Monthly Archives: April 2014

Divine Mercy Sunday – Cycle A

27 April 2014

Reflecting on John 20: 19-31

Why is Thomas still hanging around anyway?  He’s heard all the reports.  He knows that Mary of Magdala found the stone rolled away.  He knows the tomb was empty.  And he certainly knows the tale that Jesus appeared to the other disciples that very first evening, when he so unfortunately was not there.

He doesn’t believe it.  He’s not going to be taken for a fool.  Unless he touches the wounds himself―well, maybe he won’t have to go that far, but you know what he means―he will not be taken in by mass hysteria and a conspiracy to believe.

So why is he still here, associating with a community of faith?

Clearly he is more sophisticated than they are, more worldly wise, less susceptible to hope when there clearly is no hope, yet he is still heart-broken.   His beloved friend has been tortured and killed, and when he died he took all of Thomas’ dreams with him to the grave.

And then there is the other thing.  He’s been suppressing a soaring in his heart all week.  Here is his secret:  he so desperately wants it to be true.  And it’s for this reason that he can’t pull himself away from those who already believe.  Take your crazy stories away, he tells them.  Please bring your crazy stories closer.

You might know someone like him.  You might be him.  So stay close to those who believe.  Hold the crazy stories deep in your heart.  And then watch for him to be standing very near you, inviting you to touch his wounds.

How has staying close to those who believe strengthened your belief?

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

Easter Sunday – Cycle A

20 April 2014

Reflecting on Matthew 28: 1-10

If you attended the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday you heard Matthew’s detailed and fascinating resurrection account.  It’s only here that we learn there was a “great earthquake” when an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and, like swatting a fly, rolled the stone away that had tried to keep Jesus chained in death.

And Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” actually saw this!  This is the only account in the four gospels where eyewitnesses actually saw the stone rolled away!  The big scary Roman guards posted at the tomb were so terrified by that angel that they fell dead asleep.  But not those women!  They stood their ground and watched―not fainting, but full of a faith that only comes from Love.  They loved Jesus.  No angel was keeping them from him. 

And because of their Love they witnessed the greatest event of all history.

On this day, Easter Sunday 2014, I offer you this invitation:  Fall in love with him.  Soften your heart.  Enter the tomb and see that it is empty.  Enter into a life in Christ and see that is full to overflowing with grace and love for you.  I promise.

The guards could have been eyewitnesses too.  Instead, they helped start the rumor that Jesus’ disciples stole the body so that there would be an explanation for that empty tomb when people came to see for themselves.

The world is like that these days.  There are lots of explanations for that empty tomb.  Except for this: the earliest Christians gladly accepted martyrdom because they had seen, and utterly believed, that their BELOVED was waiting for them just on the other side of the grave.

What might be keeping you from falling in 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

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Cycle A

17 April 2014

Reflecting on Matthew 26: 14-27:66

Five weeks ago we heard a familiar and eerie story.  Jesus, having just been baptized, goes into the desert to keep his rendezvous, set from the beginning of time, with the Enemy. Famished from fasting, he is accosted by the Liar, who says, Look, you’re God, right?  I know you’re hungry, and there’s nothing to eat out here.  Just turn these stones into bread.

Jesus repulses the Liar with scripture, but he persists.  If you really want to show these people that you’re God, you should throw yourself off this cliff and let the angels catch you.  That’s the way a real God would do it.

Again Jesus rebuffs him, and the Enemy finally shows his hand.  Okay, you’re God and I’m not.  But I’ve got all the kingdoms of the world in my pocket. Give up this charade of being a human being, bow down and worship me, and I’ll give you everything.

At this, Jesus commands the Liar to leave, and so he must.   Matthew’s gospel tells us that angels then come to minister to Jesus.  Watch for those angels.  They’ll be back to roll the stone away on Easter morning, and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against them.

Satan failed so miserably because he couldn’t believe that Jesus, though he was in the form of God, would empty himself, taking the form of a slave.  Satan must have been astonished on Good Friday, when Jesus became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Two thousand years later, we’re still astonished.  And at his Name, 2.18 billion Christians bend their knees today, and their tongues confess:  Jesus Christ is Lord.

Are you still astonished at this wondrous 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

Fifth Sunday in Lent – Cycle A

6 April 2014

Reflecting On John 11:1-45

Ten years ago this week I went into Rose Hospital for exploratory surgery on a ten centimeter ovarian cyst.  I don’t think it’s going to turn out to be anything, said my wonderfully reassuring surgeon.  We’ll probably be done in an hour.

When I woke up, three hours had passed.  That’s when I knew for sure that the same disease which killed my mother in 1985 now had me in its grip.

But not for long. There was no metastasis.  I was one of those rare women to whom the symptoms of ovarian cancer did not whisper at all.  They shouted loud enough for my husband and my friend Angeline Hubert to say, “Something is very wrong with you.”

Like Lazarus, I was dead in the tomb.  Had my loved ones not pushed me to find the reason for my deep fatigue, the disease would surely have progressed to a stage beyond the scope of surgery.  Kathy, come out! Jesus our Healer commanded me.  And the nearly dead woman came out.  I am the longest-living survivor of ovarian cancer at the Rose Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.

Lord, if you had been here my mother would never have died.  How I prayed that my wonderful mom would be cured so many years before, but it was through her death that I recognized the disease when it came upon me nearly twenty years later.  We don’t know, in our lifetimes, the way God will use our suffering in the future, or is using it now.

Our task, while we live, is to unbind each other until the day the Risen One removes our death clothes once and for all.

How are you helping unbind people of their suffering?

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

Fourth Sunday in Lent – Cycle A

1 April 2014

Reflecting on John 9: 1-41

The thing is, we know this guy.  We’ve known him since he was a child.  As far as anyone can remember, he was always blind― blind from birth, his parents said.  Obviously, he’s a sinner.  His parents, too.  You don’t have a terrible affliction like blindness without a long history of sin in the family.

Moses insists we open wide our arms to the needy, so we’ve been giving him alms all these years.  That’s what makes what happened today so infuriating.   The sinner Jesus has been in Jerusalem with his disciples since the Feast of Tabernacles.  He’s caused his usual uproar, saying outrageous things about himself, even giving some people the impression he is replacing our feasts of water and light with himself.

None of us has forgotten what he did last Passover, when he drove the money changers out of the Temple and hinted that he was going to destroy the Temple and replace it with himself!  He even consorts with Samaritan women!  You might have heard about that little travesty, and how she went running back to tell all the Samaritans about him.  He’s obviously a sorcerer, just like they are.

And then there was the business with that woman caught in the very act of adultery.  That was his chance to prove that he was a true child of Moses, but no.  She walked away without a word of judgment from him.  We’d already collected the stones.

Next thing you know we’ll be hearing stories of him raising people from the dead.

In the meantime, now this blind man pretends to see, and says that this Jesus cured him.  And on the Sabbath!  Sinners don’t cure people.  Everyone knows that.

Jesus, the Messiah?  No way.  We just don’t see it.

What behaviors in your life do you refuse to see?

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