Thursday, August 8, 2013

Memorial of Saint Dominic, priest

(Numbers 20:1-13; Matthew 16:13-23)

“’You are thinking not as God does but as human beings do,’” Jesus tells Peter in the gospel today.  The lead disciple has just denied that Jesus will have to suffer and die because he is the Messiah.  He wouldn’t say the same thing to Dominic as a young cleric.

Dominic was studying in Palencia, Spain, when the region underwent a famine. The poor were perishing, but few rich people or the authorities came to their assistance.  Dominic could not bear the sight.  He gave away all his possessions to the poor and even sold the parchments he had for study with the proceeds going to feed the hungry.  Eventually Dominic founded his order based on radical poverty.  He did not mean to burden anyone but to preach that peace comes from trusting in God.

It may not be prudent to empty our bank accounts on behalf of charity. But it is certainly unjust to horde money or to spend it lavishly while people suffer want.  We should pray for the gifts of wisdom and generosity that we may come to think and live as God would have us do.