Monthly Archives: February 2019

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

16 February 2019

Reflecting on Luke 5: 1-11

Blessed are they who need help.

I’m on two crutches these days. I’m confident I’ll recover from my latest orthopedic challenge, but at this moment our house looks a bit like Lourdes, with crutches and walkers everywhere.

Accomplishing a trip to the grocery store is huge right now, with snow and ice covering the parking lot. Last week I was oh-so-gingerly tapping my way through the icy obstacle course. “Here,” said a sweet, Spanish-accented voice behind me, “let us help you.” Immediately a mom and her two kids came to my side, holding me on both sides until we reached the door.

“Isn’t your mom nice?” I asked. “Yes,” her son said proudly. “She’s really nice.” How blest I am.

But how to get back to the car? I hadn’t thought about that when I set out. I was two feet from the store when a kind man, with whom I’d struck up a conversation in the check-out line about our mutual disabilities, came up to me. “Oh, Miss Lady, let me help you.”

“But you’re on a cane! I don’t want you to slip.” “That’s okay,” he said, “we’ll hold each other up.” So a line of cars waited patiently as a crippled African-American helped an aging white lady across the slush.

His name is Mario. He’s had two toes amputated as a result of diabetes. He also has kidney disease and coronary heart disease. I learned this because, watching him limping toward the street, I asked if I could drive him the six blocks to his apartment.

“Be safe, Mario,” I called, as he got out of the car. “Miss Kathy, the Lord is my strength and my shield.”

Blessed are they who need help. They shall be filled.

What blessings have come to you because you were in need?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

12 February 2019

Reflecting on Luke 5: 1-11

What does it take to make an adult cry? For me, it’s always the experience of the nearness of God. Take those guys on the shore of the Galilee, for example. They fished that sea all night and came back with nothing. Just a word from Jesus, though, and the fish came racing into the nets, begging to be caught up in the great Mystery.

When Simon Peter saw this he broke down. Get away from me, Rabbi. You don’t know me, and once you do you won’t want anything to do with me. That’s usually everyone’s response when they have a God-sighting, a moment of such grace that, along with tears, comes the sense that someone else should have received this, someone better, someone worthier, someone who is…well…not us.

Don’t worry, says Jesus. This was just a practice catch. From now on you and I are going to be hauling in people, billions and billions of them. So don’t stress about your insufficiencies. My grace is sufficient.

You see, Jesus knows where all the fish are. He knows where to place the boats, way out in the deep. He knows where your wounds are, your losses, and your doubts. It’s never in the shallows, but in the deep memories, that sadness festers.

Do you feel like you’ve fished all night long for a job, for friends, for love, for healing? Jesus sees you. He knows where you are in the big Sea.  He wants to comfort you, to reel you into his net of communion and compassion. It’s never about being worthy. It’s about being welcomed.

Let Jesus catch you in his net. It’s the safest place in the sea.

In what ways have you experienced the nearness of God?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

2 February 2019

Reflecting on I Cor. 12: 31-13:13

If I wear all the right hats, or hate those who do, but don’t have love, it’s better I just not show up at all.

If I am so confident of my authority on a subject that no one can teach me anything, it’s better I sit this one out lest I end up stomping on love.

If I have the coolest insights into scripture, but don’t let people know how deeply I love them, they’ll despair that God is actually able to be found there.

If I love Jesus so much and people so little, I need to ask a loving person to convert me, because I’ve mistaken religion for something else entirely.

Love writes a note of thanks to the person who extends a thoughtful gesture, even if that person isn’t “important.” He or she is important to God.

Love listens, and remembers, and laughs at other people’s jokes.

Love doesn’t sneak tiny criticisms of others into the conversation, then stand back and enjoy the fallout.

Love really does rejoice when something wonderful happens to someone else. Love promotes other people.

Love is expansive, and forgiving, and gracious. Love doesn’t make people feel insecure or “less than.”

The sun may burn out, and the universe may expand into the Deep Chill. Heaven and earth may pass away; but love will remain forever.

How is the presence of love tangible in your parish?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

 

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015