image-i-nations trésor

22nd Sunday of Year B – 2021

GOD… High above?… Far away?…
Unreachable?… Unconcerned?…
Some believe this… the opposite – the reality – is so extraordinary!

The leader of God’s people, Moses, assures them that God is very near to them whenever they pray to him.
In the text of today’s 1st reading (Dt.4:1-2,6-8), he states this as a fact:

“The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.”
 
This was more than 12 centuries before Jesus came to live among us.
I ask myself, are we today as convinced as Moses was that God is indeed near to us
whenever we turn to him in prayer?

I say ‘when WE turn to him’ –
we do not need to ask him to come near us, he is always with us, but…
Are we convinced of his nearness?
Are we sure that he listens to us and is concerned about us?
 
Whenever
no matter what situation we are in,
no matter what we feel like,
no matter how long we may have been away from him,
no matter how weak, sinful, desperate, we may judge ourselves to be…

Moses’ words are still valid to this day:
“The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.
 
And, if ever we feel we do not have the faith to trust these words…
He can give even that faith!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/22e-dimanche-de-lannee-b-2021/

 

 

Source: Image: pinterest.com  

3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B

‘This is foolish, this is nonsense, this is stupid’ – and there are other such attributes that are used to qualify something which we find unacceptable.

These expressions came to me when I read the text of the 2nd reading of this Sunday (3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B – 1 Cor.1:22-25).
Amazingly, the apostle Paul speaks of “the foolishness of God” – quite a daring expression which may scandalize some people!
And yet…

God’s ways are not our ways, we have been told long ago by the prophet Isaiah (Is.55:8).
And we must admit that, sometimes, his ways are somehow… unacceptable to us!
His wisdom does appear foolishness in our eyes, eyes with a short-sighted perspective.

Just a few verses before today’s text, Paul was writing the words of the picture here beside.
Yes, preaching a crucified Lord must have seemed pure foolishness to the people of old, as it is for many people nowadays.
Power, authority, control, influence, mastery, domination, are the ‘in-things’ – who wants to be weak, powerless, without authority and control?
And, sad to say, this is sometimes true in religious circles as well as secular ones…

Jesus had tried to have his apostles live this message of being – like him – servants, not masters (Jn.13:14).
He had said clearly that the last will be the first… a hard lesson if ever there was one (Mt.19:16).

To this day, many will say: ‘This is the world upside down’!
And what if… ‘the world upside down’ were… the kingdom of God in our midst?…

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/3e-dimanche-careme-annee-b/ 
Source: Image: Pinterest

16th Sunday of Year A

There is so much that is wrong in our world today, is it not so?
The powerful bring suffering to the weak.
The selfish – legions of them – grab all they can.
The rich keep adding to their share while the poor have to manage on what they can scrape together.

It seems that evil spreads far and wide, and goodness has a hard time existing at all.
Examples we see every day are only too many and too easy to find.

Poverty, sickness, injustice, suffering – evil under all its forms – everywhere we turn it seems that we see only more of that!
Some people mutter to themselves: “Not much sign of God in a world like this…”
Others get really angry, and yes, angry with God: Why does he not do something to right all that is wrong?
They whisper under their breath: “If I were God, things would be different!”

We have to admit it: we are troubled by the presence of evil in our world, in people…
Perhaps today’s gospel (16th Sunday of Year A – Mt.13:24-43) can bring light to this situation.
At first sight, some would think: ‘More of the same!’
Good seed has been planted and there comes an enemy who spoils the whole thing as the weeds in plenty show.
The workers question the owner of the field about it and they are ready to put things right.

The owner shows wisdom: removing the weeds may destroy the good plants as well.
So, his advice is… to wait.
WAIT – waiting… till the harvest, waiting till all has grown and then… then will be the time to sort out and to separate.

For many of us, this is not our preferred mode of operating.
Yet, surprisingly perhaps, this is the way… of God!
He waits, and waits… for us!
He waits that we change…

The 1st reading (Wis.12:13,16-19) says it beautifully:
“Your sovereignty makes you lenient to all…
You are mild in judgement,
You govern us with great leniency.”

He waits that we recognize him, accept his ways, see him as REAL – really present in our lives.
How much longer will he have to wait for this to happen?…

Source: Images: Wikipedia, Experimental Theology – blogger