Monthly Archives: November 2020

Solemnity of Christ the King

21 November 2020

Reflecting on Matthew 25: 31-46

Christ my King, these are the things I’ve seen lately that brought your parable of the Last Judgment to my mind:

I saw a neighborhood observe The Howl every night at 8pm for seven months. THANK YOU, healthcare workers and First Responders.

On Halloween I saw the grown-ups in that same neighborhood dancing in the street to The Monster Mash as the ghosts and goblins from our zip code, traumatized by a pandemic that’s kept them away from friends and teachers, delightedly raced up every sidewalk, picking up candy and treats, waving and saying THANK YOU.

At Starbucks the other day I saw a postal worker walk by, and those of us sitting outside standing and cheering for him. THANK YOU.

At the grocery store I saw one of the clerks step out from behind his register and call, “Somebody please help that man. He looks like he’s in pain.” And immediately an elderly man walking on crutches, trying to navigate a cart into the checkout lane, was surrounded by staff and customers, all reaching out to make life easier for him. THANK YOU.

Christ, my King, they didn’t know it, but they did each of these things for you. But this week I also saw the effects of greed and power and selfishness and “me first-ness” wreak heartbreak and devastation all over the globe. We did that to you, oh Jesus. You should have said something. You should have said, “Hey! That’s me you’re humiliating, me whose work you are denigrating, me whose life you are threatening.” You should have said something, Jesus. We just didn’t see you.

Where have you seen Christ in his “most distressing disguise” recently?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

14 November 2020

Reflecting on Matthew 25: 14-30

One of the interesting things about not having children of your own is that it frees you up to admire the parenting practices of all your friends. And here’s the most touching part. Watching the lucky children of my friends now parenting their own kids is like watching a home movie on fast forward. The next generation is getting all the love and warmth and ingenious parenting that they themselves received. They are giving back the five coins they received, and the yield is stunning.

My friend Zeenat grew up in the housing projects in Denver. She had a troubled home life, but the Catholic school system invested in her and gave her everything she needed to succeed. She took those two coins and is now a spokeswoman for several charities who serve at-risk children.

We’ve heard the inspiring stories of teenagers who sleep on the bus because they have no home. They show up at school, homework done and ready to participate in theater and sports after school. And yes, a few of them have actually landed at Harvard. That’s the one coin that got invested and made a fortune.

Think back on your own life. What investment was made in you? Did you have attentive parents? Conscientious teachers? A school system that supported your talents?

By far the greatest number of coins given us is our baptism. Having been welcomed into the communion of saints, living and dead, we are never alone a day of our lives. And, by building faith friendships—like this one, come to think of it—we participate in the building of the Kingdom of God. The perfect investment indeed.

What investment made in you as a child has borne abundant fruit?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

7 November 2020

Reflecting on Matthew 25: 1-13

Does it ever work to just avoid knowing stuff? A friend of mine, a history professor, wonders if future generations will look at the abortion procedures of this country in our lifetimes and say to us, “And you KNEW?” Certainly the generation has already been born that looks at the devastations of climate change and says, “And you KNEW? You had all those decades of warning, and THIS is what you’re leaving us?”

We can see it in our own aging relatives, or maybe ourselves. I’m thinking of the ones who would never deny themselves that cigarette, that alcohol, that all-you-can-eat buffet. We knew. Of course we knew. We’ve known since the early 1960s the devastations on the body that come from a lifetime of immediate gratification. Yet, like those foolish virgins, we couldn’t let ourselves imagine the day when we would need to have been extra vigilant in the past in order to greet the Bridegroom tonight.

We thought we had more time. We thought our lungs and our livers and our waistlines would somehow heal themselves. We thought that “all those smart kids” would come up with ways to heal our rivers and glaciers and wildlife. Maybe one of those smart kids never saw the light of day.

Certainly the most urgent warning is this: get to know Jesus Christ. Pick up the last few chapters of Matthew’s gospel, before Advent comes and we don’t come back to it for three years.

If we don’t exercise today we won’t have the flexibility to heal from the inevitable ravages of aging. If we don’t work on intimacy with Jesus today, how will we recognize him when he comes for us tomorrow?

What (or Who) are you avoiding knowing?

Kathy McGovern ©2020