Monthly Archives: May 2015

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle B

30 May 2015

The best things come in threes, it seems to me.  Let’s see. The sun, the moon, and the stars all seem to go together.  They are all beautiful, and give light, and fascinate us.

Families come in threes. It takes a mother and a father to create the third person in the family, the child, who is the combination of both of them, with about a billion individual characteristics thrown in for good measure.

The day is divided into three sections: morning, noon, and night. Our basic necessities seem easily divided into food, clothing, and shelter.  St. Paul noted that the greatest virtues are three: faith, hope, and charity. There were three magi who sought the Christ Child, and at his most intimate moments with the Father, Jesus invited Peter, James and John to be with him.

Time is divided into past, present, and future. We enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  And at those meals we generally use a knife, a fork, and a spoon.

One voice is beautiful, but add another on top and a third underneath and you’ve got a trio―God’s own music.  Think of the Andrews Sisters. The Three Tenors.  Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. Now there is some great music.

It takes three branches of our government to keep the country from imploding. And, of course, it took three ships sailing the ocean blue to “discover” this land in 1492. That’s right, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

This feast of the Holy Trinity just resonates with us because our human clock seems to be set for threes. When we talk about God, we somehow think in threes.

I’m hungry. How about a BLT?

Do you have some significant threes 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

Pentecost – Cycle B

23 May 2015

Hey, Holy Spirit, come over here.

You created this world, and all we hold dear.

We live in deep gratitude, but just now and then.

Come, Holy Spirit, renew us again.

First, give us new eyes to see how our sin

Has helped lay the groundwork for evil to win.

We gasp at a distance at terrible things

But won’t own the deeds our own apathy brings.

The suffering in Syria, the graves in Iraq,

And so many martyrs, we try not to keep track.

Come, Holy Spirit, breathe peace to the world.

And please, Holy Spirit, #BringBackOurGirls.

We weep for the suffering lives in Nepal.

Oh hover there, Spirit, and comfort them all.

And for plane wrecks, and train wrecks, and violent deaths,

Oh Spirit, draw near with Your soul-stirring Breath.

Pour into us, Spirit, infuse us with grace.

We promise again to stay true to the race.

Hold us and mold us, create us anew.

There’s no stopping what those who live for You will do.

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 Ascension – Cycle B

17 May 2015

Reflecting on Acts 1: 1-11

We’re not supposed to leave Jerusalem. We don’t know why. We are hankering to go, to get out of here, where they murdered the prophets and crucified the Savior. We want to do what he told us to do before he was taken up. We want to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, and we are ready to go NOW.

But he ordered us to stay here in Jerusalem until we are “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Whatever that means. We are terrified to stay. We spend the nights in sleeplessness, expecting the swords and torches of the Romans, coming to take us away as they did our Christ.

But they haven’t come. Instead, we spend our time remembering him. We talk about our years with him. We whisper in astonishment at the signs that we saw. We nod our heads when one of us says, “Did we really see those five thousand people eat their fill from five loaves and two fish?” “Was that really Jesus on the Galilee that night of the storm?” “Did he really die that day on Calvary?” “And was the tomb truly empty when the women visited it the day after the Sabbath?”

His mother is here with us, staying in the upper room. She wants to hear the stories again and again. And she has many of her own, stories we hadn’t heard before. On the night he was born in Bethlehem, for example, angels filled the sky with singing.

Is that what we are waiting for? Angels in the sky? We don’t know. Jerusalem will be packed next week for the great festival of Pentecost. Maybe something will happen then.

What special intention are you praying for during this Pentecost novena?

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 B

11 May 2015

Reflecting on Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48

Today was the greatest day of my life. Even though I am a Roman centurion and not a Jew, I love the God of Abraham, and I longed to learn more about this Jesus whom the entire territory is talking about.

When the angel appeared to me and told me about a man named Simon Peter who was staying in Joppa, I hoped that this was the same Peter who was the great apostle of Jesus.  I sent messengers to ask him to come here to Caesarea.

When he entered my house I was overcome. I fell to my knees, but he lifted me up and said, “I too am only a man.” So this was Peter. He possessed great power, and a quiet strength born of great suffering. I had prayed that the man whom the angel told me to summon was he. And now this legend, this man whose faith Jesus said he would build his church upon, was standing in my home.

And a Jew! Standing in the home of a Gentile! We were all in shock. As it turns out, he had just had a vision himself, just before my messengers arrived in Joppa. In his vision he saw animals of every kind, clean and unclean, and then God told him that all food was “clean,” and good to eat.

Everything we thought we knew about God has been turned upside down! From now on, the Jews don’t need to keep kosher dietary laws any more, and we Gentiles can be part of God’s salvation even though our men aren’t circumcised! Peter said, “I begin to see that God shows no partiality.”

And, one by one, we all began to see it too.

In what ways have you learned that God loves all people?

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 of Easter – Cycle B

4 May 2015

Reflecting on John 15: 1-8

It’s May. It took forever to get here, but the springtime feast of the senses is finally, gloriously underway.  The fragrance of the luscious apple blossoms makes a non-stop bike ride to the park impossible.  What sort of robot could catch a whiff of their perfume and not stop to take in that heavenly scent?

The branches are already heavy with blossoms. Soon, apples will begin to grow at the center of the flowers, and the buds will fall to the ground, turning the grass and gutters into a stunning sea of pink and white.  After the fruit is picked in the fall, the trees will appear naked as winter approaches. But that, like death itself, is an illusion. In fact, the buds for next year’s fruit will already be in place.

There’s something sad about seeing a flowering branch that has become separated from the rest of the tree.  Within days, without the nurture of the vine, it grows brown and old, good for nothing but the fire.

Jesus used this familiar image when, on the night before he died, he gathered his loved ones together and begged them to remain in him. He knew he was going to the Father, and he knew that they could still be nurtured and sustained by him by living in him. Only by separating themselves from intimacy with him would they grow bitter and old.

Resurrection, like a bud on a tree, is hiding in plain sight. When we remember him, and dwell in him, there he is in our midst. For he is the Vine who lives forever, and we who stay connected to him will bear great fruit.

What is your favorite Easter season flower?

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