Monthly Archives: June 2017

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

28 June 2017

Reflecting on Jeremiah 20: 10-13

Oh, Jeremiah. We really get you. You sound just like us when we were, say, fifteen. Back then we knew that our every word, every behavior was being scrutinized by our “friends” and used for conversation  at the slumber party to which we had received no invitation. How the memories still sting.

You were a young man, maybe even a teenager, when you wrote, “All those who were my friends are on the watch for some misstep of mine.” It turns out that you weren’t paranoid. Your friends WERE talking about you behind your back. They were talking about your prophetic warnings about the destruction of Jerusalem, and going back through the years to remember how you’d ALWAYS been addicted to drama, ALWAYS been a worry-wart, ALWAYS been  looking for attention.

Yes, you were right and they were wrong. And your prayer―so full of the hurt feelings of a young person―was answered. They died, and you lived. But I’ll bet that, seeing your friends tortured and killed, or taken into captivity, was not the satisfying moment you thought it would be. I’ll bet that you begged for their release before Nebuchadnezzar. But he wasn’t exactly the reasonable guy you hoped for, was he?

You probably hadn’t heard today’s responsorial psalm yet, since it wasn’t put in its final form until the grandchildren of those dragged away that day returned to Jerusalem. Let me remind you of it now: The Lord hears the poor, and those who are his own he spurns not (69:33).

It’s a blessing to be little. It’s a blessing to be humbled. That kind of poverty puts you directly in the center of God’s heart.  Lucky you.

What memories do you have of God’s great love during a time of being humbled?

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Cycle A

17 June 2017

Reflecting on John 6: 51-58

My friend John’s story about going to the football game with his dad comes back to me every year on this feast day.  “I’ll never give up my season tickets.  I go to every game. It’s the place where my dad and I have our best talks.”

Actually, his dad died nearly thirty years ago. Growing up, John and his dad enjoyed the entire Game Day ritual―Mass, breakfast, driving to the stadium, firing up the grill, hamburgers, and football. They talked, and ate, and shared in the triumphs and humiliations of the game. And the next week, if the team was in town, they did it all again.

John grieved horribly when his dad died in the spring of 1990. He was his best friend. They had built so many memories. He would never see him again.

Except, of course, on Sunday afternoons, in the sun and wind and cold, and the hot dogs and beer, and the cheering and the booing, and memories so real that John feels his dad next to him at every game.  He goes to see his dad, to really feel his presence.

There are many sensory triggers that can transport us. Think about pipe smoke.  Can you smell it? I can, and suddenly my grandpa is with me.  A Beach Boys song on a summer day can bring childhood friends right into the room. These cues make the past Really Present.

As Catholics, we get that. Every Sunday we place ourselves in the position to Re-Member the One who loved us to his death. In the Eucharist the Beloved Past becomes the Real Presence. This is the feast that tells us who we are.

What sensory experiences bring the past right back to you?

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle A

12 June 2017

Reflecting on 2 Cor. 13: 11-13

It was really just a teeny fender bender. I was pulling out onto the highway from the ramp, and then I wasn’t. (Right now you might be thinking how much you hate it when drivers give every indication that they are moving out and then don’t.)

So, yeah, he bumped into me. Furious, he jumped out of his truck and ran over to my car, screaming in frustration. A few expletives later and he was on his phone, calling the police.

Then I asked him who he thought would get the ticket. “I know,” he said. “I’m getting the ticket. I bumped into you.”  Since neither of our cars was damaged, I asked if he couldn’t just call back and say we settled things and were moving on, since we were blocking the ramp. “No,” he said, much calmer now, “it’s the law. I need to report this.”

While the officer collected our information I asked him―by now we were addressing each other by our first names―if I couldn’t just tell the officer that I didn’t want him to get a ticket since he was going SO SLOWLY when he hit me, neither of ours cars was damaged, and neither of us was hurt. “You would do that?” he asked.

It was so easy. The officer agreed that it was so minor no ticket needed to be given.  And the guy who had been screaming at me minutes earlier said, “Kathy, I’m sorry.” And two strangers hugged on the ramp and moved on to have, indeed, a very nice day.

Agree with one another. Live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

What opportunities did you take this week to bring peace to your world?

 

Kathy McGovern ©2017

 

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Pentecost Sequence, 2017 – Cycle A

5 June 2017

Reflecting on Acts 2: 1-11

At first we understood them not at all.

What were these utterances―

This glossolalia pouring off their tongues

And into the street

And into the world?

In time, though, our clogged ears opened.

We saw enemies begin to speak to one another

And those who were estranged

Join hands in friendship.

We saw hospitals built, and the sick healed.

We saw Francis and Clare, Vincent and Louise,

Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal,

Benedict and Dominic and Ignatius, Catherine and Jeanne and Elizabeth,

The contemplative Johns and the powerful Teresas,

And ourselves―yes, ourselves! ―Radically forgiving

Radically listening

Radically understanding

Those who don’t see things the way we do.

And then, like a mighty wind, a new heaven and earth began to take shape.

And from then on there were no “foreign” languages.

From then on we all spoke just one language

The Holy Spirit’s language

The first language, the only language

The language of Love.

 

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015