Monthly Archives: May 2024

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle B

25 May 2024

Reflecting on Matthew 28:16-20

I’ve always liked this feast. I love thinking of the ways that I am more than just one person in my life, that all of my different titles represent vital pieces of my identity. I am, for example, Ben’s wife, my parents’ daughter, my siblings’ sister, my cousins’ cousin, my nieces and nephews’ aunt. I am all of those titles, and I’m probably a little different with each of my beloved relatives.

I am also a friend, a student, a teacher, a reader, a writer, and a parishioner. I love being all those things. I can’t imagine a happy life without any one of them.

The earliest Christians—as early as Paul himself, whose profound transformation took place sometime in the mid-40s—were just praying and acting on instinct. There was no catechism, no papal decree to instruct them in what to believe. Paul, Silas, and Barnabas traveled thousands of miles, sailing dangerous waters in rickety boats, walking over treacherous terrain (complete with snakes, as Paul found out at Malta) in order to preach one thing: Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and raised, and living in us through the Holy Spirit.

It wasn’t a hard leap for the New Testament writers to move towards the understanding of God as Three. They intimately knew the Father through their lives steeped in the stories of the Old Testament. They were dedicated to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they depended every day on the comfort and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

It just makes sense that the God in whose image we are created would be more than one Person. We all are.

Which Person of the Trinity do you feel closest to at this point in your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2024

A Pentecost Sequence – Cycle B

18 May 2024

Reflecting on Acts 2: 1-11

Lord, send out your Spirit.

How else can we pray?

There is so much pain abroad,

And in our hearts today.

Lord, send our Your Spirit.

Enlarge our tents and hearts.

Nudge us to more clearly see

The Body’s many parts.

Lord, send our Your Spirit.

Bring peace where there’s despair.

Heal us, Spirit, hold us tight.

Help us see You there.

There where doctors heal the sick,

There where those estranged

Join hands in friendship and resolve

To form a world that’s changed.

Changed in hearts, and set on fire.

Changed in wisdom too.

Changed to lead, and to inspire.

To make the world anew.

Lord, send out your Spirit.

Bring health and hope to birth.

Indwell in us, empower us.

Renew the face of the earth.

What prayers for the world do you entrust to the Holy Spirit today?

Kathy McGovern ©2024

The Ascension of the Lord – Cycle B

11 May 2024

Reflecting on Ephesians 1: 17-23

I want that Ephesians reading plastered on the dashboard of my car, and taped to my computer screen. Yes, yes, yes, I beg for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.

I apologize for this sad story on the happy event of Mother’s Day. Many of us recently suffered the terrible loss of the 8-year-old granddaughter of a beloved friend as a result of a terrible car crash. We prayed so hard for her, that she would come out of the medically-induced coma they placed her in after she and her mom were hit by a motorcyclist going 100 mph.

After her death I cried out to the Wisdom figures in my life (I have many of them, thank God). I didn’t care how inappropriate it was for me to call each of them at home, at dinner time. I was in deep despair. I needed the wisdom of the people I know who have spent their lives in prayerful reflection, and face-to-face relationship with those who are suffering.

Their answers were comforting, and powerful. Mostly they were silent, pondering the terrible sadness, waiting to experience God’s mysterious presence during God’s seeming absence.

I hope you have some Wisdom figures in your life. I hope you have some people who witness to the fruit of a lifetime of prayerful listening. I hope you have a priest who could be brave enough to, at a distance of 1500 miles,  stay on the phone and pray with the grieving parents as they walked to the surgical room, where their daughter’s organs were harvested in order to greatly enhance the lives of many, many children.

Our Pentecost novena begins today. Let all the readers around the country pray together for the knowledge of God. O Jesus, we need you. Oh, how we need you.

Please pray for my friend Lori as she lives this terrible tragedy.

Kathy McGovern ©2024

Sixth Sunday of Easter – Cycle B

4 May 2024

Reflecting on Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48

If you’ve attended a First Communin Mass in certain (but not all) dioceses in the past several years, you may have been surprised to see the young children, after receiving First Eucharist, also receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.

At first, this seems totally out of place. Isn’t Confirmation a sacrament for older kids, say, 7th or 8th graders? Isn’t it the sacrament that seals the promises the parents made for their child at Baptism? Isn’t it the opportunity for older children to make a more mature declaration of their own faith?

Well, it evolved that way, but the first reading today gives us the scriptural evidence that Baptism and Confirmation were never meant to be separated. Here in Acts 10 (it’s good to read the whole chapter to get a better sense of the way the story unfolds) we read of Peter’s MOST unorthodox visit to the Gentile Cornelius.

Jews did not associate or visit with Gentiles, yet here is Simon Peter walking into Cornelius’ home and cordially greeting him and all his Gentile friends. Most shocking of all, as Peter is speaking to them of Jesus, they begin singing and speaking in tongues! In the infant days of the Church, from Pentecost on, a sure sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit was glossolalia.

At this, Peter realizes that if they’ve already received the Holy Spirit, they should be baptized as well. Two chapters earlier, in 8:14-18, there is a huge conversion to Christ in Samaria. Since so many have been baptized, Peter and John must come up to lay hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit immediately. Since the earliest Christians (up to 90AD) didn’t give Eucharist to children (that we know of), we can assume that, up to the 13th century, children received all three initiation sacraments at their baptism.

Pray for all children receiving these two sacraments this spring

Looking back, how did you experience your own Confirmation?

Kathy McGovern ©2024