Monthly Archives: June 2010

Thirteenth Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C

26 June 2010

Reflecting On Luke 9:51-62

I’ve got good news.  Those dusty archaeologists (bless them) who spend their lives digging in the scorching Mediterranean sun have given us a very plausible (and comforting) explanation of that MOST unsettling command in today’s Gospel: let the dead bury their dead. It’s simply this: the burial time for the dead in Jesus’ day was an entire year.  After burying the dead immediately (as we saw in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ own death) the sons “sit shi’va” for seven days.  (So the disciple who asks to bury his father before following Jesus wouldn’t even have been around if the death had happened within that week—he would have been at home fulfilling this responsibility.)

Ancient tomb in the Mount of Olives

But then the corpse is left in the tomb for eleven months, after which the relatives re-bury the decomposed body by taking the bones and placing them in a burial box, an ossuary, and placing it back in the tomb, along with all the other family dead who are in various stages of burial.  The tomb continues to fill with the other dead from the family, buried for the first time and then again a year later.

So…what a great relief to consider that Jesus was thinking of all those dead, buried with the other dead, whose death demands kept the sons in endless burial cycles. Let the dead bury their dead.  Be at peace.  My heavenly Father knows where all the bodies are buried.  In just a short time you will see for yourselves what God has planned for My tomb, and yours, and theirs too.  Be at peace.

So be at peace.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

What are the burial customs in your family?

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Twelfth Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C

19 June 2010

Reflecting on Luke 9:18-24

Kathleen, you wouldn’t care so much what people think of you if you knew how seldom they do. That was my Irish father talking, telling his self-absorbed adolescent daughter one of the hardest facts of life: people aren’t really paying any attention to you. Oh.  Good to know.

But it turns out that Jesus cares what other people think of him too, and asks out loud, who do the crowds say I am? Is he John the Baptist, somehow come back from the dead? Or maybe Elijah, who went to the heavens in a chariot of fire and hasn’t been seen since?  Their answers reveal the kind of Mediterranean chatter and interest in the outsider that now seems to belong only in the past.

But Jesus (the Christ) wants us to think about him, to pay attention to him, to have an opinion about him, to gossip with our friends about him.  He knows that the more attention we pay to someone the more space in our lives that person will take.

Let’s revive the lost art of spiritual chatter.  Let’s gossip with the whole Church about this Jesus, and who we say he is.  Let’s breathe on the smoldering wicks of the Scriptures and see if we can start some fires.  One billion Christians heard this Gospel today.  What’s the buzz?

Let’s get talking, Church.  Because, as five-year-old Elliott said to God, I think of you sometimes even when I’m not praying.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

Who do you say he is?

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Eleventh Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C

12 June 2010

Reflecting on Luke 7:36-8:3

Only a person who has messed up as many times as I have can really remember the great love that washes over the person who is forgiven. Here’s a story that kind of makes me shudder every time I think of it:

One bitter January afternoon I was rushing to leave for a weekend retreat seventy miles away.  Of course I was late, and of course I locked all my retreat materials in the trunk of the car and threw the car keys in for good measure.

ARGH!!  It was getting later and darker and colder.  I drove our second car to the nearby Safeway where my husband worked.  Quick!!  Give me your keys!!  I don’t have time to explain! And as I was rushing out I sort of heard him say, Don’t lock me out!!

And it wasn’t until hours later, as I was settling into my cozy bed at the retreat house, that I realized that I had done exactly that.  I had left Ben’s keys in the house and used mine to lock the doors.  And of course neither of us had a cell phone.

So out of bed I flew, into the dark night and dark roads of the Colorado mountains.  I pictured Ben shivering in the garage or sleeping on the neighbor’s couch.  And here’s the moment of forgiveness:  I walked up to our front porch and opened the (unlocked) door.  A cozy warm fire was burning in the fireplace.  A sleepy voice called to me from the bedroom.  I knew you’d be back.

Thank God for hide-a-keys. And all the opportunities a lifetime provides us to grow in the kind of love and gratitude that only comes from being let off the hook.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

 

What stories can you remember about being forgiven much?

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year?  The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire!  Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

6 June 2010

Reflecting on Luke 9:11b-17

Mosaic found in Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish - Tabgha, Galilee, Israel

It must have been hot at that deserted place in Bethsaida when the crowds came out to see Jesus—to hear him—to be touched and healed by him.  And when the day was drawing to a close they must have started to feel uncomfortable. They were hungry, but they wouldn’t leave the place where Jesus was. They couldn’t take the chance that he might be gone when they came back.

These days it’s the Job Fairs that draw the huge crowds.  The sad numbers of unemployed form a line that snakes around the block and up the stairs and out into the parking lots.  They wait in the cold and the heat for a chance to fill out still another job application.  And even when it rains they won’t leave their precious place in line—they can’t take the chance that others will stay and get the few jobs left.

I think I saw Jesus standing with them the other day.  He and some of his friends had put together some sandwiches and coffee and were passing them around.  The crowd was huge, but it looked like they’d all received more than they needed.

I saw him again last week at the Cancer Center.  One of the patients there had just received a poor prognosis.  Everyone around her—the doctors, the nurses, the patients—rallied around to comfort and strengthen her.

And I saw him in the news, working in Haiti and Chile, comforting the afflicted and holding them close.  And, always, I see him in the breaking of the bread.

Happy Feast Day, Church.  He is Really, Really Present.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

On this Feast of the Eucharist, in what ways do you see Christ Really Present in the world?

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year?  The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire!  Register here today and join the conversation.

Photo of ancient mosaic on the floor of the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish in Tabgha, Israel.  How many loaves are in the basket?  Go to the archives for 18th Sunday Ordinary Time B to read more.

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015