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The Alphabet of Lent – Letter M

M for Message

Messages, we receive plenty of them!
Those which used to come to us through the mail still reach us.
But the many platforms of the social media are now a more importance source.

Permanent connection, continuous information, repeated messages in loop – each second downloads them!
Each message brings its contents and… the emotions it awakens…
All comes our way: Information, invitations, questions, challenges…

Ask yourself the question: What was the latest message you received?
What was your reaction when you learnt what it said?

In the gospel of Mark, there is an interesting scene about this subject.
We meet Jairus, the leader of the synagogue asking Jesus to come and heal his daughter seriously ill (Mark 5:22-43).
Already on the way, Jesus stops to heal a woman who has been sick for a long time.

At that moment, some people arrive from Jairus’ home bringing a message to him:

 “Your daughter is dead,” they said.
“Why bother the teacher anymore?”
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, 
‘Don’t be afraid; just believe’.”

The young girl is already dead, what hope is there still?
Jesus tells Jairus not to be afraid… to believe…

I stop and I ask myself how I would have received these words?…

To believe that God is with us even when we seem unable to overcome what cannot be overcome?
To believe that we are never alone?…
To believe that God does not leave us on our own to face the desperate situations we have to deal with?…
To believe that, from death… God can draw… some good… life itself?…

It seems to me that, from deep within myself, I hear ‘a small voice’ whispering:
‘A real feat it is!’

Yes… to believe as He alone can enable us to do…


Source: Images: (Cottonbro Studio)


28th Sunday of Year A – 2023


We sometimes hear people exclaim: “This is too good to be true!”
They may speak these words about some unexpected outcome, or some surprising opportunity.
They can hardly believe that such good fortune is offered to them.

The text of today’s 1st reading could perhaps provoke the same reaction from many people (Isaiah 25:6-10).
What the prophet Isaiah tells the people of Israel is indeed quite astonishing.
Isaiah describes what God is preparing for them.
The words of the prophet depict the scene of a wonderful feast to be enjoyed:
delicious food and wine are available in plenty and suffering and death have disappeared for ever.

It is true that our daily life is not easy and often we meet with much that causes pain and suffering.
We are faced with problems and trials of all kinds.
So, when hearing of promises such as those in Isaiah’s text, people may wonder about the possibility of such an outcome.
To many, skepticism will come more easily than optimism!…
Doubt may prevail over hope…

But perhaps we need to realize that, with God, the saying mentioned above must be turned around.
It should be said: “It is too good NOT to be true!”

God is not only good, God is goodness itself.
He delights in showering on us his gifts and blessings.
He wants us to be happy and, in Jesus, he has shown us the way to happiness.

He has shown us the way, yes, but… it is up to us to follow this way…
Then… through all that happens, all that we experience…
then, we will come to see, and to REAL-IZE…

Realize and be able to make our own the words of Isaiah:
“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.”


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






3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A – 2023


Reading the gospel, sometimes a sentence, even a single word, can keep us… there –
at the thought, or the scene, or… more still, at the situation described.
We may not be fully aware of the reason, but we are drawn to remain… just there.
We feel the need to see more, understand more deeply, realize…

Yes, realize that what is described, in a given text, is very close to our own experience.
This could be said of what today’s gospel says of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35):

“Something prevented them from recognizing him.”

Of course, we wonder… what is this something?
Why is it that, while Jesus is walking with them, the two men fail to recognize him?

The two disciples see, but they do not perceive…
Their minds are puzzled, they fail to understand…
Their hearts grieve, they are unaware of the reality…

Pursuing our reflection, we may look… inwards… and ask ourselves:
What is it that prevents US from recognizing the Lord walking with us – for he does!

We are often confused by what happens to us.
We are bewildered by the situations we find ourselves in.
We grieve, we lament, we are sad and downcast.

And… we do not dare to hope, we do not dare to BELIEVE, so we fail to see…
We do not recognize ‘God-with-us’ – the very name given to Jesus: ‘Emmanuel’ – walking with us.

Until… Until when?…
Until God becomes really real for us!


Note: In the following video, Anil Das Kumar and Dominic Savio Rassalayyan, who personify the disciples of Emmaus, tell us what happened on that night as they were on the way:

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


Source: Image:



Easter Sunday, Year A – 2023

A situation of… emptiness…
This is what this celebration underlines.
The apostles are left with hearts empty – empty of hope, with no purpose, no future… it seems.
And there is… the empty tomb – Jesus had been buried there, but he has disappeared.

A situation of openness!…
This is what this celebration reveals.
The tomb will remain empty, but the hearts of the apostles are no longer so.
Because Jesus present with them…

“opened their minds so they could understand the meaning of the Scriptures…” (Luke 24:45).

