Monthly Archives: April 2019

The Resurrection of the Lord – Cycle C

20 April 2019

Reflecting on John 20: 1-9

It’s Easter, finally! Breathe it in. Smell it. Taste it. Touch it. It’s glorious, gracious Easter, arriving once again in spite of our imperfect attempts to prepare for it.

Ah, flowers. Take in that delicious Easter smell of last night’s orgy of joy­—the chrism, the Candle, the cries of joy from the Elect as we dunked them with the waters of the parted Red Sea and the blessed Jordan River.

It’s Easter, people! Get out your gorgeous Easter colors, your Easter hats and your white gloves, your Easter baskets and your Easter hearts, broken open by Good Friday, overflowing with joy at the news of the empty tomb.

Do you have timeless and beautiful Easter memories? If so, call them up. Thank you, Aunt Margaret, for those heavenly chocolate Easter eggs, with each of our names in gorgeous pink script.

Thank you, Sister Genevieve, for teaching us the music for Holy Week. Our eighth grade class led all the music for the entire Triduum. As always in my life, I was in the right place at the right time.

Thank you, kind parish of my youth. You opened the choir loft to children, and the indelible mark of mission and music has never left me.

Thank you, Egeria, you intrepid fourth-century nun. You traveled from Spain to the Holy Lands to see how the Christians in Jerusalem celebrated Easter. Your fascinating diary, discovered in 1884, is the reason our Holy Weeks are so stunningly beautiful.

Thank you, St. Mary Magdalene, disciple to the disciples. Your witness rings out to the farthest reaches of the earth: the grave is empty!

Death couldn’t hold the Author of Life. And it won’t hold you either.

What are your favorite Easter memories?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Cycle C

13 April 2019

Reflecting on Luke 22:14-23:56

How does Jesus begin his entrance into the city of his death? He’s been journeying toward Jerusalem for the last ten chapters of Luke’s gospel. This journey must have taken several weeks. Or was it years? Or was it his entire lifetime? Or did the journey begin with the creation of the world, and culminate on Calvary, and find its fullest meaning very close to Golgotha, in a new tomb that would only be inhabited for a moment?

Having made the journey for which he was born, for which he came into the world, Jesus stood outside the city and gave two disciples directions to a colt─-a peacetime animal—and instructed them to just untie it and bring it to him for his entrance into Jerusalem.

Imagine that. The owner of the tethered colt sees two people untying it, and leading it away. He asks, “Why are you taking my property?” They answer, as if this solves everything, “The Master has need of it.” And that’s that. The creature that will carry Jesus into the city that will murder him goes off with the disciples. The owner, apparently, understands perfectly. We can imagine him kneeling as he gives his colt to those in service of the Master.

In our lives, death and suffering, resurrection and life are always hovering. Jesus is always making his way to us, giving instructions of where to find what we “own” so that it can be given to him in order to bring life out of our deaths.

The warmth and rock-hard faith you’ve been withholding because others might see who you really are? You’ll need to give all that up. The Master has need of it.

In what ways is your life a heart-felt Hosanna?

Kathy McGovern c. 2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Cycle C

11 April 2019

Reflecting on Isaiah 43:16-21

Let’s gaze on the first reading (Isaiah 43: 16-21) for a moment. Every day we read of suicides of tormented young people who need this scripture so desperately.

Years ago I was stricken with a sudden staph infection.  At noon I was going to lunch with a friend. At 3pm I was in the emergency room, screaming. Months later, after five hospitalizations, the infection was cleared. But the shock of the experience left me badly shaken.

A psychologist-friend approached me with a new treatment for PTSD. Over the course of three months she worked with me, placing small electrodes in each palm. She invited me to remember the frightening experience of being helpless and in pain. The electrode in one hand pulsed mildly.

Then she invited me to think of my safe places, my loved places, and she gave the electrode in the other hand a stronger pulse. Over time the pulse of the electrode in that palm was increased to the point that it overrode the strength of the pulse in the other palm. She forged a path in my brain―a way through the Sea, Isaiah would say―that diminished the memory of the terror and increased my peaceful spirit.

Remember not the former things, we pray for those who have witnessed school shootings and other horrors. Behold, God is doing something new. Watch, and it will spring forth.

Isaiah knew about PTSD. He was speaking to the traumatized Jews who had witnessed the burning of Jerusalem and had been taken into exile. He begged them to let God’s liberating power override their terrible memories.

The God of “something new” can heal our memories. Hold fast to this powerful scripture.

What approach have you used to stop “pondering the things of the past”?

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015