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Feast of Christ the King of the Universe, Year C – 2022

   

 

 

 

 

There was the day when, after multiplying the loaves, Jesus escaped from the people who wanted to make him king (John 6:14).

On another day, he entered Jerusalem, sitting on a donkey acclaimed by the crowd as “the king of Israel” (John 12:13).
A moment of glory that lasted precisely that… a moment, a few hours of a day.

And there was the event described in today’s gospel (Luke 23:35-43).
It is worth pondering that for this solemn celebration, the gospel text presented to our meditation is the one where we find:

    • People watching…
    • Leaders jeering at him…
    • Soldiers mocking him…
    • One of the criminals hanging beside abusing him…

Him – the one whose inscription on the cross pointed to as: “King of the Jews”.

The solemn celebration of today, mentioned above, is that of the Feast of “Christ, King of the Universe”.
And in this, our universe, there are:

    • those who do not know him…
    • those who do not recognize him for who he is…
    • those who do not believe in him…
    • those who pass by him, unconcerned…
    • those who think his message is not relevant…
    • those who laugh at such a king…
    • those who doubt…
    • those who wonder…

And there are also those who…
Yes, they are there too, those who have accepted to be counted among his friends and disciples.
Those for whom he is truly “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6),
and who are ready to walk with him until the end…

Of course, each one chooses for himself, or herself, to which group one belongs…

 

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

 

Source: Images: Church of Jesus Christ  Jesus.net

 

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

34th Sunday of Year B, Feast of Christ the King – 2021

He came, long ago, but some still speak about him.
What he said, what he did, what he taught, how he related to people.
It was said that: “Nobody ever spoke like this man” (John 7:46).
 
He was… different, yes, everyone could see this, different yet…
There was something about him that drew people to him.
He did not look for glory or fame, no, he was concerned about others.
One day, they had tried to make him king (John 6:15) but he had escaped –
this was not at all what he had in mind.

Brought before the authority, he told a Roman procurator why he had come to our world (John 18:33-37):
“The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.
Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

If he came back to our world today…
If he came back, would he repeat these words?
Would he find people ready to listen to his voice?

He would be all too aware of:

the fake news,
the unfounded revelation of presumed facts,
the systematic distortion of evidence,
the prevailing disinformation,
the exaggeration of narratives,
the manipulation of witnesses,
the bias of some medias,
the misrepresentation of events,
the falsification of documents,
the attempts to pervert justice…

“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Would there be some?
Would we be among them, no matter the cost?
 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-fete-du-christ-roi-2021/

 

Source: Image: www.pinterest.com

Feast of the Epiphany, Year B – 2021

The text of the gospel of the Feast of Epiphany is well known to us.
We could repeat with much detail the story of the Magi searching for the new-born king and their visit to him.

Yet, every year, there seems to be in the text something that speaks in a new way.
This year I stopped at the following words:

   “We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
 
 “After they had heard the king, they went on their way, the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

A star appears and guides people on their way…
But these people want to be sure… so they go and consult a king – a king should know, they suppose…

Is it that they no longer see the star?
Has this mysterious sign in the sky disappear?
Or, is it that the travelers no longer trust the sign?
Or is it that they do not rely on the faith they had at first that the star is a reliable guide?

I see there, a pattern, a pattern often recurring in our daily lives.
At first, we trust a message received, a sign given to us –
it seems clear, yes, like a star.
But after a while it is no longer so clear, in fact, at times it seems to have vanished completely.
We doubt the sign, and often we doubt ourselves.

Or, is it that we do not recognize the one who gave the sign?
On this feast of Epiphany – the word means ‘manifestation’ – it could be an ideal occasion to…
contemplate anew the One who has come to us.

A contemplation that leads to the recognition of Him and…
of the signs he gives us on our way, from day to day.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-lepiphanie-annee-b-2021/

Source: Images: depositphotos.com   Art & Life Notes – WordPress.com   depositphotos.com  

Good Friday, Year C – 2019

When things get mixed up… there is chaos, confusion, people get… lost.
This was what we were up to and our condition was rather… desperate – we needed help.

Someone came – Someone with a capital S…
But… things got mixed up for him as well.
He had come as a servant but they made him a king! 
A case of… ‘mistaken identity’?
Pilate stood his ground: “What is written is written” (Jn.19:22).

Worse still: He was the Word,
but the religious leaders of his people used the word of God – their Torah – to condemn him!
They had tried more than once:
“The Law of Moses commanded us, what do you say?” (Jn.8:5)

Finally they had come up with: 
“You don’t seem to have grasped the situation at all!
You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people
than that the whole nation perish.” (Jn.11:50)

And the text goes on:
“He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophecy.”
They were afraid to lose to the Romans their ‘’Holy Place’ so… they were ready to kill the Holy One…
And they did, they obtained from the Roman procurator what he did not really want to grant them:
the condemnation of an innocent…

Today, as we look at the Crucified one, we remember his Seven Last Words.
For many years, Christians have meditated on them.
But… do we remember with the same faithfulness all the other words he spoke during his life on this earth?

Do we recall especially the ONE word he left us as his testament?
“Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn.13:35)

It is perhaps more challenging, more demanding, more directly addressed to each one of us
than the seven others we have chosen to list and remember with devotion?…

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

 

Source: Images: wikipedia   ecosia.org   youchepcatholic.org
 

34th Sunday of Year B – Feast of Christ the King

If you were to see the Prime Minister helping the janitor to clean the offices,
you would probably be shocked.

If you came to meet the CEO of a big company and found him serving at table during the Christmas party,
you would probably be astonished.

If you saw the General Manager of the National Bank washing dishes in a refugee center,
you would most likely be amazed.

And yet… yet… God, OUR God is a… servant-God!
Are we not amazed? Astonished? Shocked?

He never wore a crown other than a crown of thorns. 
Are we ready to accept this kind of King?

Accept this King and be ready to serve one another as he asked us to do –
having done it for us all his life unto death? (Jn.13:14-17)

Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/34e-dimanche-de-lannee-/fete-du-christ-roi/

Source : Image : 123RF.com

34th Sunday of the Year A – Feast of Christ the King

It is interesting to note that, on this feast of Christ the King, the first and the 3rd readings do not speak of a king or a kingdom.

The 2nd reading of Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor.15:20-26.28) has a short reference to this theme when it speaks of the resurrection at the end of time when Christ will “hand over the kingdom to God the Father.”
We are told that this kingdom will be that of “those who belong to him.”

This is possibly where we can find the link with the gospel text: how are we to belong to Christ?
It is clearly spelled out in the text of Matthew: it is by welcoming Christ who came our way under the guise of the needy of all kinds.
If we have been able to recognize him in the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the sick, those in prison – all those in need of compassion and assistance, then we will find a place reserved for us in God’s home.

It is demanding indeed:
not to turn away,
not to pass by,
not to do as if we had not seen –
but precisely to SEE, and to RECOGNIZE, and to CARE.

We are busy people,
we have so many commitments and so little time,
so much to do and so little free spaces in our agenda,
so many engagements already and so few hours to spare for what is not listed in our ‘to do list’…

Perhaps, in our daily planning, it may be wise to leave a line for the unexpected encounter of some people – the very ones listed in Matthew 25:31-46…

Pic: newcreationchurch-sj.org