Friday, November 8, 2014

Memorial of Saint Dominic, priest

(Nahum 2:1.3.3:1-3.6-7; Matthew 16:24-28)

Dominicans speak of St. Dominic as the “joyful friar.”  He demonstrated great happiness just being with others people.  Blessed Jordan of Saxony, his successor as head of the Dominican Order, wrote that he rejoiced with all who rejoiced.  And, again: "During the day, no one showed himself more sociable than he ... Conversely, by night, there was none more assiduous than he in keeping watch in prayer.”

No doubt, what made Dominic so joyful was the good news that he loved to share.  In his recent apostolic exhortation Pope Francis emphasizes this joy.  It comes from not just hearing about Jesus but encountering him in life.  He is there, although hidden, in our family and friends who worship with us, in the poor who need our assistance, in mystical experiences where we feel his presence, as well as in Scripture and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. In every case he gives shape to our lives by assuring us that we are not just “here today and gone tomorrow” but have an eternal destiny.  We rejoice because we will have his life-giving companionship forever.

But we must not take Jesus for granted.  He gives himself for us and commands us to love one another likewise.  It is not only a matter of being nice to others when it is convenient and they take notice.  We have to seek their welfare even when it costs us discomfort, even (really especially) when no one is looking.