Monthly Archives: June 2020

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

20 June 2020

Reflecting on Matthew 10: 26-33

If you spend much time in the company of Jesuits who lived in Latin America in the eighties and nineties, it won’t be long before you hear the name Mev Puleo. I’ve noticed that she is the dearest friend, the most beloved companion of the Jesuits who were alive and living in Central and South America during those wrenching years of war and struggle.

She was, by all accounts, a radiantly joyful young American woman whose life changed on a bus ride, much like that world-changing train ride St. Teresa of Calcutta took in 1946. Both women looked out a window—Mev as a teenager on a family trip to Brazil in 1977, Mother Teresa traveling from Calcutta to Darjeeling —and observed the staggering distance between the world of the privileged and those who never had a chance.

Mev lived and worked as a photojournalist in El Salvador, Haiti and Brazil. She documented, from the eloquent silence of her camera, the daily courage and kindness of those who are poor, and the malevolent oppression of those who prey upon them.

She spoke in the light what she witnessed in the dark. She even, of all terrifying things, once witnessed a rape in progress. She drove her old Volkswagen up to the sidewalk and shone her headlights right onto the scene. The rapist hollered for her to leave, and when she held fast, he left instead.

Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed. She used her camera to announce far and wide the atrocities suffered by the “least” at the hands of the “greatest.” If this gospel passage (Matthew 10:26-33) brings to mind some times when you held your tongue when someone told a racist joke, take it as a nudge from the Holy Spirit to be more courageous next time.

How will you proclaim from the housetops what God has whispered in your heart?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

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

14 June 2020

Reflecting on John 6: 51-58

This will be the strangest celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ—more familiar to most of us as Corpus Christi—in my lifetime.

Separated from our communities of worship, most of us are connecting through the excellent virtual Masses our parishes are providing. A small percentage of us are venturing back to the churches that are open, wearing masks and keeping our distance.

But keeping our distance from the Eucharist is an oxymoron. Draw near to me, says Jesus. Remain in me. But how does one draw close to the Body and Blood of Christ when one is home, worshiping from the bedroom?

I’ve been thinking a lot about hummingbirds during this quarantine. Think of the effort it takes for the hummingbird to extract nectar from a flower. It must hover in mid-air, flapping its wings at rates up to 80 flaps a second. And it remains in that posture, using every ounce of its strength, until it has all the sugars it needs to fuel its rapid flight.

Are you hovering near Jesus as you watch the thousands of young people who are peacefully begging for real change? Drink from the life-giving nectar of their thundering calls for conversion of heart.

Are you using this sacred time at home to draw near to spiritual reading you may have neglected in the past? There is an explosion of magnificent Catholic writing all over the ‘net, and I’ll bet your own library at home has some great books—maybe something of St. Augustine, or C.S. Lewis—you haven’t discovered yet.

We aren’t together in our churches quite yet, but we remain in the Body. Hover close, and drink.

How are you enriching your spiritual life during this quarantine?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Cycle A

6 June 2020

Reflecting on 2 Corinthians 13: 11-13

One of the many touching things I’ve learned through the years of writing this weekly column is how seriously Christians take the gift of their faith. It’s different these days, I think. Catholics who have withstood the many horrible sexual abuse scandals, and financial scandals, that have staggered faith and hardened hearts through the past decades are not just holding on because their parents baptized them as babies.

They hold on because they read, and pray, and are constantly learning about the faith they love. When we arrive at the Solemnity of the Trinity, for example, I’m always inspired by the deep and intuitive reflection in which today’s Catholics have invested in order to come to their own understanding of what it all means.

For example, if you asked any adult Christian what the first part of that closing blessing St. Paul offers in today’s second reading—“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ”—means to them, you’ll get a rich reflection on the ways grace has directed their lives.

The second half of the blessing—“the love of God”—is probably the easiest, because all Christians can tell you how the love of God is living and active in their lives.

The third part of the Trinitarian formula—”and the fellowship of the Spirit”—will be easy too, especially since we are smack in the post-Pentecost octave. I can’t imagine active Christians who can’t relate the ways in which the Holy Spirit lives in their hearts and spirits.

We don’t need theological explanations for what we’ve experienced through lifetimes of prayer and attentiveness to the liturgy and scripture. Grace, and love, and intimacy. That’s the meaning of the Trinity.

Why do you think one of the Persons of the Trinity might attract you more than the Others?

Kathy McGovern ©2020