Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Denise Curry, SNDdeN

Jun 19, 2024 | Gospel Reflections

June 23, 2024

Mark 4: 35-41

My childhood home was on Divinity Street. And on our block lived a family with 12 children: there were 6 girls and 5 boys. Then another boy came along, so they called him Stephen because Stephen made it even. Except for Steven, we didn’t know how the other names were appropriated.

But the whole world knows how John the Baptist got his name. And the name was so perfect that Zechariah began speaking again!  Clearly, naming is a powerful act, full of love, identity, and hope.

From the very beginning, schools make a big thing of children’s names. Kids immediately learn to recognize their name. They sing and clap their names, and spend time spelling, writing and decorating their names even in upper grades. Remember the joy of hearing your name because you won a prize or made the honor roll!

Some of us enjoy having several names. Our families, school chums, new acquaintances, and co-workers may all have different versions of our names.  And we probably like them all.  Have you heard God call your name?

We use this expression to describe our strong inclination to a religious vocation, marriage, profession or lifestyle.  And if, let’s say 50-60 years later, we are still committed, we can say that it was an incontrovertible call — whether you felt the call or actually heard it.

Some few, hear God call them by another startling but life-affirming name – a name ascribed to another gender. There are 1.6 million trans, non-binary and gender-expansive youth and adults across the United States. They suffer tremendous hate, fear and bigotry.  Why is this? They are only doing what we get so much credit for. To listen openly and respond wholeheartedly.  Let’s do the right thing. We may encounter a John the Baptist! He did not follow the usual path either. He preached repentance, criticized the powerful and ate locusts and wild honey. He was imprisoned and beheaded.

… all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.


Mark 4: 35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”



Meet Sister Denise Curry, SNDdeN

Sister Denise entered the Congregation at Ilchester MD and graduated Trinity College (now University). Sister Denise has an MA in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington DC. Teaching assignments included Academy of Notre Dame in the nation’s capital and in public schools in DC and Virginia. Denise is co-founder of SEW (Spanish Education for Women in Guadalajara, Mexico; she is also a regular volunteer at the Welcome Center in Phoenix, AZ.