Monthly Archives: June 2021

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

26 June 2021

Reflecting on Psalm 30:2,4,5-6,11,12,13

Every time that refrain for the Responsorial Psalm comes up in the lectionary—I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me—I find myself singing it all week. I hope you do, too. I hope you feel rescued.

Just in case you don’t, practice this for a week. Several times a day, notice how you were rescued. Maybe you delayed changing lanes for a second, and then saw that speeding car come tearing down the lane into which you nearly drove.

Maybe you were out for your walk and happened to notice the crack in the sidewalk that wasn’t there yesterday, just before you went careening into it. Maybe you had something gossip-y and mean on the tip of your tongue, and you stopped just before spitting it out into the world. Good for you. You grabbed God’s grace, and you were rescued.

Sometimes the very thing that looks like failure ends up being rescue. Aren’t you glad you DIDN’T end up with your junior-high girlfriend/boyfriend? (But apologies to those who did. Congratulations!)

It causes me to tremble when I think of all the things, terrible or just inconvenient, from which God has rescued me. (Someday I’ll regale you with my medical history.) And you know what? All of those Rescues have built up a history of faith in me, so that when the day comes when, for any reason, I am beyond rescue, I’ll remember that the same God who was faithful to me in the past will be faithful to me as I pass into the valley of the shadow of death.

That’s where the greatest rescue of all is waiting for each of us.

What is your best story about being rescued? Tell someone today. It builds a reservoir of faith.

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

19 June 2021

Reflecting on Job 38: 1,8-11

We get just a smidgen of JOB this week, but it’s enough to give us a glimpse into what is surely the most beautiful hymn to nature in all literature. If you haven’t read the last chapters of JOB, do yourself a huge favor. Take your bible to the beach, or the mountains, or your favorite place to bird-watch, or, YES, the ZOO this summer, or just keep it handy as you watch any of the stunning David Attenborough nature films. Read chapters 38-42 under the stars, with a flashlight, while camping this summer.

If you don’t burst into a few verses of “How Great Thou Art” as you read about how God takes care of each star in the heavens, and every tiny sea creature, stop and read it again, slowly. It will slow your pulse, and relax your breathing.

This is the section where God finally shows up to answer JOB’S challenge. And, by the way, where do we possibly get the phrase The patience of JOB? He’s roaringly impatient through the entire book, and who can blame him? If you think you’ve had a bad day—and if you did, please accept my heartfelt condolences—remember that JOB lost his crops, his workers, and all his children on the same day.

It’s an ancient folktale, of course, but the very best parts are at the end, when God lets JOB know that God’s been with him all along. And here’s the comforting part: God shows up in the whirlwind, in the chaos, in the unknowing, in the storm at sea. Are you feeling tossed and thrown out of the boat? Lucky you. That’s where God lives.

Can you sense God’s presence in your own challenges?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

12 June 2021

Reflecting on Ezekiel 17:22-24

This weekend, as I read about the shoot taken from the mighty cedar and planted on the mountain heights of Israel, I find myself thinking about the historic north Denver church where my husband Ben leads the choir on Sundays.

If you were baptized in Denver between 1907 and 1940, there’s a thirty percent chance you were baptized at Annunciation Parish. The Irish, Italians, and Germans built the church, and filled its grade school and high school. Those were the glory years, when the immigrant Church packed the pews, and the mighty shoot of deep religious faith was planted in Denver, 5280 feet up above sea level.

Later, devout African Americans put down roots in the parish, and today a robust Hispanic community fills the Church. The neighborhood is changing again, and the young, upwardly mobile Anglos walking by the church are starting to be lured into stepping inside. Thank you, Capuchin priests!

Imagine this: there is one singer in this tiny eight-person choir who has sung in the choir since the late seventies. For over forty years, Ron Vigil has set his alarm, dressed, and arrived to sing for Mass.

For many years, under the leadership of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, the choir was massive, and music soared to the heights of the Gothic ceiling. In the late eighties, in fact, Hollywood came calling, and filmed many episodes of The Father Dowling Mysteries there. Ron can pull up the episodes that featured the choir and play it for you, if you’d like.

Faith can take root from the mightiest tree, or the tiniest mustard seed. The task, though, is to stay faithful. How else can later generations find shade beneath your branches?

From which shoot has your own faith been nourished?

Kathy McGovern ©2021

The Body and Blood of Christ – Cycle B

6 June 2021

I love to read advice columns, mostly for the letters. It’s eye-opening to read the situations in which so many people live. The saddest thing for me is that I have the answer to every problem I’ve read, and it’s so easy: Christ, and the Eucharist.

I wonder if those who write in to advice columns have been on too many dating sites, with their romantic images of togetherness. Foot massages. Date nights. Long walks on the beach. Those of us who have been married forever—the greatest blessing on earth, by the way—howl at these superficial offerings.

A foot rub? Every night my husband lovingly straps my nerve-damaged foot in a big ugly tool he pulled out of the garage. He’s rigged it so the heavy part drops as an anchor over the bed, while the cord wraps around my ankle and pulls it away from the nerve that is screaming. The relief is tremendous. Romantic? More than words can say.

He does this, day after day, because as a child he trained his brain to recognize Christ, really present in the consecrated Bread and Wine. Then he trained his brain to recognize Christ in every person God brings into his life.,

You know that plaque that says Get you somebody who looks at you the way your dog looks at you? Here’s my best marriage advice, or just best advice in general:

Get you somebody who sees Christ in you. That’s where heaven and earth meet. That’s the answer to every problem.

St. Teresa of Calcutta challenged us to see Christ in his most distressing disguise. You don’t want to miss him. Happy Feast Day, Church.

How will you work to see Christ in the person you most dislike?

Kathy McGovern ©2021