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Reflection on the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted on June 9, 2024, by Mary Ann McGivern SL

Pity the poor snake. The other scriptural account of creation says God saw it, and it was good. It seems that Scripture writers had their own opinions and prejudices, not to mention how they threw Eve under the bus. Be that as it may, it took me to that line in the Easter Exultet, “Oh, happy fault to have merited such a Redeemer.” Really, an astonishing view of sin, that because of sin, God sent Jesus the son. 

Staying with the notion of sin, choices for self and against the common good abound. Hence the prayer, “Out of the depths I cry unto You.” I say that prayer at wakes always, standing in front of the open casket. Probably you do, too. If God were to mark iniquities, none of us would remain standing. 

Paul carries this thought forward, reminding us that grace abounds. We read the morning news, and it does not feel full of that abounding grace. But columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote this past Dec. 30 that 2023 may have been the best year in humanity’s history. He said, “Just about the worst calamity that can befall a human is to lose a child, and historically, almost half of children worldwide died before they reached the age of 15. That share has declined steadily since the 19th century, and the United Nations Population Division projects that in 2023 a record low was reached in global child mortality, with just 3.6 percent of newborns dying by the age of 5.

“That’s the lowest such figure in human history. It still means that about 4.9 million children died this year — but that’s a million fewer than died as recently as 2016.”

Kristof’s column helps me see that we live in multiple realities.We have a foot in the reality of cruelty – war, torture, racism, anti-Semitism, just plain old meanness – that makes life miserable for many. Another reality of science gone awry can be seen in nuclear weapons and global warming. I have to give up the foot metaphor; we don’t have enough feet. But we live in these realities. There is also the reality Kristof writes about, of medical advances that save children’s lives and our own. There are realities of local politics and raising children. No wonder the world seems crazy to us. There is the fundamental reality of our own experiences of doing good — teaching and boycotting grapes and paying just wages., loving one another. And there is the reality of our faith in God’s mercy. 

Jesus promises that whoever does the will of God is his brother and sister and mother. This promise is also our lived reality. We are Jesus’ mother and sister and brother. Grace abounds.


Mary Ann McGivern SL

Mary Ann recently moved from St. Louis to the Loretto Motherhouse in Kentucky. She is searching for entry points into Marian County, Ky., civic life — funding the day care center, improving jail services, helping stop a pipeline through Bernheim Forest. She is on the roster of homilists at Loretto Chapel’s Sunday Communion service. Mary Ann has been a Sister of Loretto since 1960.