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...

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Saint for the day: Bl. Gerad of Lunel (13th century)

Scripture readings for today's liturgy:

Acts 9:26-31

Psalm 22

I John 3:18-24

John 15:1-8

Today our Gospel scripture contnues with more of the “I Am” statements of Jesus. Last Sunday we had “I am the Good Shepherd.” Today we hear Jesus saying, “I am the Vine you are the branches.” We have to give Jesus the credit in that He seems to know that not all of us have first-hand experience with sheep and shepherds so He gives us yet one more easily recognizable image of the vine and the branches.

Anyone who has any kind of garden around their house knows that – left along and unattended – shrubs and hedges get “woody” as all their energy is consumed in growing more and more out and away from the roots. And the more it gets distance from the roots the less leaves or fruit are produced. That’s an easy enough image for us to dwell on. In order for us to be “fruitful” we must allow for some maintinance to take place and who among us likes to be told “you have to be cut back!”

But Jesus also tells us, “ and my Father is the vine grower.” Another connection for us that Jesus and the Father are one.

This cutting back has to be seen in a positive and not a negative way. We have to see that we must stay close to the “root” which is Jesus. And since Jesus and the Father are one we must not get too strung out.

I like to come back to those “Four Pillars” of Dominican life: Prayer. Study. Community. Ministry. Our “fruitfulness” does not come from what we do but from our firm foundation in prayer – with honest study and supported by a like-minded community. When Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life we can easily see that we find “the way” in our prayer; “the truth” in our study; and “the life” in our community which is focused on the Eucharist.

But we must also remember that Jesus also says, I Am the vine and my Father is the Vine Grower which means that we will have to be “cut back” some. “Ouch! That hurts! There it is: the Cross. We can’t avoid that. Amen!

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 I’d like to hear from you to know that you’re getting these reflections. Use the link below to go to my “home page” where you’ll find more stories and pictures along with a link to e-mail me:

http://brotherdaniel.opwest.org/

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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

Study

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

Preaching

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.

Eastern Africa Vicariate

Dominican Friars - Vicariate of Eastern Africa

We are Members of the Dominican friars of the Province of St. Joseph founded in 1806 by Edward Dominic Fenwick, O.P.

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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.