Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Dominic, P., (8th August, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial

Ezek 1:2-5.24-28;
Ps 148:1-2.11-14. (R. v.22);
Matt 17:22-27.

Saint Dominic (1170 – 6th August, 1221) was son of Felix Guzman and Blessed Joan of Aza. He was born in Caleruega, Spain. Dominic sold everything he had to feed the poor dying of famine in 1191 and also tried twice to sell himself into slavery to free the captives. Dominic joined Benedictine order in 1194 and became the superior in 1201. Pope Innocent III charged Dominic and Diego de Acebo with the task of converting the Albigensians in the southern France back to the Catholic faith. According to a legend, he received the Rosary during an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1214. He became famous for his mercy and his work. Dominic refused at least three attempts to make him a bishop. In July 1215, he was granted permission to form a religious order dedicated to promoting morality and the expulsion of heresy. His order was confirmed on December 22, 1216, and in 1217, Pope Honorius III dubbed Dominic and his followers “The Order of Preachers.” Pope Honorarius III elevated Dominic to the rank of “Master of the Sacred Palace.” He also assigned Dominic with the task of restoring the discipline of religious orders for women in Rome. Pope Gregory IX canonized him on July 13, 1234 and is the patron of astronomers, the Dominican Republic, and the innocent who are falsely accused of crimes.[1]

Topic: Giving offence.

At Capernaum, the temple tax collectors demanded tax from Jesus and Peter. Although it is wrong for them to demand temple tax from them, yet Jesus paid to avoid giving offence to them.

Giving offence puts one off and might probably degenerate into enmity. Jesus did not even argue with them on its legality. Some might judge this as injustice. Saint Paul writes, “To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1Cor 6:7).

Provoking others closes the door of communication. Hence Saint Paul advices, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). Again, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Col 3:21).

Not reasoning in the same direction is not an excuse to give offence to others. Saint Dominic did not provoke the Albigensians even when threatened with violence. He also appealed to the authorities to have mercy on them. We must live out Christ’s command, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).

Bible Reading: 1Cor 6:1-11.

Thought for today: ... love one another (Rom 13:8).

Let us pray: May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant us the grace to live in harmony with one another – Amen (cf. Rom 15:5).

Saint Dominic – Pray for us.

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