Saturday, August 8, 2009


"St. Dominic"
by Claudio Coello,1691


Biographical Information about St. Dominic [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Dominic

Readings and Commentary:

1 Corinthians 2:1-10a

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature,
but not a wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.
Rather, we speak God's wisdom, mysterious, hidden,
which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,
and which none of the rulers of this age knew;
for, if they had known it,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written:

What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,

this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
Commentary on
1 Cor 2:1-10a

As part of his defense of his own Apostolate, St. Paul describes, in rather convoluted terms, an out-of-body experience (although it is described asa man in Christ,” he is referring to himself) where he was taken to heaven (the third heavenis the place where God dwells; the first is earth, the second the stars).  In his vision, he was givenineffable things,privileged information that could not be repeated. Rather than helping him, these revelations brought persecution, a thorn in the flesh.” The Apostle uses a Christ-like response to physical and rhetorical challenges by saying that through his weakness and humility, he is given the power of the Holy Spirit to carry on the Lord’s work.

CCC: 1 Cor 2:7-16 221; 1 Cor 2:7-9 1998; 1 Cor 2:8 446, 498, 598; 1 Cor 2:9 1027; 1 Cor 2:10-15 2038; 1 Cor 2:10-11 152
Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Commentary on
Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

“Announce his salvation, day after day.” This song of praise to the Lord invites all humanity to participate in God’s salvation. “This psalm has numerous verbal and thematic contacts with Isaiah Chapters 40-55, as does Psalm 98. Another version of the psalm is 1 Chronicles 16:23-33."
CCC: Ps 96:2 2143
Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey
someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
He said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God."
Commentary on Lk 9:57-62

This passage from St. Luke’s Gospel gives us three sayings of Jesus about the requirement to place the values of Christian discipleship above all other requirements of life. Proclaiming the Kingdom of God must come before even family obligations.

In the first, “Foxes have dens…” Jesus does not deceive anyone – he lives in poverty, dedicated to his mission.

The second, “Let the dead bury their dead,” is a play on words: let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead. Jesus message is the message of life. This saying was never intended to be taken literally as filial piety is deeply ingrained in Jewish life.

In the third saying; “No one who…looks to what was left behind,” Jesus demands more than Elisha (see 1 Kings 19:19-21). “Plowing for the Kingdom demands sacrifice.”[4]
CCC: Lk 9:58 544

The sayings of Jesus found in St. Luke’s Gospel provided a fundamental understanding of what Christian service was to be for St. Dominic. At a time in Church history when monasticism had become less austere and more institutionalized, he called the Dominican Order he founded to remain faithful to their vows of poverty, living in the world but apart from it. His constant vigorous defense of Christ through proclaiming the Kingdom of God as he leads the Order of Preachers earns him a special place in the mission of the Church.

We recall his example of fidelity and sacrifice as we examine our own attempts to follow the Lord. It is for this reason we revere the saints. They demonstrate to us that it is possible to live up to the highest standards placed before us by Jesus. He does not ask us to do the impossible (except when he is there to remove all obstacles).

Today we remember a great friend of God, St. Dominic. May his example inspire us and those who follow his order today to strive constantly for the higher gifts. We also pray the vocations to the religious life may increase and that dedicated men and women will fearlessly take up their vows and live them faithfully.


[1] The picture is “St. Dominic” by Claudio Coello,1691
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.
[3] See NAB footnote on Psalm 96
[4] See Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., © 1968, 44:97.

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