Monthly Archives: June 2011

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus – Cycle A

27 June 2011

I know that I’ve never been actually hungry. Food is all around me and I can take it at any time.  But when I hear Moses say “He let you be afflicted with hunger, then fed you with manna….that you might know that not by bread alone does one live, but by every word from the mouth of God” I really resonate with that.  I have counted calories and dragged myself away from the table and fought off food cravings just about every day of my adult life.  I think I know what it is to be hungry, to go to bed hungry, to fixate on food and dream about it.

Today Moses tells the Hebrew people who lived and hungered with him in the desert all those years to remember what it was like when they were utterly dependent on God for the astonishing manna—a food unknown to their parents—sent from the sky six days a week to heal their hunger.

That’s where hunger can take you—weak enough to be ready to accept the gift of healing which God alone can give.  This manna wasn’t what they were used to.  It came from the sky and was probably some sort of chewy dew.  They were grateful to accept it, and their bodies were made strong with it, and there are no accounts of a single one of them dying of hunger during the 40-year sojourn.

So on this day of gratitude we process, hungry, towards the Body and Blood of Jesus.  We remember our hunger, and who alone can heal it.  Come to the feast.

Can you remember any experiences of the power of the Eucharist in your life?

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 Most Holy Trinity – Cycle A

18 June 2011

We were sitting out on the porch with our adorable nieces and nephew when I finally understood the theology of the Trinity.  The three older kids (9, 7 and 5) had set up their special picnic bench, a few feet away from the grown-ups and right next to the swing set so they could jump up and play while eating their hot dogs.

They belong to each other

Their baby sister Lauren, up until this moment eating her dinner propped up on a chair next to her dad and mom, suddenly climbed down from her chair, toddled over to the kids’ bench and sat down.  Her delighted sisters and brother moved over to make room for her.

In that huge developmental step she demonstrated that she knew who she was.  She was a member of a family. She had a loving mom and dad and lots of other adoring family members.  She had a brother and two sisters.  She was a child, and her place was at the child’s table.  She could leave the safety of mom and dad and place herself right there on the bench with her siblings.  And somebody pass the potato chips.

That’s when I got it.  Our hearts are restless until they rest in God, and God isn’t solitary.  God exists in a relationship of Three.  We are made to find our place in the world, always in relationship with others.  We leave that place of infant unconsciousness and firmly place ourselves at the table, where we belong to others and they belong to us.

And of course none of those relationships happen without fathers.  Thanks, dad.

In what ways did your father help you find your place 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.

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

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Pentecost Sunday – Cycle A

11 June 2011

A PENTECOST SEQUENCE

Come, oh Holy Spirit, come!

And make us ever more your own.

In flooded farmlands, send relief.

And where faith falters, send belief.

Where tornados maim and kill

Let us feel your presence still.

Touch the unemployed once more

With strength to find that open door.

And where assassins lurk and prey

Bring them to the light of day.

Touch our own hearts too, we pray

To see the ways we’ve turned away.

The blind eye cast, the hardened heart,

Help us, Spirit, see our part.

Renew the earth, renew us too!

In Jesus’ name, we beg of you.

In what ways can you sense the gifts of the Holy Spirit active in your life?

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

The Ascension of Our Lord – Cycle A

4 June 2011

Reflecting on Matthew 28:16-20

First, we should probably talk about the strange disconnect between Luke’s account of the Ascension in the first reading (Acts 1:1-11) and Matthew’s account in today’s Gospel (28:16-20).  Although he doesn’t specifically state it, the site of the Ascension in Acts has to have been in Jerusalem. Why?  Because they are enjoined not to leave Jerusalem until the gift of the Father (the Holy Spirit) comes upon them.  So the Ascension must have taken place in Jerusalem.

The Ascension of Christ (Rembrandt)

But Matthew says that the Eleven gathered in the Galilee for Jesus’ Great Commission.  It was on a mountain—which of course reminds us of the mountain at Sinai and the mountain of the Beatitudes —where Jesus promised that he would be with us always, even to the end of the age.  Mark’s Gospel (16:7) sets this in motion when the angel at the empty tomb tells the women to tell the other disciples to go to Galilee, where they would see the risen Lord.

But here’s what’s interesting: it seems that in the Gospel today, Jesus appears to them as a manifestation of his already ascended state.  There is no mention, as in Acts and Luke’s Gospel (24: 36-53), of Jesus ascending to heaven as they watched.

So even in the earliest memories of the Church the specifics of the when and where of Jesus’ ascent to heaven are purposely clothed in mystery.  What a perfect metaphor for our own journeys.  Crazy predictions of the end of the world will go on. But our deepest intuition and faith that our Christ is with us always, right up to the end, lives on.

In what ways do you sense that he is “with you always”?

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