Monthly Archives: June 2023

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

24 June 2023

Reflecting on Jer. 20: 10-13

Poor Jeremiah. He was a young man, called from his mother’s womb to speak what God was saying to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and neighboring towns. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t be stung by the ridicule of his peers.

I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!”

I don’t think there is anyone who can comfortably continue to say unpopular things while his or her own peers are rolling their eyes, and agreeing among themselves that some people are just not evolved enough to understand the more mature way of looking at things.

And how much more wrenching for a young man, living in an honor and shame culture. He suspects that his “friends” are talking about him behind his back:

All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. ‘Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.’

Why couldn’t he relax and enjoy the soothing comforts of the palace prophets, on the payroll to keep the populace from panicking about the rumblings coming from Babylon?

He was a vexation, with his frightening predictions of Nebuchadnezzar’s armies coming to destroy Jerusalem by fire, sword, and famine. No! said the false prophets. Nebuchadnezzar will soon lose interest in us and set his sights elsewhere! We are, after all, the Chosen People.

Jeremiah’s reply? If you are, indeed, the Chosen People, then stop worshiping idols, stop burning your children in sacrifice, and return to your original covenant with God.

But the strong pull of culture held sway. Jeremiah lived, the kings and most of the populace died. Have mercy on us, Lord.

What would Jeremiah say to us today?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

17 June 2023

Reflecting on Romans 5: 6-11

In her wonderful book God’s Word is Alive, Alice Camille reflects on those comforting words of St. Paul today,“While we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8-9).She recalls a Baptist service she attended where the minister offered a MOST unusual communion call:  This table is set for sinners. The righteous can all go home now. Will the sinners please come forward to share this food?

And, of course, every person in the church lined up to receive. Can you imagine being the one who went home? That would never happen, because we all know that we are sinners. (And even if a person was feeling particularly righteous, it would be too embarrassing to just walk out, wouldn’t it?)

You know, it fits beautifully with our own Eucharistic liturgy, where, just before receiving, we all pray, “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof; but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” None of us is worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. This is not something any of us can ever earn. In fact, to say so borders on blasphemy.

As Matt Maher’s hymn says so beautifully, “Lord, I need you, oh I need you. Every hour I  need you.” I have never been more aware of my fallen nature, and my need for Christ every minute of my life. I thank God for that awareness. As St. Paul points out, it is precisely because we were sinners that Christ came to save us. If we were righteous, there would be need of Jesus. He is our righteousness.

And we need him, oh we need him, every hour we need him.

How can you get in touch with your need for Christ?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – Cycle A

10 June 2023

Reflecting on John 6: 51-58

Last week I met the MOST beautiful couple. I had come to their house to pick up a book about the seminary in Juarez, which has been supported by many of you through the St. Jerome Mission, an outreach to Mexico which originated through many churches in Denver.

From the moment they opened the door they flooded me with kisses. He’s American, she’s from Juarez, but they both share that immense joy that should come when Catholics meet other Catholics. The president of the seminary in Juarez (and the author of the book I’d come to get) is a mutual friend of both or ours, and that’s all it took for them to keep hugging and kissing me.

And here! Here are the pictures of their Wedding Mass three years ago! And here are their Confirmations! And their new baby’s Baptism! And here, at the center  of the room, were two First Communion pictures, his from  a big church in Denver, hers from a small church in Juarez. Those two photos hold the place of honor in their home. The day of their First Communions remains the most important day of their lives.

Thinking about it now, I realize that’s true for me too. I’m sure that the couple I met would say the birth of their child is the most joyful day of their lives, but the day any of us met Jesus in his Consecrated Bread and Precious Blood was the most important day of our lives. We are what we eat and drink, and the more we eat and drink of the Eucharist, the more deeply we become one with Christ.

So Happy Feast Day, Church! Let the hugging and kissing begin.

How has the Eucharist caused you to become one with the heart and mind of Christ?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle A

3 June 2023

Reflecting on John 3: 16-18

A lot of times, we have a sense that the things we do that make us feel good aren’t actually good for us. Isolation is one of those things that feels good for a while. There is something increasingly seductive about staying at home with a book, or with endless Netflix movies.

Today we can block any calls we don’t want. We have cameras to assure we never have to answer the door. Of course, the longer we isolate, the more we crave it. That, we secretly know, is not good for us.

But yesterday I heard about my friend Ginny (96) from some of her family members. After her beloved husband died, we all held our breath, wondering how she would ever live without him. The adjustment was painful, but made bearable by the warm love of the many, many friends she and Bill cultivated through their long marriage.

Ginny could have withdrawn, I guess. But instead, she responded to the grace of family and friends. Every night, she hosts “happy hour” with a different set of friends. Ginny knows what we all secretly know inside: it is not good for us to be alone.

Today’s feast is actually a mandate for all of us: Just as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in relationship, we exist in relationship with each other. When we talk to that stranger on the plane, or make that phone call we’ve put off, or get over to the school and volunteer to read to the kids, we are acting as agents of the Holy Trinity.

Warm relationships are a big jigsaw puzzle. Are you the missing piece? Let the Holy Trinity show the way.

What relationships do you miss? How will you restore them?

Kathy McGovern ©2023