Category Archives: Old and new treasury

Among us, people, we often exchange services of different kinds. We go to a neighbor, a friend, a doctor, a teacher, a builder, asking them to provide us with whatever we need at any given time. And, we do the same… with God! Very often, our prayer to God takes the form of a petition – We bring to him all kinds of requests for ourselves and for people dear to us, or people we see in need. We trust that he will answer our needs, our dreams, our hopes. And he does so, very often. But have you realised that, often, God gives us things that we never asked for? He pours into our lives blessings and gifts that we would have never thought – or dared – to ask him for! The text of today’s gospel is an obvious example of this (John 14:23-29). On the eve of…

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  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…

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A theology lesson in 4 Bible verses – this is what the text of this Sunday’s gospel offers us (John 10:27-30). Such a short text and so rich is the reality it describes. This 4th Easter Sunday is known as Good Shepherd Sunday as it focuses on Jesus, the Risen Lord, as our Shepherd. What the words describe, what the text affirms, is really amazing. It offers us a promise of belonging, of security, and a gift beyond what we could imagine: eternal life! “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,  and they follow me.   I give them eternal life,  and they shall never perish;  no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Christ knows us, yes, just as we are, deeply, truly… He gives us eternal life, his own life, the very life that he shares with the Father. That is, of course, if… We listen to his voice…

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Reading the gospel texts, each one is inspired by them in his/her own way. Any given text, at different moments, may open up new perspectives and offer new messages. Today the long gospel text presents us with two different scenes (John 21:19-31). In the second one, we see Jesus with Peter – a scene quite special indeed and rich in insights. I read it again and… an unusual idea comes – the title I would give to this scene: ‘What God knows but… wants to be told again!’   Not once, not twice, but three times, Jesus asks a question from Peter. A searching question, one that is very personal, and… evocative… Every time Peter answers repeating the words: “Lord, you know that I love you.”   The third time, Peter adds the words: “Lord, you know everything…”   Peter is right: Jesus knows it but wants to hear it, he wants…

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  Repeating things – speaking again the words already said – we do it very often. To remind someone of something, to explain something voiced before, to make sure people have understood. We do it with people and for people, and we do it also… with God! Yes, it is something that is often part of our relating to God. Is it that we fear he has forgotten some of our requests? Is it that we think he likes to be reminded? Is it that we like to make sure that we have asked properly? Returning to God again and again, for whatever reason, is not bad. He may indeed be happy with our coming again to be in his presence! But… there may be a danger in repeating… The danger is that we, ourselves, may no longer be very attentive to what we say. We may be used to…

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A stone rolled away… A corpse… missing… “Strips of linen lying there”… Cloth wrapping the body “still lying in its place”… All these are seen, noted, but… No body lying there, NOBODY present! Yet, the gospel text tells us that when John had witnessed this scene, “He saw and believed.”  (John 20:1-9) Daily events… Regular meetings… Occasional encounters… Ordinary situations… Unexpected happenings… Unusual occasions… Overheard conversations… Surprising details… Which of these? All of these? At times… sometimes… could be… will be… the signs that could lead us to make the personal experience that John made. We will see and believe. We will NOT see any body – not ANYBODY – but we will perceive a presence. We will recognize the Risen Lord with us as surely as he was 21 centuries ago! source: www.image-i-nations.com  

  The following reflection is about the Gospel at the beginning of the celebration before the blessing of the palms (branches) (Luke 19:28-40). A meditation on the gospel of the Passion will be given on Good Friday. A day of jubilation. A day where acclamation and recrimination compete surrounding a man coming into Jerusalem on a donkey. With cries of joy, the crowd acclaims him as the descendant of king David. The man’s adversaries want them to be shut up. The scene is familiar but… What is less familiar is Jesus’ attitude – in the past, he has been avoiding attempts to make him king (John 6:15). And now, he accepts readily the glorious welcome that people give him – he seems to delight in it! He does not shut up the people shouting praises but those who want to silence them. None of the gospel texts tells us why…

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  Our days are filled with messages sent and received on many platforms – computers, cell phones, tablets – these tools are available at our fingertips, literally. The more traditional media – books, magazines, periodicals – are still in use to contact people. But have you ever received a message written on… sand? This is surely not the usual mode of communication nowadays! Amazingly, we see this in today’s gospel (John 8:1-11) – we see Jesus writing in the sand. What did he write? What was the message he wanted to make known? No one can say… Did the Pharisees read it? Did they realize that the words were meant for them? Impossible to assert… Did the woman make out the characters traced by Jesus’ finger? Did this give her courage, hope to be spared the stoning prescribed by the Jewish Law? This, too, is unknown. It is after the…

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