image-i-nations trésor

3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A – 2022-2023

Reading God’s message week after week, we are sometimes struck by an idea.
A short text perhaps, or even a single verse, can draw our attention and… we remain there.
It seems that we cannot keep on reading…
We are caught by something which has touched us in a special way.

This is the case, this Sunday, with the words of the prophet Isaiah telling us (Isaiah 35:1-6,10):

        “Courage! Do not be afraid.
        Look your God is coming…
        He is coming to save you.”
Salvation is a word with meaning of different kinds:

  • salvation from a painful situation, or a real threat,
  • salvation from a serious disease, or a loss of some kind,
  • salvation from an enemy, an attacker,
  • salvation from crippling feelings – helplessness, guilt, shame…

We often hear the word salvation in relation to our sins – the situation of being estranged from God.
We are aware that we need help…
Where will it come from?

Isaiah assures us that our God is coming.
God HIMSELF is the one who will rescue us from whatever threatens us.

Is this not amazing?
God has not sent an angel, he did not ask a great prophet, or another saintly personage, to save us.
He has chosen to come HIMSELF – in Jesus – to free us from whatever prevents us from:

  • being the people he wants us to be,
  • living in close friendship with him.

God HIMSELF… I keep repeating these words and I marvel at the reality they express…
I can count on him, I can rely on him, for whatever I need to be truly the person he had in mind when he created me.

So, no fear or anxiety, only peace and serenity…
A comforting message in this period of Advent…


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


Source: Image: Knowledge of Him


12th Sunday of Year B – 2021

Some people enjoy making lists – lists of all kinds of things.
Names of places they have visited, names of stars of cinema or sports heroes,
names of best deals for items to buy, names of prospective clients for their business, etc.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a list of… temptations he, or she, has to grapple with!…
This could be an interesting – and possibly quite surprising – ­exercise!

I will not reveal here my own list of things I have to struggle with,
but I will tell you what I find perhaps the worst temptation.
It came back to me as I read the words of the apostles in the gospel of this Sunday (Mk.4:35-41).

The scene is well known to us: the apostles are caught up in a storm on the lake at nighttime.
The wind is terribly strong, the waves threatening, and the men can no longer cope with the situation.
As for Jesus, he is quietly sleeping through it all!

The gospel text says:
 “The disciples woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
The temptation I spoke of is NOT that of fear, of weakness, or helplessness –
NO, these are only expressions of our being human.
The temptation – insidious, vicious, really – is to think that God does not care!
How many of us have not given in to this temptation at one time or another?
To think that God is too far, too great, too occupied with other people’s problems,
to be concerned with our own troubles!
To think that the nitty gritty of our daily lives is too insignificant for God to be bothered with it.
Would he lower himself to care for that?…
This is precisely what he has done in becoming one of us!
Food and drink, sickness and sin, and whatever comes with these situations –
this is precisely what he has been caring about… and continues to do so.

And we, “who have no faith”, are still tempted to ask him the question?!


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


Source: Image: Bijoux to Cara 

4th Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2020

The question of the apostles to Jesus in today’s gospel (Jn.9:1-41)
reflects something of our own thinking at times:
Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
But long ago, God has told us:
My thoughts are not your thoughts.” (Is.55:8)
And he questions us:
Am I not pleased when sinners turn from their ways and live?” (Ezechiel 18:23)
We think: Sin means punishment.
God thinks: Sin means forgiveness in waiting.

We are so slow, so stubborn in refusing to accept God’s revelation of himself:
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.” (Ps.145:8)
LENT may be the time, at long last, to recognize him for who he is,
for what he wants to be for us still in need of… being healed of OUR blindness…

Note: A video showing this scene is offered at:
And another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:

Source: Image:



3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

In today’s first reading (3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B – Acts 3:13-15,17-19), we see Peter addressing a group of Jews.
Of course, the scene takes place after the resurrection and Peter is now brave and bold in speaking the truth as he sees it.
He openly accuses those before him of having killed Jesus, “the Just One”.

But he goes on saying:
I know that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing…”

I pause and I realize that this is exactly what sometimes happens in my life.
I can make stupid mistakes and do foolish things.
I may even commit serious actions that cause harm to people.
I may be sorry for it now… but I feel there is little I can do about it.

Then, some light comes as I move on to the 2nd reading where John writes to the first Christians
(1 Jn.2:1-5), and I read:
“I am writing to stop you sinning,
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ who is just.”

“We have our advocate…”
Perhaps the greatest mistake we can be guilty of is that of wanting to… manage on our own…
Pope Francis has been speaking quite a few times about ‘Neo-Pelagianism’ –
a big word but with a straightforward meaning:
it means that I choose to act on my own without reference to a greater power.
A person thinks and dares say that he/she can manage without God’s help for all practical purposes!

Pelagius was a philosopher (v. 305-420) who was the spiritual guide of a number of Christians to whom he was teaching this doctrine.
Pope Francis corrects this attitude in no uncertain terms: we need God to please God – it is as simple as that!

It is interesting to note that a search in Google shows it to be a ‘lie’
to imagine and believe that we could manage depending on our own resources alone!

Plenty to think about,
some serious truth to face,
and the necessary conversion to make, as Peter calls for: “Now you must repent and turn to God.”

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

Source: Image: SlidePlayer

5th Sunday of the Year, C

healthy_eating_s3_daughter_helps_mom_cook, www.medicinenet.comfather-and-son-fishing-guideYou would smile hearing a father tell his young son: “Danny, I want to catch a big fish; will you help me?” Smile, you would also seeing a young girl with a grin as her mother said: “Today I need your help to cook lunch!” We all know that neither the father nor the mother really need the help of the children and yet they are happy to involve them in the activity they have planned.

These examples came to my mind as I read the 1st reading of this 5th Sunday (Year C). It is the scene of Isaiah, the prophet (Is.6:1-8) who is called to be God’s messenger. Well, at first he is not called but… he offers his services to God who is searching for a messenger. This is quite surprising and not in line with our idea of a god. We picture God as being Almighty, all powerful, and surely not in need of anyone. Moreover, in the vision that Isaiah is given to witness there are many angels who, by definition, are precisely God’s messengers. And yet, God is looking for someone to send with his message.

This is the true image of OUR God: a God who wants to be in need… of us, human beings – and this, from the very beginning when he asked the newly-created Adam to name the animals that he, God, has brought into being. Much later, the apostle Paul will say boldly: “We are fellow workers with God” (1 Cor.3:9).Isaiah vision

A theologian and spiritual writer (Gerard W. Hughes) has written a book entitled: The God of Surprises. Indeed, God is constantly surprising us. And the amazing thing is that God does not ask us to be without defect, or weakness, or sin, to associate us with his work. When we speak the words: “Lord, I am not worthy…” as Peter spoke in today’s gospel (Luke 5:1-11), we mean well as he did! But the truth is that God does NOT ask us to be worthy.

What God wants is our eagerness to work with him. Work with him at making the world a better place for all. Work with him at creating more happiness for people around us. Work with him in spreading the message of his close presence with us. This is the partnership he offers us – and what a partnership it is!

Source: Images: Boy:    Girl:
Isaiah: amaickinghezekiah,