Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B
Reflecting on Mark 8:35
Many years ago I was blessed to come under the nurturing mentorship of the most well-known liturgical musician in our region. Kathy Faulkner was a legend in the years after the Council. It was she who brought the quality music of the renewal into our archdiocese, she who taught at the liturgical conferences, she who never lost energy or passion for training up prayerful and educated musicians for worship in the Church.
Through many decades I watched her tirelessly bring in new music, and we all delighted in her intuitive ability to find the perfect hymns for the scripture readings, year after year after year.
She and her husband Tom, also a musician, held late-night rehearsals in their big old house on an historic, leafy street. The vibrant sounds of instruments and voices, thrilling to the beautiful new liturgical music of the 80s and 90s, wafted out into the neighborhood.
The big house is gone now, as are the young musicians singing around her piano. Kathy, long a widow, now lives in a small room in a nursing home. Her walls are empty, save a framed papal blessing, and a single scripture quote: Seek ye first the kingdom of God.
The stroke hasn’t affected her memory of a thousand hymns. Church choirs that visit the nursing home wonder at the woman in the first row, singing her heart out, who needs no music with which to follow along. She has hidden the words in her heart.
It might look like she lost everything by giving her life to Jesus. But one minute in her joyful presence reminds visitors that it was in losing her life that she found it.
What invitation from Jesus calls you to a more joyful life?
Kathy McGovern ©2018
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