Monthly Archives: May 2013

Solemnity of the Holy Trinity – Cycle C

31 May 2013

Don’t you love a great party?  I experienced one recently, for my friend’s sixtieth birthday.  It was held at the cozy home of two friends who have been hosting parties for this group of friends for nearly forty years.  Everywhere I looked, I found the warm and beautiful face of someone I love.  Heaven.

We all glided through that room, hating to leave one conversation in order to join another.  Every single encounter was auto-filled with the ease and relief of being in the presence of friends who know us very well, and have chosen to love us anyway.

After dinner we gravitated to the living room, designed years ago to be utterly comfy for the hosts’ large family and even larger circle of friends.  Then, because we all just needed to so badly, we forced the guest of honor to sit and let each of us tell him the many reasons why we love him.  We could have gone on much longer, but teenagers were coming home and their parents didn’t want them to know they’d stayed out longer than they had.

A circle like that takes a lifetime, and it’s not always easy.  Forgiveness, like love, is a fruit in season at all times.  Those friendships are all very much alive because forgiveness has been alive.  I know that I have easily been forgiven seventy times seven.

That’s what today’s solemnity is all about.  Like the Three Persons, eternally in relationship and eternally bringing into unity the Body of Christ, we were created to be for each other, forgiving and radically loving each other until we are forever joined in the heart of God.

How are you helping to create friendships that get each other to heaven?

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 C

19 May 2013

A PENTECOST SEQUENCE

Send your fire, oh Spirit.
Not the rubbles of Bangladesh,
Ignited by sin and stirred by indifference.
Not the fires of Syria,
Incinerating the cradle of your church
And suffocating the heart of a people.
Not the fires fanned by drought,
Or a tear- gassed theatre, fire-armed.
Send your mighty winds, oh Spirit.
Not the winds of Sandy,
Collapsing and crippling.
Not the winds of Boston,
Pressure-cooked and cruel.
Not the winds of war,
Putrid and fetid.
No, send your FIRE, oh Spirit,
And like a mighty wind
Tear out the roots of our rage,
Kick out the doors of our bondage,
And plant, once and for all,
Peace that does justice,
And justice that brings peace.

In what ways have the events of this year affected you? What response do you make to the question, “Where was God?”

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

Ascension of the Lord – Cycle C

13 May 2013

Reflecting Lk 24: 46-53

A few years ago I made an astonishing discovery.  I glanced at the skin on my hands, and for the first time in my life it occurred to me that my skin has traveled with me all my life, ever since I was knit together in my mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13).  Every seven years my ingenious epidermis has replaced the dead skin cells and replaced them with new ones, over and over again, and all these years I never even noticed.  But without this faithful covering I would have succumbed to germs and infections months before I ever passed through the birth canal.

The eyewitnesses of the Ascension, the ones who heard Christ command them not to leave the city but to wait for the descent of the Holy Spirit, were like the earliest skin covering the embryo of the infant church. On Pentecost, like a mighty wind, that Church, heretofore hidden in fear and wonder, was born into a world like ours—dangerous, cynical, yet covered in the glory of God.

Stephen, that embarrassing martyr who actually stood up to the culture instead of assimilating into it (Acts 7: 55-60) was the baby skin of the new church. Through these two millennia, the epidermis of the church has continually rejuvenated itself through the witness of those who love Him.

This is what Christ desires to be the covering of the church until the end of time: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23). These fruits of the Spirit will remain, and, in God’s time, will get under our skin for good, even to the ends of the earth.

Have you started your Pentecost novena? Pray with millions of Christians every day until next Sunday for the comfort of the Holy Spirit in your life, and the lives of all in your circle of love.

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

Sixth Sunday of Easter – Cycle C

7 May 2013

Peace.  Oh, how we ache for it.  Didn’t we all ache for Boston, and all our friends who live there, last month?  And didn’t we feel so proud to watch that city show us how it’s done, in unity amid the dazzling diversity of that great city, as they pulled together and saved hundreds of lives?  We are all Bostonians today, if we can stand in their light and share a portion of their spirit.
It’s not just today’s world that is held hostage by terrorists. It helps to know that the Roman occupation of Jerusalem during Jesus’ lifetime made life very unsafe for Jews and soldiers alike.  It was, don’t forget, the Jewish zealots (terrorists) who managed to kill, guerrilla-style, enough soldiers that they brought down the whole wrath of the Roman Empire upon Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  That’s how the Pax Romana really worked.  Visit Jerusalem and marvel at the huge stones of the destroyed Temple, still sitting where they fell nearly two thousand years ago.
And yet, here is Jesus.  Comforting his friends on the night before he dies, he says “My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” Oh, how we ache for the peace that Christ gives, the peace that “passeth understanding”.  This is the peace that Jesus somehow dwells in, even as he walks out to Gethsemane.  That’s the only peace that has the power to change us.
Do you need true, gut-deep peace about something in your life?  Ask the Spirit for her indwelling.  Remember how the resurrected Christ, on the day of his ascension, instructed his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 24:49)?  That was the original novena.  I invite all of us, the thousands of people who read this column today, to join together beginning this Friday and pray together, each in our own ways, through the nine days– novena before Pentecost (May 19th) for that peace. This year I started sending out a note to the three or four people for whom I am especially praying during this worldwide novena. It will be wonderful to hear from you, wonderful readers, in the months to come, about how your particular intentions bore fruit.  There is power in any nine days, at any time of year, when people of good will pray together for peace .  Let’s see what God will do in helping us receive a deep peace as we redouble our efforts for making peace in the world.
If you need some inspiration, here are some Catholic novena sites, but of course people from all backgrounds join together in their own ways to pray for peace during the nine days.  www.praymorenovenas.com/novena-to-the-holyspirit/ http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/p/Novena_HG.htm
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
for Mary and Jim, and Wendy and Riley and Nick, and all whose lives were touched by the events in Boston.
 
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