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Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

2 September 2023

Reflecting on Jeremiah 20:7-9

In the forty years I’ve known Mary, I doubt we’ve ever had a single conversation that didn’t center around her intense love for her two sons, just babies when we met.

She built a deep awareness of God into their DNA. She read bible stories at bedtime. She reminded them that their prodigious sports, musical, and academic achievements reflected the glory of God, alive in them.

Their baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations were beautifully celebrated, with big parties after each one. Their baptismal candles were saved, and lit on their anniversary days.

Jason, in particular, was a sensitive child. With a genius IQ, even the top schools had trouble keeping him engaged. He finally settled on Medical and Law degrees from Harvard. The celebration of his wedding Mass to beautiful, joyful Melanie was one of the most glorious occasions I can remember.

He was an expert and experienced hiker. He and Melanie hiked mountains all over the U.S. and Europe. But last week, at a height of fifty feet at Devil’s Lake Park in Wisconsin, Mary’s kind, brilliant son fell to his death after slipping on a wet rock. Life will never be the same.

Mary and Dave did everything right. Their boys grew up with lots of sunshine, lots of exercise, lots of music, lots of healthy, nutritious food. Immediately, my thoughts turned to Jeremiah: You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped.

But this is what faithful, heartbroken Mary says: Do I feel duped? Never. God has blessed me all my life. This was a tragic accident. Christ was comforting Jason during those last, terrible moments.

During his lifetime, the prophet Jeremiah never knew the indwelling presence of Christ. But it’s that presence that hold us tight today.

How has your faith strengthened you during terrible loss?

Kathy McGovern ©2023

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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