrete friendly advice.
  • And always there with compassion and comfort!

They are the ‘wingless angels’ you can count on – the very manifestation of a presence –
that of the One who made himself: “God-with-us”.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:

Source: Images: (painting, Georges de la Tour)








Feast of the Body and blood of Christ, Year C – 2019

One could be tempted to give this Sunday’s gospel text (Lk.9:11-17) the following title:

“The dynamics of problem solving: People’s way and… Jesus’ way.” 

The way of people, very often, is exemplified by the apostles’ attitude:
First, to tell Jesus what to do! “Send the people away…”
And second, to throw the responsibility on someone else to solve a problem:
“They can go to villages and farms round about to find lodging and food…”

Jesus turns the situation right around in a short statement.
His words turn the responsibility the other way around:
“Give them something to eat yourselves.”
But, Jesus will help them to do so, himself being ‘helped’ by the contribution of a child!
Fascinating dynamics indeed, and… what wonderful outcome results of it!

Note: Another reflections is available on a different theme in French at:


Source: Images:

16th Sunday of Year B

The relationship between a shepherd and his flock is not something one is used to in our society.
A text that would describe this would belong to literature and…
one could venture to say that there is a touch of sentimentality about it!

The Bible offers us such a description and, in the 1st reading of this Sunday (16th Sunday of Year B – Jr.23:1-6)
through the prophet Jeremiah, God speaks movingly about how precious to him his flock is.
For us, people of the 21st century, what is meaningful is perhaps not the description but the evocation that such a text provides.
What comes to mind and what speaks to the heart is the care and concern involved in such a relationship.

Care and concern…

  • New-born and children need that.
  • Teen-agers do too, reluctantly of course!
  • The sick, the handicapped, the weak…
  • Those who experience distress and loneliness….
  • Those struggling with misfortune, failure, despair.

And… when all is said and done, do WE not ALL need a caring friend, or a concerned relative?
Someone who shows understanding and empathy when we need them most.
Someone who will take time and trouble to come to our help when we can no longer cope.

I wonder, yes, I do… how many people are aware that God himself offers us precisely that:
care and concern born of a compassion beyond words.
The very compassion we hear about in today’s gospel (Mk.6:30-34) as we read:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them,
because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at:

Source: Images:

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day – 8 May

May 8 is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day. It’s a time to recognize the staff and volunteers who traverse their communities, their countries, and the globe to alleviate human suffering.

1 in 25 people in the world is helped by the Red Cross or Red Crescent each year. Often putting their lives at risk, teams deliver aid in line with seven fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

Together, Red Cross and Red Crescent teams not only respond to emergencies—such as earthquakes, conflicts, migration crises, and health epidemics—but also help neighborhoods prepare for future disasters and ensure that children receive the vaccines they need to stay healthy. Our network is active in nearly every country and are in some of the most dangerous places— a true front-line organization that helps those most impacted by conflict and disaster.

Red Cross and Red Crescent workers personify the true meaning of humanitarianism. They number 1 of every 470 people in the world. Neutrality and impartiality allow teams to work in areas that are off-limits to other organizations—granting access to men, women, and children who need help the most.

May 8, 2018 would have been Henry Dunant’s 190th birthday. The father of modern humanitarianism, Henry Dunant was a Swiss businessman and social activist, the founder of the Red Cross, and the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for what was described as the supreme humanitarian achievement of the 20th century. A contemporary of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, the two led the charge on opposite sides of the Atlantic in creating what would become a tremendous force for good in the world—bringing help and hope to those affected by disasters and conflict.

Source: Text: American Red Cross  Image:

International Volunteer Day – 5 December

International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.

2017 Theme: Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere. 

IVD 2017’s theme #VolunteersActFirst. Here. Everywhere. recognizes the contributions of volunteers as first responders in times of crisis. Volunteers are present, all around us, answering calls in times of need, helping save lives today, and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow.

Risking their lives every day to care for people affected by conflict, violence and humanitarian crises, volunteers brave many dangers to help others, driven by the desire to make a difference in the face of human suffering. This year, IVD promotes the contributions of such volunteers at the local, national and international level.

Source: Text & Image: UN



25th Sunday of Year A

EXPECTATIONS – we all have them and plenty of them, do we not ?
And they fill our lives with more than a touch of hope and anticipation!

Expectations of…
– recovery after sickness,
– success in a coming exam
– a promotion at work,
– the partner we dream of to start a new life!

When we are in need, some expectation may arise of receiving help from a relative, a friend, or a neighbour.
Just recall for a moment the last time you went to someone with a request for his or her assistance.
You may have been hoping for help, or… fearing that help would not be forthcoming.
But did you expect that you would be given much more than what you asked for?

Among us, people, this is not usually the case.
But, with God, it is!
In fact, this is a characteristic of God : He gives more than we would ask for.
He is a generous God who delights in showering on us his gifts and blessings.

This is what today’s gospel text (25th Sunday of Year A – Mt.20 :1-16) is meant to remind us of.
In the parable that Jesus tells the people around him, he gives us a wonderful and true picture of what his Father – and our Father – is :

  • a bounteous God,
  • a God who enjoys giving lavishly,
  • a God who does not know how to measure what he wants to bless us with.

I wonder how many people treasure this image of God…
Perhaps many of us think that we have to ask, and beg, and repeat our requests for help, never too sure that we will be heard.

This Sunday may be the ideal moment to correct our image of God !

Source: Image: Youtube