And this understanding brought…
       a new meaning of all that has been,
       the purpose of a new life,
and the hope of all that is to come!

It was so for them,
and it can be so for us – a presence through all that happens, and… for ever!


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



Source: Image:


World TB Day – 24 March 2023

World TB Day 2023, with the theme ‘Yes! We can end TB!’, aims to inspire hope and encourage high-level leadership, increased investments, faster uptake of new WHO recommendations, adoption of innovations, accelerated action, and multisectoral collaboration to combat the TB epidemic. This year is critical, with opportunities to raise visibility and political commitment at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB.

The spotlight of World TB Day will be on urging countries to ramp up progress in the lead-up to the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB. WHO will also issue a call to action with partners urging Member States to accelerate the rollout of the new WHO-recommended shorter all-oral treatment regimens for drug-resistant TB.

World TB Day is observed annually on March 24 to raise awareness about TB and efforts to end the global epidemic, marking the day in 1882 when the bacterium causing TB was discovered.


Source: Text:        Image: YouTube

7th Sunday of Year A – 2023

Reading the word of God in the Bible, one can experience all kinds of feelings:

joy and consolation,
hope and anticipation,
wonder and questioning,
regret, perhaps… or helplessness?…

But there are times when the feeling is one of surprise – total and unexpected amazement!
The first lines of today’s 2nd reading can awaken such a reaction.
Writing to the Corinthians, Paul somehow admonishes them in these words (1 Corinthians 3:16-23):

“Didn’t you realize that you were God’s temple,
and that the Spirit of God was living among you…
The temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.”

These words are truly astonishing.
Just pause for a moment and ask yourself:
If, one day, someone came to you and asked you that very question:
‘Do you realize that YOU are God’s temple’, how would you answer?

I think that, faced with this situation, many people would be taken aback,
possibly unable – or unwilling – to answer!
How many of us, Christians, ARE AWARE of this reality?

A temple is seen as a sacred building since it is the location where worship happens.
It is considered to be a place for ritual celebrations.
In other words: it is reserved for activities related to God.

But, on the eve of his death, Jesus told his apostles (John 14:23):

“If anyone loves me, he(she), will keep my word,
my Father will love him(her),
and we shall come to him(her),
and make our home with him(her).”

With the word ‘home’, Jesus meant more than a building, or a simple location.
Obviously, he had in mind something that goes beyond wood or bricks.
Jesus was speaking of a relationship.

This is what we are called to: a relationship of close proximity with God.

Something amazing, yes, but more still:
something absolutely wonderful that needs to be discovered anew – and lived – day after day…


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


Source: Image: Scripture Images


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:

3rd Sunday of Year C – 2022

Listening to a speaker can be interesting, inspiring, or… frustrating.
The same can be said of listening to a preacher.
What makes the difference between inspiration and frustration?

You may think that some people are gifted speakers and others simply do not have this gift.
This is true, but there is something else that contributes to the result.
It is whether the person reaches the listeners personally –
reaches them by speaking of what touches them in their daily lives.

In today’s gospel, we see Jesus returning to “Nazareth where he had been brought up”. (Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21)
Going to the synagogue on the sabbath, he is given the scroll and reads a text of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2).
Then, giving back the scroll to the attendant, he sits down and starts preaching.

We are told:
“The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.

The people listen with anticipation, with a feeling of expectation that what they will hear may be good for them.
Listening to Jesus, their hear him speak of the poor, the prisoners, the blind, the oppressed.
He promises good news, recovery of sight and liberation.
To all, he proclaims “the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Had you been there on that day in Nazareth, would you not have listened intently?
I know that I would not have wanted to miss a word!

Some may say: “Yes but… that was long ago, and those words were not addressed to us.”
True, Jesus is not visibly present to us, and we cannot hear him pronounce what he said on that day.
But this does not mean that “the Lord’s favor” is no longer available to us.

In fact, his favors are plenty and they reach us in our day-to-day living.
The discoveries of science, and the ‘miracles’ – literally so – worked in the field of medicine are among God’s ways of healing us and curing many of our diseases.

And among us, there are people with genuine compassion – meeting them helps us to free ourselves from guilt and negative feelings.
Other people have a true understanding of events and situations – they give us a clearer vision of what is happening around us.
Others still are spiritual guides – their wisdom enables us to find our way when we no longer see the direction our lives should take.
All of them are making God’s presence and help available to us in their own way.

Not all our needs are met and not all our ills are cured…
We know that they will be… one day, and this is why we live in HOPE of that day!


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


Source: Image: Quora

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:


Source: Images: