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18th Sunday of Year B – 2021

In the 1st reading of today’s celebration (Ex.16:2-4,12-15), we meet people greatly annoyed and showing clearly their discontent.
They grumble about their situation and reproach their leader, Moses, for having taken them where they are.

Their attitude is quite surprising:
We would think they would rejoice at having been freed from slavery and all its misery.
But they now regret their previous situation where they could enjoy bread and meat.

And in a parallel text they will even lament:
also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic” (Numbers 11:5).

Fast forward to the 21st century, to ourselves… and our own regrets!
Regrets… We all have some and for different reasons…

            • Failure in a business venture due to laziness.
            • Cherished goals not pursued through a lack of perseverance.
            • Dreams abandoned without reflection.
            • Repeated broken relationships out of selfishness.
            • Missed opportunities in many areas of life.
                • Dissatisfaction with the present when the past was so much better, it seems…

The ever-present temptations lurk in the dark area of our hearts:
lamenting, complaining, grumbling against others, searching for a scapegoat to escape responsibility…
All these will certainly not bring us to the ‘promised land’ – the land of serenity and happiness.

God is ready to give us what we need to sustain us on the way.
As he did for the people of Israel, he will provide us with whatever will enable us to keep going on the way.
He, himself, assures us:

“Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”

 The assurance of his presence should be enough to renew our confidence and restore our peace of mind.

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/18e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

Source: Image: Joanne Viola  

29th Sunday of Year B

There are some Scripture texts which are… easy and comforting to hear, or to read.
There are others which are difficult to… accept because they are quite demanding to put into practice.
There are others still which are difficult to BELIEVE because it seems that… they are just too wonderful!

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (29th Sunday of Year B – He.4:14-16) belongs to this last category.
The author of the letter to the Hebrews tells us:

“It is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us;
But we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin.”
 
Is it not e x t r a ordinary to have, yes to have, such a God “feeling our weaknesses with us.”
A God who is so… human!

He has been tired and thirsty.
He has known the pain of betrayal by a friend.
He has tasted the bitterness of rejection by his own people.
He has experienced the failure of having his followers move away from him.
He has anticipated with anxiety what was to happen to him.
He has felt the terrible suffering of being savagely beaten and crucified.

When we feel rejected and abandoned…
When we experience loneliness and are misunderstood…
When suffering seems unbearable and anxiety overwhelming…

Then… the moment has come to repeat, or simply hear in the depth of ourselves:
‘He has known what it is’, and to surrender to him
the pain, the evil, the wickedness even, that we are struggling with…

Surrender to him… our selves.
Nothing is as powerful to calm our anxiety and restore serenity.

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/

Source: Image: youtube.com