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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

2nd Sunday of Year B – 2021

The conversations we have among ourselves take on different aspects.
We can exchange information, relate events that have taken place or, on a lighter note, crack a joke!
Questions are also very much part of our daily interaction with people.
Questions of different kinds and about many topics.

In today’s gospel text (Jn.1:35-42), we witness some questioning addressed to the one known as the Man of Nazareth.
We see two men approaching Jesus and asking him a question –
a very simple question, one that we, ourselves, sometimes ask from people we meet:

“Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 
 
I pause and ask myself whether I ever asked Jesus this question…
I suppose that I presume that I know… I know that he is everywhere,
perhaps especially in heaven (whatever definition we may give to this term).
Some people may add that he is really present in the Eucharist, but… is this… all?

I suddenly recall that on the eve of his death, Jesus told his apostles:

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (Jn.14:23)
 
Could it be that Jesus is staying much closer ‘home’ than we think?
 
Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/2e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/
 
 

Source: Image: 4brosblog.com

6th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2019

     
A mansion, a cottage, or even a log cabin – all of them can protect us from extreme cold or suffocating heat.
The structure may be of metal, cement, or wood, any type of habitation will provide us with some kind of shelter.
We can think of an apartment, a house, a residence – we need such a place to live in.

But… most of us hope for more… we want some decent place to live, yes, but we also want to live happily.
And for this, what we really need is… a HOME.
We are aware that rare timber, or original stones, cannot make a home.
What makes of a house a ‘home’ is the atmosphere, the ambiance, the ‘feeling-good’ sensation.

We know it from experience: what truly creates a home is the relationship of the people living there.
The easy-going, smooth, respectful, sensitive attitudes of the members of the group are the building blocks of a home.

What if it is… God who makes a home?!
A surprising thought, even astonishing… but this is what today’s gospel tells us (Jn.14:23-29).
The text says:

“We shall come and make our home with him”. (v.23)
 
Saying this, Jesus speaks of the person who keeps his word.
He assures us that his Father and himself will come to stay with such a person.
They will make their ‘home’ with such a person.

I find it absolutely amazing, it is so extraordinary that it is beyond our imagining.
Many will inquire about… the possibility of this: how can this be?
I admit readily that I know nothing of the… ‘logistics’ of it, but I am absolutely convinced that it is so.
The Holy Spirit can make it so!

Only one thing could prevent it… our refusal, our closing the ‘door’ of ourselves.
This would be a tragedy… but God would keep waiting… he always does!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-paques-annee-c-2019/

 

Source: Images: johndauherty.com   all-free-download.com   beau.adamguerino.com

10th Sunday of the Year B

It is this time of the year when you can see moving vans on many streets around.
People are moving, changing residence, going to another area.
Some may regret the departure, others may be keen to start in a new location.

Whatever the type of accommodation, an ordinary flat, a posh house, or even log cabin,
probably, what people want is that the new place be truly a HOME.
And, of course, a true HOME is meant to provide comfort, security, enjoyment

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (2 Cor.4:13 – 5:1) ends precisely with the evocation of… moving homes!
The last verse says:

We are well aware that when the tent that houses us on earth is folded up,
there is a house for us from God,
not made by human hands but everlasting, in the heavens.”
 
So, all of us are meant to move one day and… to move for good!
We have been told that our permanent home is not here on earth (He.13:14) –
we know it: we should see ourselves as… pilgrims – people on the move.

But it is not easy to consider ourselves as people on the way to another place –
even if the new HOME has been prepared by God himself.
In fact, writing to the Corinthians, Paul is only echoing the words of Jesus on the eve of his death:

“There are many rooms, in my Father’s house…
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have prepared you a place
I shall return to take you with me…” (Jn.14:2-3)
 
We can be assured that we will find there all the comfort, security and enjoyment we can dream of.
But, we have to let go – let go of the house which is ours just now…
This human life, here and now, so familiar and… perhaps so ‘cosy’…
The letting go is the difficult part…
It means leaving behind the familiar and moving into the unknown.

But we are expected, the place is ready and…
There is no rent to pay, no mortgage to save for, no insurance to see to.
All has been taken care of for us, promised long ago:
“I shall return to take you with me
So that where I am you may be too…”

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/10e-dimanche-de-lannee-b!

Source : Images : forksandfolly.com  dom.sanboy.ru  tarriverloghomes.com

4th Sunday of Advent, Year A

At one time or another, you may have found yourself in this situation: as you approach the house or a person you intend to visit, you detect a movement at the window: a curtain is pulled slightly and you can recognize the person you hope to meet.

You ring the bell, or knock at the door but… no answer. You try again, but again your ringing or knocking obtains no reply. Yet, the person is there, no doubt about it. You may feel disappointed, even annoyed. You may ask yourself questions…

I believe the Lord knows from experience how this feels.At one time or another, you may have found yourself in this situation: as you approach the house or a person you intend to visit, you detect a movement at the window: a curtain is pulled slightly and you can recognize the person you hope to meet.

I believe the Lord knows from experience how this feels.
For him, it started over 2,000 years ago when people would not open their door for his mother to give birth to him – “There was no place for them at the inn….” (Lk.2:8).
Later on, some people would not even allow him to pass through their village… (Lk.9:54).

And this experience may repeat itself for him in our own time when people – when we – do not open the door of our lives to him…
He knocks and may keep on knocking, but… he is still standing at the door, waiting… waiting for us.
We say that Advent time is a period of waiting – could it be that it is so for Him too?…

The response to the Psalm (Ps.97) of this Sunday (4th Advent, year A) says: “Let the Lord enter…”
Simply this: to allow him to come in, to welcome him to share our day-to-day experiences.
We know that his name is “God-with-us”, this is what he wants to be for each one of us.

When welcoming people to their homes, people often say: “Come in, come in, make yourself at home!”
Perhaps these are the very words the Lord is waiting to hear from us…
‘Welcome, Lord, make yourself at home!’
This could be the best Christmas prayer we can make!

Source: Image: Pinterest