Monthly Archives: June 2022

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

25 June 2022

Reflecting on Luke 8: 51-62

I used to just HATE the part in today’s gospel where Jesus tells his disciples to “let the dead bury their dead.” So, who WOULD bury their parents, if the sons were off being disciples of Jesus? My guess was that it was going to be their attentive daughters.

But then I learned this: those dusty archaeologists (bless them) who spend their lives digging in the scorching Mediterranean sun have given us a very comforting explanation of this MOST unsettling command in today’s Gospel.It’s simply this: the burial time for the dead in Jesus’ day was an entire year.  After burying the dead immediately—as we’ve seen in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ own death—the sons “sit shi’va” for seven days.

But then the corpse was left in the tomb for eleven months, after which the relatives re-buried the decomposed body by taking the bones and placing them in a burial box, an ossuary, and placing it back in the tomb, along with the bones of all the other family dead in various stages of burial.  The tomb continued to fill with the other dead from the family, buried for the first time, and then again a year later.

What a great relief to consider that Jesus was thinking of all those dead, buried with the other dead, whose death demands kept the sons in endless burial cycles. Let the dead bury their dead.  Be at peace.  My heavenly Father knows where all the bodies are buried.  In just a short time you will see what God has planned for My tomb, and yours, and theirs too. Death is not the last word. Just follow me. You’ll see.

What are the burial customs in your family?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Cycle C

18 June 2022

I got to be the Confirmation sponsor for my dear friend Sophia, age eight, last month. She made her First Communion at the same time. I don’t remember ever seeing anything as lovely as those beautiful young children, coming up to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. We all remember the thrill of that, don’t we? I’ve never forgotten it, and I still get a twinge of that same thrill every single time I line up to receive.

As a sponsor, I also got to attend, virtually, the STUNNINGLY beautiful preparation class. There was a point, while Kristen and Kate were explaining Real Presence, that I turned to my husband and said, “If they can just get this I believe they can have a happy life.” Understanding Real Presence is, in my own life experience, Ground Zero for understanding the whole rest of your life.

But the truth is that even the best prepared children, with the most creative and attentive parents, have had to face many scary obstacles to peace of heart that my generation did not. Pope Francis continues to beg older people to impart their humor and wisdom to younger generations, instead of all of their fears for the future.

As Sr. Genevieve Glen says, we invite Jesus into our bodies as a working guest. Work on us, Jesus. Strengthen us in the things that make us truly happy. Send your grace into the lives of every person who once believed in your Real Presence, and help them realize that, bidden or unbidden, you have been their Working Guest all these years.

Happy Feast Day, Church. Jesus is REALLY PRESENT with us.

How do you experience the REAL PRESENCE of Christ in your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2022

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle C

11 June 2022

I have a problem. For the first time in my wildly extroverted life, I find myself creating too much time alone. Why? Because I’m scrolling through the internet, reading every single soul-deadening news story. No wonder I’m on the verge of tears most of the time.

This temptation to overuse the internet ramped up considerably when I finally got a Smartphone. It’s such heaven to load up a bunch of books on my phone, and then sit out on the porch, reading ‘til my eyes fall out.

And now, the most addicting part of all: did you know you can watch movies on your phone? When did watching movies become the thing you do by yourself?

Driving alone, living alone, watching movies alone…it’s an increasingly seductive lifestyle. It’s killing our souls, and further degrading the environment, when everyone wants their own apartment, and the privacy of driving everywhere alone.

In the beginning, says John Kavanaugh, SJ, there was community. Community. You remember that. Sitting out on the porch on summer nights, drinking iced tea and enjoying conversation. You remember that. It’s when folks relax into the safe place of long friendships and share the highs and lows of the day.

I’m so glad I remember the deep joys of conversation, and so glad I have many touchpoints of community in my life. I can come back from the brink of isolation because I know that true redemption lies in community, not in knowing every single detail of every tragedy in the world.

In the beginning, there was the Trinity. Three Persons. It’s that eternal community, that eternal conversation, that created the world, and us in Their Image.

Are there places of isolation in  your life that are bad for your spirit?

Kathy McGovern ©2022.

A Pentecost Sequence

4 June 2022

Reflecting on Acts 2: 1-11

O Spirit,

We do not know how to pray as we should.

We pray, night after night,

Begging you to rouse your power

          And save.

Save Ukraine.

Save all refugees.

Save all who are caught fighting

In wars against their wills.

          Save us from ourselves.

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

Summer is near, with its heat and its drought.

Send us good summer.

Let us revel in your flowers         

And your delicious summer fruits.

          Let long, starry nights find home in us.

You, of Comforters the best,

Give fire to those in need of a renewed love for you,

And refreshing coolness to those

Whose resentments are destroying them.

       You, Spirit, are our hearts’ most welcome Guest.

Heal, oh Spirit, touch and heal

The widows and orphans of this war.

Restore and rebuild the wasted places.

And change us, from the inside out.

So that war shall end this day

          And forevermore.

How did your Pentecost Novena these past days build peace and hope in your heart?

Kathy McGovern ©2022