Monthly Archives: July 2019

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

28 July 2019

Reflecting on Lk. 12: 13-21

All I need to know in life I learned in catechism class in the fifties. Take prayer, for example. I’m positive that the strong building blocks of a prayerful life were placed for us in fifth grade, when Sister Genevieve taught us the four easy-to-remember steps of prayer.

“Just think of what happens at Mass,” she said, writing on the board in that gorgeous nun-cursive that must have been a requirement for admission to the Sisters of Loretto:

Confess Your Failings During the Week (Confiteor)

Glorify God for all the Beauty in the World (Gloria)

Ask God  for What you Need (Petitions)

Give Thanks to God  in all Things (Eucharist)

That’s it. Every night, look back on the day and do an examination of conscience. It doesn’t take long; the ways we’ve fallen short during the day tend to sit on our hearts until we bring them to light anyway.

Next, give glory to God for all the ways God’s goodness abounds. I usually start with remembering something beautiful in nature. Petition is the easy one, and the one that probably gets done before the first two most days. If you’ve ever landed on your parish prayer list you know the power of petition.

Thanksgiving is easy too, and of course that’s what “Eucharist” means. Always be thankful, and you’ll always be filled.

Which of the four steps comes the most naturally to you?

Kathy McGovern © 2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

21 July 2019

Reflecting on Lk. 10: 38-42

Don’t you feel sorry for Martha? I wish we knew what she did after Jesus advised her that she was “anxious and worried about many things.” Wouldn’t it be great to know that she turned off the burners on the stove and sat right down?

That, of course, begs the question, “Well, if Mary and the other disciples have chosen the better part, and if Martha should abandon dinner and sit and learn from the Teacher too, who IS going to make dinner?”

I’ve sort of harrumphed at this story, noting how hungry everyone would be in a few hours if no one was fixing dinner. But Jesus fixes his gaze on me and says, “Stop. Pay attention to what really happened here. Martha was fussing and fuming because Mary wasn’t doing what a woman is supposed to do. She was too devoted to me, too in love with the kingdom of God. She was sitting at my feet because that’s exactly where I desired her and Martha to be. Remember the scriptures. If you seek me you’ll find me if you seek me with all of your heart I will be found by you (Dt. 4:29).

But that’s not all that Jesus wants us to learn. St. Luke loves stories about women and about meals. During these long weeks of Ordinary Time we’ll hear many stories about both, since we’re reading Luke all year. Don’t miss this one. It’s about the discipleship of equals, of course. Mary and Martha have as much right to the Kingdom as do the male disciples. But looking deeper we can glimpse Luke’s greatest theme of all: Jesus is the MEAL. Take and eat.

How is the Eucharist drawing  you closer to the most important things in your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

14 July 2019

Reflecting on Dt. 30: 10-14

How do we begin to respond to the many urgent charity requests in our mail every week?

Well, that gorgeous text from Deuteronomy (30:10-14) hints that it’s not so overwhelming that we should say, “Oh, the ways to help are too mysterious and remote for us. We’re going to hide and pretend we don’t know.”

My current favorite poet, Lin-Manuel Miranda, posts at least one photograph every week of some event somewhere which should touch us and break our hearts. Sometimes the caption is This happened today. Don’t look away.

But of course I do look away, often, because sometimes looking is just too terrible. But, yes, that little voice inside compels me to know what is already in my mouth and in my heart. I know what I can do, the action I can take, to help someone, somewhere.  I have only to carry it out.

Last year I took the MOST fantastic class on migration at our parish. It was educational and utterly inspiring. But as we were all packing up our materials, our instructor Ann said, “Wait a minute. Nobody leaves until you’ve pledged to an action that you will take.” Gulp. You mean I actually have to DO something? Can’t I just read and watch sad videos? Isn’t being educated on migration issues enough? Her emphatic “no” alerted me that I had encountered someone who was going to actually check my homework, actually gently insist that the cost of the class is discipleship.

I’ll let Lin-Manuel have the last words: “You cannot let all the world’s tragedies into your heart. You’ll drown. But the ones you do let in should count. Let them manifest action.”

Is there a good work your heart and your mouth know you should do?

Kathy McGovern ©2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

7 July 2019

It’s been a beautiful summer holiday in Colorado.  Sometimes it takes two or three days to just wind down enough to notice you’re on vacation. We’ve spent every possible moment up in the mountains, or swimming at the neighborhood pool, or biking through any of Colorado’s refreshing bike paths.

America the Beautiful was written here.  I look to the west and see the purple mountain majesties that have brought me to prayer every morning of my life.

It’s hard to live in a constant state of gratitude and awe.  My sister is the best you’ve ever seen.  We’ll be driving along the San Diego harbor―she lives in that spectacular city―and she’ll stop the car to make sure we are all thanking God for the water, and the ships, and the seagulls.  And it turns out we are.

This land is our land, from the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters.  How blessed we are.  How grateful we are.

Our back yard, blessedly taken over by Farmyard, CSA. several years ago, is already bursting with onions.  The tomatoes will be ready for spaghetti sauce in about five weeks.  I may have to escape sometime in September if the three rows of zucchini get organized enough to break down our back door.

I notice that the volunteers who garden the twenty yards that produce the food that feeds over one hundred people a week are growing older, slower, a bit more tired.  The harvest is astonishing, overwhelming, more than enough to feed the world.  The laborers are few.  I guess it’s time for me to go pull some weeds.

I hope everyone had a blessed Independence Day.

How did you celebrate the holiday?

Kathy McGovern c. 2019

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015