Blog & Pastor Letters

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

06-09-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Madison Hayes

In today’s readings, we are reminded of the profound consequences of the first disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, lured by the serpent’s cunning, freely chose to eat from the tree that God had forbidden. Their excuses and evasion of responsibility reveal the human tendency to shirk accountability, yet both ultimately admit, “So I ate it.”

The immediate result of their disobedience was the awareness of their nakedness. This spiritual “nakedness” goes beyond physical exposure; it signifies a radical change in human nature known as “original sin,” predisposing us to actual sin. However, all is not lost. Despite their fall, God did not abandon humanity. Instead, He called them, heralding the coming victory over evil and the restoration from their fall — the “first Gospel.”

God’s remedy for our spiritual nakedness comes with the call for us to freely take responsibility for the consequences of sin. Even though God knew what had transpired, He asked for a verbal accounting. This highlights the importance of confessing our sins, exposing ourselves to Him and taking responsibility in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Church preserves this moment in the Garden, allowing us to confess, detest, resolve not to repeat, and receive forgiveness. Consider making this a regular practice in your life.

Suffering is presented not as a punishment but as a remedy. The consequences of sin, “Because you have done this,” may seem merely consequential, but God’s action is remedial. Trusting in His word, we recognize that “with the Lord is kindness and plenteous redemption.” Suffering, in the broader context of our second reading, has redemptive value.

In Paul’s letter, we see the new covenant in the midst of the old, with the suffering righteous of the Old Covenant and Jesus enduring suffering for others. The will of God, not our will, calls us to choose to suffer for the sake of the kingdom. As brothers and sisters in Christ, doing the will of God binds us together, and our great dignity as baptized individuals lies in offering our suffering as a sacrifice.

Even in the Gospel, where the crowd gathered, making it impossible to eat, we see the example of sacrifice. The pain of hunger, reminiscent of the curse, is transformed by Christ, who feeds us with the finest wheat and places us in His presence. Therefore, we are not to be discouraged, for through our baptismal priesthood, we can offer our suffering as a sacrifice for the kingdom of God.

May we embrace the call to repentance, confession, and the redemptive value of suffering, recognizing the transformative power of God’s mercy in our lives.