Today's Scratchpad Reflection

leave boats
September 03, 2015

Thursday in the 22nd Week of the Church Year

by Daniel Thomas Op
Thursday in the 22nd Week of the Church Year Saint for the day: Gregory the Great (540?-604) Scripture Readings for today's Liturgy: Colossians 1:9-14 Psalm 98 Luke 5:1-11 In this Gospel reading I can almost hear Peter saying, “It’s not working! Let’s sell the boat, jump ship and get on with life!” (a loose quote from one of my young Dominicans) Yet in today’s Gospel, even though in the end they… Read more...

 

Wednesday in the 2nd week of Easter

Saint for the day: St. Apollonius the Apologist (d. 185)

Scripture readings for today's liturgy:

Acts 4:32-37

Psalm 93

John 3:7-15

 

“Don’t tell me what you believe. Tell me what you love!”

 

My mind is swirling in all the images that we are presented to us in these Easter days. Not only John’s light and darkness themes but all the ways in which the early Church grew and came to be a powerful new way to believe in the Resurrected Jesus. So, where do I start?

Here’s a $50.00 word for you today: “mystagogia” a Greek word referring to the period of teaching of the people who were baptized at the Easter Vigil. Traditionally it lasted until Pentecost. Basically it refers to the explanation of the ‘mysteries’ of our belief. All the Sacred Scriptures that are presented to us in these “Easter days” are primarily selected to support this teaching and are a reminder to all of us of our need to “kindle” or renew our own faith and belief in the Resurrected Lord.

Today, we are especially given a whole bag-full of images to enhance and support this growth period. To start with, we have what is probably the most often quoted scripture verse in all the bible: John 3:16. A verse that is proclaimed – just by reference – at every athletic event that is televised in the US!  “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son … so that we might have eternal life!”

All of us are struggling, along with the newly baptized Christians, to come to a fuller “belief” in the Risen Lord. As I was reading through a couple or other reflections for today’s liturgy I found that this word, “belief” comes from an old, now obscure, word, “lief" meaning, “love.” So, an early Christian teacher said, “Don’t tell me what you believe: tell me what you love.” The apostle, Thomas’ statement, “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief” might better be translated, “Lord I “love” [you] help my “unloveableness.”

Try replacing all the things that you say you believe in with the word, “love” and see what you come up with. I hope you are surprised and encouraged by what you find.

I always tell our newly ordained priests, “Love the people that you are sent to minister to and tell them why the Jesus that you love and meet in the Gospels commands you to do this!”

Bottom line? All of us have to come to that point where we can say, “Lord I love you. Help me to love the people that are in my life. Doctrine and tenents of faith can come later but without “love” it’s just another “clanging gong.!” Amen!

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Our Spirituality

1

Prayer

Dominicans center our lives on Jesus Christ, the true light, and are moved by the Holy Spirit who radiates God’s healing presence in the world today. We celebrate the Word in daily common prayer, meditation, study, and in the proclamation that is preaching

2

Common Life

We live together in large (as many as 30) and small (as few as 2 or 3) communities. The basic idea of community is not just people living together under one roof. Rather, community living is about the willingness to share our lives with one another.

3

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The primary object of Dominican study is the Word of God, which comes to us through Scripture & Tradition, is interpreted authoritatively by the Church’s Magisterium, and Whose fullest manifestation is the very Person of Christ Himself.

4

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Preaching is at the heart of Dominican life. Our preaching ministry takes us to parishes, university campuses,  retreat centers and sometimes even to food pantries, shelters for the homeless and other places where people are impoverished literally as well as spiritually.

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St. Dominic, the founder of the "Order of Preachers" in the early part of the 13th Century gave his friars guiding principles which were called, "The Four Pillars." They are the basis of all that we, even now, do in our prayer, study, life and ministry. Simply put, they are just that: Prayer - Study - Community - Ministry.