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The Alphabet of Lent – Letter F

F for Faith

To have faith, it is… to believe, you will say.
Of course… but still?
It is to accept a set of propositions on a given topic.
You are right but… only this?

A short text of the gospel reveals more:
 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out,
‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’
When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, 
‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied.
Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you’; 
and their sight was restored” (Matthew 9:27-30).

Jesus’ question was clear: ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’
The two blindmen did not proclaim their faith in some formulas.
They did not accept a list of beliefs which they should give their assent to.
They simply replied “Yes” to someone.

They relied on someone – this is faith – to trust someone reliable!
To dare to rely on someone, to dare to surrender to… God.

He who, since long ago, has told us through the prophet Isaiah:
“You are precious in my sight… I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).

A conviction which opens up to a relationship absolutely unique… with God himself.
Daring… to believe it…

Source: Image:     





2nd Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2023

Human beings and…God: the story of a relationship!
Would you agree to such a title?
Do you recognize it as a REALITY?

Somehow, he – God – is the one leading us to see this.
But, thinking more about it, we must discover what kind of relationship God wants with us…

Today’s 1st reading gives us the beginning of an answer (Genesis 12:1-4).
There, we meet Abram who is told by God:

“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household 
to the land I will show you.”
The rest of the text tells us more about what God says to Abram.
Seven promises – a symbolic number in the Bible for full measure –
yes, seven promises are given to the old man.
But… all the verbs outlining what is to come are precisely… in the future tense!

Abram must go now, what will happen to him… he cannot see…
He can only trust the words of the Lord to make all those good things happen.

If we look at our own lives, we realize that they are filled with God’s gifts and blessings.
There is one thing that God wants from us,
one that he especially expects from us: TRUST.

Trust that he loves us and cares for us.
Trust that we are precious to him and that he is always near.
Trust that he will not fail to provide us with all that we need.
Trust that he will not abandon us, no matter what happens.
Trust that even if we are unfaithful, he will remain faithful to us.

This message is constantly repeated by the prophets of the Old Testament.
And it is at the very heart of Jesus’ message:

“The Father Himself loves you.” (John 16:27)
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)

Perhaps, this is the one thing that we need to learn anew in this period of Lent…
Trusting God, no matter what… he CANNOT fail us.

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


Source: Image: John Dobbs


31st Sunday of Year C – 2022

Today’s 1st reading (Wisdom 11:22 – 12:2) gives us… A Portrait of God!
You wonder… you ask yourself what this really means…

Obviously, we should not look for a painting or a photo…
But let the words reach you again…

“You (Lord) are merciful to all…
You can do all things…
You overlook people’s sins…

You love all things that exist…
You spare all things, for they are yours…
You love the living…
Your immortal spirit is in all things…
You correct little by little those who trespass.”

Is this the God you believe in, the one you rely upon?…


The last line of the text tells us:
“So that their put their trust in you, O Lord.”

This is the reason we are given this… Portrait of God.


Note: The gospel scene of Zacchaeus, personified by Augustine Sellam, can be viewed in a video at:

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


Source: Image: WallpaperSafari

International Day of Friendship – 30 July

Sharing the human spirit through friendship

Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples.

To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.

Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.


The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

The resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity.

To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO defining the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems. It was then adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997.


Source: Text & Image:

Feast of Pentecost, Year C – 2022

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that when Paul visited a community of Christians in Ephesus, he asked them:
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They replied: “We were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19:1-3).

So, as we see in the 2nd reading of today, Paul reminds the Christians of Rome of what is at the heart of our faith (Romans 8:8-17):
“The Spirit of God has made his home in you…
Everyone moved by the Spirit is a child of God.
The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again;
it is the spirit of children, and it makes us cry out ‘Abba, Father!’ ”
An amazing reality!
We are people ‘inhabited’ by God himself.
We are his own children, sharing in his nature.
We can truly call him in a familiar way: “Father!”.

Trust, confidence, absence of fear – this should be the ‘atmosphere’ of our Christian life.
Spontaneity, security, serenity – this is the normal ‘ambience’ of a life lived of faith.

This does not mean that no problem or difficulty will be part of our ‘landscape’.
But it means that Someone is with us with God’s power to enable us to overcome whatever comes our way.

Jesus himself has said so to the apostles:

“I am sending down to you what the Father has promised…
You will be clothed with the power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

Someone is with us… Someone to rely upon…
The Feast of Pentecost is meant to remind us of this.


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


Source: Image: Facebook

5th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Looking at our lives, we sometimes pause to consider what is important to us.
We may look at this or that aspect and we question what is really… essential!

Our personal needs may first come to our minds.
And, of course, our relationships with the people near and dear to us are most important.

But… something is still missing… which can be found in a verse of today’s 1st reading (Acts 14:21-27).
It speaks of the two apostles, Paul and Barnabas, and says:
“Paul and Barnabas… committed the Elders of the communities to the Lord in whom they had put their trust”.

 To be committed to the Lord and put our trust in him – is this not essential to our very being?

Committed to the Lord by the people who love us, the people to whom we really matter –
this is, in fact, the best gift they can give to us.

Committed to the Lord also as something that WE, ourselves, do.
Committed, being engaged in an on-going relationship with him.
Committed, being faithful to what we know he expects from us.

A commitment which supposes that we have put our trust in him.
We have confided to him whatever is important to us,
we rely on him in all situations,
we surrender to him the small and big things of our daily life,
we confide to him our very selves.

