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Fourteenth Sunday – Ordinary Times Cycle C

Reflecting on Galatians 6:14-18

It’s a beautiful summer holiday weekend in Colorado, and we have friends visiting from Iowa. They’ve spent every possible moment up in the mountains, hiking, rafting, and gawking at the bicyclists riding up Mount Evans.

Amber waves of Nebraska grain

I brag that America the Beautiful was written here.  I look to the west and see the purple mountain majesties that have brought me to prayer every morning of my life.

It’s hard to live in a constant state of gratitude and awe.  My sister is the best you’ve ever seen.  We’ll be driving along the San Diego harbor―she lives in that spectacular city―and she’ll stop the car to make sure we are all thanking God for the water, and the ships, and the seagulls.  And it turns out we are.

This land is our land, from the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters. Oh, God, forgive us our trespasses against Your Gulf Stream waters.

Paul bore the marks of Jesus on his body. America bears scars on her body too.  Our rivers, our forests, our seas and our skies bear the wounds of our selfish decisions, our appalling deficit of dreams.  We know better now, and we’ll do better.

It’s nice that the holiday lands right on Sunday this year.  It gives us the collective opportunity to ask forgiveness for what we have done, and what we have failed to do.  And then, in our Sunday sanctuary of time, we will bless and thank our Creator for the endless gifts of America the Beautiful.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

Where is your favorite place to pray in your home state?

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

Ordinary Time - Cycle C

10 Comments to “Fourteenth Sunday – Ordinary Times Cycle C”

  1. It all started about a month ago. The whole family was on a nature hike. My boys wanted to pick up every remotely interesting rock and take it home. They were pretty sure they were all some type of fossil.
    Pockets were getting full, so I decided we needed to stop. My 6-year old was so sad to leave any beautiful creation behind. He wanted to possess them because he loved each one so much. He was worried about leaving them and them getting hurt.
    I told him about St. Francis of Assisi and how much he loved animals and nature. That seemed to interest him so I suggested that we say a blessing over the rocks that we were leaving. It was sweet and tender and made it easier for my son to leave nature the way we found it.
    Now whenever there is something special in the outdoors that catches his eye, he wants to say a blessing over it. In this journey with my son, I too learned that I don’t have to have or possess everything that I find beautiful or want. God’s creation is wonderful to behold and we can’t just always take what we want for our own use without thoughtful consideration for what is best for all.
    My favorite place to pray is wherever and whenever my kids ask. Awesome!

  2. It is good to be thankful for this great Country we are living in. But we are a spoiled people and forget the blessing of being here. We litter the roadways and waste our resources. We fear sharing it with the less privileged. We fear that it will cost us something, when in true they have so much to offer us in spirit and truth. God opened the gate to His home by the Sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross, He welcomes the once sinnful with open arms. He in His wisdom show us that there is always room for love and sharing. When we giving Thanks on these “holidays” do we remember the wonderful hospitality once shown us by the American Natives? Or the reason our people fled to America in the first place, Religious Persecution. So as a people of faith I hope that for at least a few seconds this 4th of July we set down the beer bottle, look at our plates of plenty and silence fire crackers for just a nice prayer to Thank the Father for what we have and ask Him to forgive us or belly aching about what we think we ought to have and dont. With much Love Becky

  3. Ms. McGovern: I suggest that you read what is said when our flag is folded – it is in the Magnificat and it is beautiful – so appropriate for this 4th of July. I am so tired of the criticisms and complaints – even on her birthday cheap shots are taken – we are not perfect but we are not selfish-isn’t it enough that our own President won’t defend us? Give me the name of any other country where dreams come true like they do here – your point of view is so typical of now – “our appalling deficit of dreams” oh please. I am not ashamed to say that our country is the best in this whole world – right or wrong – I will defend her. I feel so blessed to be born here. God Bless America

