image-i-nations trésor

Chemise… Bonheur?… Trésor!

L’évangile de ce 19è dimanche (année C – Lc.12:34) parle de trésor…

Un homme astucieux avait amassé une grande fortune. Il avait réussi à obtenir tout ce qu’il désirait.
Mais après un certain temps, il a réalisé qu’il possédait tout… excepté le bonheur.

Un jour, il entendit parler d’un sage qui vivait en solitaire au désert.
Les gens disaient de lui qu’il était l’homme le plus heureux du monde et qu’il suffisait de porter sa chemise pour être heureux.

L’homme riche se rendit le voir et lui offrit un sac rempli d’or lui demandant d’acheter sa chemise.
– Je ne peux te la vendre, dit le sage.
– Pourquoi pas? demanda l’homme riche.
– Parce que je n’en ai pas.
– Si tu n’as même pas une chemise, comment donc peux-tu être heureux?

À ceci, le sage répondit :
– Une seule chose peut rendre un homme heureux – un trésor. Malheur à celui qui n’a pas de trésor.
L’homme fortuné s’exclama :
– J’ai de multiples trésors, et pourtant, je ne suis pas heureux.

Lentement, ces mots de sagesse lui furent adressés :
Tu as beaucoup d’argent et des biens de tous genres, mais tu n’as pas de trésor. Voilà pourquoi tu es si malheureux.

Source : Adaptation, Texte : George Madore, Prions en Église, 10 août 1980   Images : commons.wikipedia.org   soonyata.home.xs4all.nl

 

 

5th Sunday of Lent, Year B

Among the gospel texts, there are some which are more than a little demanding…
And, when it is Jesus himself who speaks to us, there is no trying to escape.
Some may try to pretend they do not understand, but somehow they know they are deceiving themselves.

On this 5th Sunday of Lent (Year B – Jn.12:20-33) we are told:

“Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (v.25)
(Text also found in Luke 9:24)
 
Some may discuss on the real meaning of ‘losing one’s life’.
Some may argue about what it entails.
Some may wonder what it demands from each one of us.

Most people will admit that it is about detachment.
But what is it ‘to be detached’?
Detached from what and… detached for what?

A modern parable makes it quite clear.
A man on pilgrimage to a renowned shrine was passing through a remote area where a poor man was living who had a reputation of holiness.
The pilgrim happened to reach the hut of the holy man at lunch time.
The poor man quickly opened a small bag and he took out a slice of bread which he broke into two pieces giving one half to his visitor.
As he did this, a precious stone also came out of the bag.
The traveler was amazed at the jewel sparkling in the noon sun.
He asked the poor man for the stone and the holy man gave it to him without hesitation.
On his return journey, the traveler brought back the jewel to the poor man saying:
“Now, give me rather what enabled you to give me so readily the only thing you possessed!”
 
This holy man was truly detached – he did possess something and something very precious –
yet, he was ready to give it without the slightest hesitation.

Perhaps it is a question of NOT being possessed by our possessions…
Someone has given a very simple definition of ‘detachment’ saying :
‘If I have something I like, it’s fine;
if I don’t have it, it’s also fine!’

Detachment of our possessions, our realizations, our reputation –
our real self is so much deeper!

In general, dying is something people do not like to think about and even less so to speak about.
Dying to … oneself, is no easier to envisage and yet…
It is essential to one who calls himself, or herself, a disciple of Christ.

Of such is discipleship made of, but the choice to be and remain a disciple of Christ is remains ours…

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/5e-dimanche-careme-annee-b/

Source: Image: Pinterest

17th Sunday of Year A

The gospel message is quite… radical!
This statement may appear somehow shocking to some people but it is very true.
The term ‘radical’ comes from a foreign word meaning ‘roots’ and the gospel message does exactly that:
It goes to the root of reality, and it wants to reach us at the very root of our being,

The few verses of Matthew’s gospel assigned for today’s celebration (17th Sunday of Year A – Mt.13:44-46) exemplify this.
The text is short, to the point, and its message is more than a little demanding!

The examples given are very clear and challenging:
A man discovers a treasure in a field, he sells everything he owns to buy the field.
Another finds a pearl of great price and he, too, gives up all he possesses to get this precious jewel.

The two narratives are so clear but the attitude they express is, yes, radical:
Selling everything, giving up all one has – a risky venture:
What if the treasure is a fake?
What if the pearl is not genuine?
But the man trusts the preciousness of his find and has no hesitation in parting with whatever was a ‘treasure’ to him up to then.

He does not hesitate, he does not postpone, he does not delay.
More still the gospel text says: “He goes off happy…” to sell and to buy.

No need of lengthy explanation as to what this means for a Christian.
Our daily choices, the many options offered to us, the decisions called for day in day out, ask for the same radical commitment.
This is the authentic living of Christ’s message.

Source: Images: pampanos.wordpress.com   JesusWalk

 

 

 

 

25th Sunday of the Year, C

None of us would like to be seen as … a slave – the only thought of it is shocking! We cherish and defend our liberty and we do not want it diminished in any way. And yet… in some rare moments of lucidity and honesty, perhaps… perhaps we would admit – only to ourselves, of course – that we may not be as free as we like to believe…

1080-plusToday may be such a moment. The gospel text of this Sunday (25th, Year C – Lk.16:1-13) gives us some food for thought when we hear Jesus say: “No servant can be the slave of two masters… you cannot be the slave both of God and of money.”

Here again, we may be tempted to protest and say: ‘A slave, me? Of course not!’ Yet… a small inner voice may rise gently and say something different.
MONEY, we need it, we save it, we spend it, we… give some of it, no? It is a ‘must’ of our daily life and activities. What can be done without money? What can be obtained without coins, and bills, and credit cards – all this ‘tainted’ currency? It is only ‘normal’ to acquire possessions, and riches of all kinds, if we can manage it!

We know well that the words of Jesus are the echo of the old saying: “Money is a good servant but a bad master.”
We strive to reach the proper balance between possessing and being possessed… no easy feat…

m-dailyhunt-in

 Some questions can help us look at our status of… slave or free person:
– Do I often complain that I do not have enough money?
– Do I use money properly or do I spend it on useless items?
– Do I sometimes cheat to be able to get things I would not otherwise be able to afford?
– Do I use most of the money I earn for my own purposes and little for my family?
– Do I give money to those in need, or… pretend that I need it myself?

Some are quick to defend themselves saying: ‘I am not rich, I really don’t have much!’ The danger lies not in how rich one is but how attached one is to the little he or she has.
So, perhaps today is THE day to start making friends with money – the kind of friends Jesus speaks about!…

Source: Images: 1080.plus    m.dailyhunt.in