I have noted with interest that in one version of the Bible, the word ‘believe’ is translated by ‘to trust’, ‘to rely on’.
This rendering of the text places faith in a perspective that offers all at once security and serenity…


Note: And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at:


Source: Image: Commonweal Magazine


2nd Sunday of Lent, Year C – 2022

In times of need, in times of shortage of money, some people risk using the ‘credit’ option –
they decide to get some commodities on credit and… pay later.
Different forms of advertising invite them to do precisely that.
Some shopkeepers will accept to extend credit to customers, others will not.

It is interesting to note that God himself is ready to go along with the ‘credit option’ in our favor! 
He did it for Abram, as the 1st reading of this Sunday tells us:

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:5-12,17-18).

God gives credit… on one condition, could we say, and that is: that we believe in him.
It is as simple as that.
God is ready to give us – abundantly – his blessings of all kinds provided we trust him.

He will count it as credit for us that we rely on him with a faith that does not waver.
A faith that does not doubt either his power, or his readiness to come to our help.

Confident belief, trustful reliance on God, this can obtain so much!
Just see for yourself…

Note: A blog, in French, gives another perspective of the 1st reading:

Published 3 years ago for a special occasion, its message remains still valid:

And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at:


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11th Sunday of Year B – 2021

As we read different texts from Scripture, we are sometimes amazed at how bold some statements are.
Obviously, the writers are people of faith and they express their belief with strength and conviction.

To me, the first line of today’s 2nd reading (2 Cor.5:6-10) is a perfect example of this.
In his second letter to the first Christians of Corinth, the apostle Paul tells them:

“We are always confident…”
As I look at my own life, I ask myself whether I could say this in all truth…
Confidence, trust, relying on someone with the certainty that the person will not let me down nor fail me:
this can be quite risky, if not naïve, unrealistic, and immature.

It could be all of these things if the someone were not… God himself.
But it is to him that we confide our life and our very being.

Paul stresses “always confident…” 

In small things as well as in important matters.
In ordinary situations and in unusual circumstances.
On good and bad days, in joy and in sorrow, in success and in failure –
ALWAYS, at all times.

To be absolutely certain that God is and will be there.
He will give me strength, courage, hope, for whatever situation I find myself in.
He will provide all that I am in need of, whatever that may be, today, tomorrow and… all the ‘tomorrows’ to come!

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


Source: Image: Woman’s Day

Feast of the Ascension, Year A – 2020

The gospel texts have much for us to learn, to reflect upon, to be inspired and to be challenged by.
But at times, there are some texts which are also giving us some comfort and encouragement.
It can be a series of verses, but it can also happen that only one line, or even a few words, have some unexpected comforting message.

This is the case in today’s gospel text (Mt.28:16-20) where we are told:
“The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”
This is surprising indeed.
The apostles had been with Jesus for some three years.
They had seen, heard and touched him (as John would later write: 1 Jn.1:1),
noticing what he said and observing what he did.

In the 1st reading is is also said:
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them
and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.”  (Acts 1:1-11)
Still some of the apostles doubted – is it not quite astonishing?
Astonishing, yes, but also encouraging for us who are struggling to believe.

There are moments when our faith is tested… questions arise in our minds.
We find ourselves in situations where we no longer see God present with us.
Some circumstances see us puzzled and perplexed, wondering and searching for meaning.
We are trying to make sense of some event that seems meaningless.

We should not think that this makes us guilty in God’s eyes.
He knows us, fragility is part of our human nature.
God understands our difficulty in trusting him in all things and at all times.
What he expects from us is that we try, and try again… and again.

And he is pleased when we make ours the prayer of the man in the gospel who said to Jesus:
“Lord, I believe but help my unbelief.” (Mk.9:24)
In other words: Help this part of me which is still struggling to overcome my doubts…

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

Source: Image:


29th Sunday of Year C – 2019

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” 
A question that is strange… surprising… shocking even?…
It is not from me, but it is the last line of the gospel text for this Sunday
(29th Sunday of Year C: Luke 18:1-8).
It is somehow… disturbing, and perhaps… it does not fit into our logic.

Last week, the gospel showed us 10 lepers cured by Jesus, one of them coming back to thank him (Lk.18:1-7).
We would expect Jesus to say: “Your gratefulness has saved you.”
But he said: “Your faith has saved you.”
When defending Mary of Magdala to the Pharisees with whom he was having a meal (Lk.7:36-50),
Jesus did not say to the sinful woman: “Your sorrow for your sins has saved you”,
but rather: “Your faith has saved you.”

When a paralytic carried on a stretcher by some friends was brought to him (Lk.5:18-25),
Jesus was not touched by their kindness for the man,
but the text says: “When Jesus saw their faith...”
When two blind men begged Jesus to give them their sight (Mt.9:27-31),
Jesus asked them one question:
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?

The praise he spoke about the Roman centurion must have incensed Jesus’ fellow Jews (Mt.8:10),
but it expressed clearly Jesus’ deep appreciation:
« Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. »

Faith seems to be the one thing that Jesus wants from us.
What he expects before and above everything else.

And I dare think that this kind of faith is

  • not simply to recite the creed,
  • not only to accept some dogmas,
  • not purely to follow the traditions of the Church.

it is altogether more demanding – asking for a total commitment to Jesus himself.
It entails a trust in him, and a reliance on him, that is beyond… all logic, indeed!

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


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