  4. I truly awaken each day and realize how very fortunate I am.
    To wake up to the sound of my coffee maker brewing coffee;
    to get up in the middle of the night and know that I have
    water; to have work. However, this weekend has weighed heavily upon my heart. It’s not that this is the only time that I’ve had these thoughts; but, perhaps everything has
    culminated in a sense of crushing reality because I was not
    working…not being busy. I took my German Shepherd for a
    very early walk down at River Pointe…along the river. Birds were in “conversation” with one another; ducks were bobbing on the water; tiny flowers were as brilliant and beautiful as their larger neighboring flowers; the leaves
    rustled with the wind; the air was sweet and perfumed with
    grasses, flowers, water. I couldn’t stop the tears. My heart had such an ache, such pain. I have two friends…one in PA. and one in Watkins, CO. Both live in
    beautiful, quiet areas. Places where you feel God present in every sound, every movement of nature. In Watkins, there are many scattered homes; simple dwellings; horses grazing; sometimes one can catch a glimpse of a small herd of deer. Both of these families are facing oil drilling being done near their properties. The “fracking” will ruin their water. They are fearful and hearts are breaking. As I walked this morning, watching Kelly sniffing out myriad scents…I understand all the sorrow we cause this good earth; the heartlessness of a nine year war. I know that we don’t “learn lessons”. We are arrogant and mindless. My tears were for the sorrow of loss…past and continued; and, for the absolute beauty that I experienced this morning. God was with me and Kelly this morning….in the wind, the river, the trees; and, I was grateful and appreciative for the time. Thank you for allowing me to speak MY truth as experienced through my heart.

  5. Yesterday, Independence Day, I visited a friend and sat with her on her front porch, lazily sipping iced tea. It was wonderful to be in Sabbath time, resting in the cool shade, leisurely listening to the wind move through the bushes and trees, anticipating the storm that was gathering as clouds changed shape and color. The foothills stood majestically to the west. Across the street, kids bounced gleefully on a trampoline. We could see their heads pop over the fence and hear them giggle. It was God’s time, with “important things” being set aside for what was more important, i.e., the recognition of the Beloved in all that is.
    At the Mass of anticipation on Saturday, for recessional we sang “America the Beautiful” and I found myself in that place of wonder, happy to live in Colorado. The song always makes my misty-eyed. Having grown up on the east coast and enjoyed the ocean for over 40 years of my life, I ache for what is happening to the waters because of the oil spill and the carelessness with which we treat the seas, as if it were a place to deposit trash. A few weeks back I saw the film Oceans by Disney. It’s about the life that is deep withing the waters. A glorious film and a beautiful meditation. The mystery of sea life takes us into the mystery of God if we let it. If one has never been touched by the ocean, it can be too far removed to become a source of wonder. Let us take the time from this moment on, to pray blessing over the sea and all that it contains because the psalmist so long ago led us to pray, “Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.”

  6. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen
    Let the peace of Christ control your hearts and let the word of Christ dwell in your richly.
    PASS IT ON –Be a missionary where you live and work!

  7. For me,because I can speak for no one else; this site that
    Kathy is providing is a testing ground for me. Emailing is
    so safe; so impersonal. I don’t have to look into the eyes of another individual. I can make assumptions about the
    “voice” of another person. I can analyze and intuit thoughts and feelings behind words without ever inquiring
    as to “why” or “how” a person came to the place in their
    life where they currently “stand”. This will be a test for
    me because ego always wants to shove aside feelings of the
    heart and show how smart I might be; or, THINK I might be!
    “Let me spar with another intellectually and see who comes
    out on top” is so home grown within me!! MY test is to speak
    from the heart and spirit of myself. This is the part of myself that I don’t get to share too often. I think that it is the better part of who I am; and, the part of me that needs the most exposure. I’m so appreciative and grateful
    to be sharing with others; and, for their sharing with me…
    through their writing.

  8. I guess I missed the point of the liturgy totally — I didn’t realize that there was an ecological message in any of the three readings. I thought they were about the abundance of God’s love for all humankind and the fact that eternal life is open to everyone — circumcised (Jews) and uncircumcised (Gentiles) alike. Luke writes that we are to rejoice because our names are written in heaven — we are wanted there. It may be time for me to go back to the Catholic Biblical School to learn to see beyond what is written.

  9. Gloria A. Varela

    I live in colorful Colorado, and my favorite place to pray is in my basement! A friend suggested that I might be “running away” by retreating to the total quiet of my basement office/studio/gallery/laundry/storage area. In my basement I am 10 feet underground, in total quiet, (when my dryer is not drying that is, and then it is sweet background noise, reminding me that I don’t have to hang clothes on the line). Seeds and bulbs all over the world need the quiet of their underground spaces to sprout. In the quiet of my basement I feel the creative presence of my God within,…perhaps sprouting the life I am being called to share above.

  10. Since this site is about having a conversation, I want to thank Claudia for her follow up message about the vulnerability/risk this forum offers. That challenge is a real one for many of us, and I thank you and everyone who shares on this site. We may not all agree on every point, but that is the genius of the Spirit: each of us hears the message our heart is meant to learn in the weekly scriptures. The Word has such power!

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