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33rd Sunday of Year C – 2022

Some people would say that the text of today’s gospel is quite shocking (Luke 21:5-19).
For them, two words may summarize the scenes we are given to witness: abomination and desolation.
It is a rather accurate perception of the ‘mood’ of this text.
The detailed description of events to take place – or taking place – in our world has something frightening about it.

Having read the text to the end, it may be good to remain there, at the end… the last verse giving us a message that is most important (verse 19).
Different versions of this verse give an interesting perspective, telling us:

“Stand firm, and you will win life”.  (New International Version
“Your endurance will win you your lives”. (Jerusalem Bible)
“By your perseverance you shall possess your souls”. (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

In fact, what we are told is that:

  • We should not give up trying to overcome the problems and difficulties of life.
  • We should not give in to discouragement and despair.
  • We should not give way to the temptation of abandoning the struggle for good to win over evil.

Someone has coined a new expression to qualify this endurance and called it ‘stick-to-itness’!
Stick to the fight against injustice and pursue the path of honesty.
Stick to the resolution of siding with the poor and those deprived of their rights.
Stick to the struggle you started always to choose the way of peace and reconciliation.

Would this not be a way to avoid disputes and injustices, recrimination and discrimination, violence and wars?
I like to believe that it is worth trying… it has a gospel felling about it…


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


Source: Image: Scripture Images  

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Year A – 2020

Though the confinement is being relaxed, the pandemic has not left us yet.
Many people try to find some meaningful activity to fill the many hours spent at home… alone.

Looking back at the past can be such a meaningful activity.
This is the invitation that today’s 1st reading offers us (Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14-16)

Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you…”
Much can happen in a long stretch of time, a long stretch of life.
The text adds that God was somehow ‘testing’ his people

“to know what was in their heart.” 
What is in our hearts?
So many things, indeed all kinds of things, possibly the best and… the worst, at times.
Because this is what we are capable of: the best and the worst.
The most compassionate, generous, self-giving, other-centred behaviour can be ours.
And, sad to say, the opposite of these noble attitudes can be found in us as well.

There are moments when we are willing to help and comfort others, to listen to them and assist them in their need.
But there are situations that find us ready to put down, to fight, to crush those who stand in our way.
We are not always able to allow our best self to overcome the other selfish and mean part of us.

We need help – the very help that is offered to us in today’s gospel (Jn.6:51-58):

“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”
The journey goes on, the road ahead will see us on the way, day in, day out,
but NOT alone – not alone to struggle, to find meaning to our existence.
Someone is there with us, will always be there…
And this changes everything.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at:


Source: Image: Unsplash




World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

Every year, thousands of men and women the world over put their lives in danger working in Humanitarian causes all over the world. Working in the most poverty and illness stricken third world countries the world over, often in areas of great social violence, these dedicated heroes put their lives on the line, and sometimes lose them in the pursuit of their goals. World Humanitarian Day is when we remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN. Sergio had worked at great length attempted to pull together the Draft for the official designation of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio was born in Brazil, and worked tirelessly over three decades to help those victims of armed conflict by easing their pain and making sure the world did not forget them. Awareness was a vital part of his campaign, trying to ensure that those in First World Countries and places of peace remembered that there was more to war than the deaths of combatants and conflicts between governments. These people struggle every day to survive against odds that were created in spite of their desire to just live in peace and safety.

World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize Sergio and the thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war, starvation, and pestilence.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR Image:

19th Sunday of the Year A

The theme of last Sunday (Feast of the Transfiguration, Year A) is back again: Do not be afraid…”

Yet, the situation described in today’s gospel (19th Sunday of Year A – Mt.14:22-33) is quite frightening!
A storm on the lake and the apparition of… a mysterious being walking on the water – this is most unusual and rather scary, even for grown-up fishermen like the Apostles.

After the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus had stayed behind to send back the people.
He had remained on his own to pray.
An unexpected storm is raging and the apostles are alone.
They feel insecure and they struggle to face a situation which they seem unable to control.

The strange being moving in the distance does not reassure them in any way.
Then, they hear the voice they know well: that of Jesus himself telling them, yes, not to be afraid!
As usual, the first to react is Peter who utters a request typically true-to-character:
“Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.”
We know the rest!
Peter has somehow put Jesus to the test and… Jesus took him to his word.
But the test was, in fact, one of Peter’s faith!

The struggle on the lake was between the strength of the fishermen and that of the waves, of course,
But it was also a struggle between doubt and faith…
A struggle between fear and trust…
A struggle between relying on oneself and… on someone else – the one who calls to us.

And the answer needs to be repeated day in day out, on a stormy day as well as when the sun shines bright!

Source: Image: