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The Alphabet of Lent – Letter U

U for Unity

We pray, of course, we all have our favourite formulas to address God.
We present multiple requests to him, and we also thank him.
It is possible that we ask ourselves the question: When he was praying to his father, how did Jesus do this?

One day, his apostles having seen him pray, asked him to teach them to pray.
We know that he then taught them the prayer of the Our Father (Luke 11:1-4).
But we still think: he, himself, how did he pray?

Apart from his prayer during his agony in the Garden of Olives, and his petition on the cross, we know little of his personal prayer.

One day, marveling at the faith of simple people, he exclaimed:
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,
and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25-26).

On another occasion, before bringing Lazarus back to life, he addressed his Father, saying:
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 
I knew that you always hear me,
but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, 
that they may believe that you sent me” (John 11:41-42).

These two texts are meaningful.
Yet, there is another one which I think of – it is the prayer Jesus pronounced on the eve of his death, a solemn moment indeed.
It was during the Jewish Passover meal and, at the end of the meal, Jesus said:

“That all of them may be one, Father,
just as you are in me, and I am in you. 
May they also be in us,
so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).

This text makes clearly known to us the desire of Jesus for us, believers.
But more than 2,000 years after he prayed in this way, his desire is still… waiting to be realized…
The groups of those who call themselves disciples of Christ have been multiplied in an amazing manner…

The groups of Christians have become diversified according to their different beliefs…
Worse still, their way of treating each other is sometimes deplorable…
Of course, there are praiseworthy efforts to come really closer to one another but… there is still a long way to go.

Travelling, one day, in a foreign country, I found myself at a crossroads of four streets.
On the site of three of them, there was a church built for the Christians of different denominations.
Of course, all of them claimed that Christ was with them…

We need to learn how to pray as Jesus did, and pray with him, HIS prayer…


Source: Image: Scripture Images

3rd Sunday of Year A – 2023

People are sometimes inclined to abandon what they consider old-fashioned.
They want to get rid of clothes, furniture, or belongings, that they see as no longer in fashion.
Some go further and try to move away from ways of thinking and values which they call ‘ancient’.

It is strange but, sometimes, ‘old’ things and ways can take on a very contemporary appearance!
This reflection came to me as I read the 2nd reading of this Sunday (1 Corinthians: 1:10-13,17).
Paul is writing to the first Christians of Corinth and uses strong language to bring them to their senses!

It has been reported to him that, among different groups of Christians, there are divisions.
They oppose one another by taking sides for the different messengers who brought God’s message to them: Apollos, Cephas, Paul.

Paul asks them:
“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

We may think the Corinthians receiving this letter of Paul are people of ancient times, yet…
It could be that we resemble them in more ways than one…

Some years ago, I visited a town where, at an intersection of four streets, I saw three different churches!
Each place received Christians of different denominations.
People attending services in each place claimed they were Christians.
They possibly looked down upon men and women entering a different place of worship.
Each group surely considered themselves the true believers, the authentic followers of Christ.

We may ask ourselves what Christ himself thinks!…

Paul tells the Corinthians:
“I appeal to you… that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

This may seem an impossible ideal, a remote possibility.
There are many ways of understanding the Christian message.
Teachers and preachers will present different angles, stress different aspects, bring nuances to this or that part of Christ’s message.

But one thing remains certain: Christ is NOT divided.
And he, himself, calls us to unity in our commitment to him.
On the eve of his death, he prayed to his Father precisely for this:

“May they be one, Father, even as we are one…” (John 17:22)

Could we fail to pray – and live – as Jesus prayed for?…


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


Source: Image: Scripture Images

International Jazz Day – 30 April 2022

World Jazz Day: India’s Astonishing Links With the Music Genre International Jazz Day is celebrated every year around the world on 30 April. This day is observed to promote Jazz and raise awareness about its significance.

As per the official website of the United Nations (UN), Jazz is recogniSed for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

On International Jazz Day, people from all around the globe come together to celebrate this important art form, learn about its roots, history, impact, and future.

International Jazz Day 2022 Theme

The theme for International Jazz Day 2022 is ‘A Call for Global Peace and Unity’. It focuses on the importance of unity and peace through dialogue and diplomacy.

International Jazz Day Quotes

“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”   ― Louis Armstrong

« Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise. » – George Gershwin

« Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people. » – Dexter Gordon

« Diplomacy is like jazz: endless variations on a theme. » – Richard Holbrooke

« Jazz is about being in the moment. » – Herbie Hancock

« That’s the thing about jazz: it’s free-flowing, it comes from your soul. » – Billy Crystal

“Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life.” – Art Blakey

Source: Text & Image: The Qwint World

Week of Christian Unity: 18 -25 January 2017

This year, we rejoice in the opportunity to pray with the Christians of Germany.

They have chosen as their theme “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us,” inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:14-20.

They invite Christians around the world to celebrate God’s reconciling grace, call us to recognize the pain of the deep divisions which afflict the Church, and urge us to become ambassadors of Christ’s message of reconciliation.


Source: Text: The Canadian Council of Churches  Image: