faith

3rd Sunday of Advent, Year A – Gaudate Sunday

Wait for the LordWe are waiting for the Lord like the farmer from today’s second reading from the letter of St. James:   “Be patient … think of a farmer how patiently he waits for the precious fruit of the ground.  … You too have to be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon.”Several months ago we received the gift of avocados, and I kept the stone to see if it would grow into a tree.  I was told how to plant it – that half the stone must be above water; while half must be covered with water, so I took a plastic container with a lid, in which I cut a hole the same size as my avocado stone, and I filled the container with water.  The stone was secure in the hole, half submerged, half dry.  I had done as much as I could to help it grow and now there was nothing I could but wait.  From time to time I would add more water to the container, like the autumn rains and spring rains.  And I waited.At the end of a month, nothing seemed to be any different, … all my patience!No signs of life at all – the stone wasn’t getting any bigger … but I continued to add more water, still nothing.And then … finally the stone started cracking – it almost split in two!  In my ignorance I thought this meant that it was dead.  But I was hesitant to lose faith, so I did not immediately throw it away.  Then, from the crack, I saw a single root begin to grow; then after some more time, a leaf appeared.  And so it […]

Reflection on St Dominic (9)

On preparing this reflection, it struck me that all the Readings at Mass this morning, (19th Sunday of the Year, Cycle C) including the psalm, could be applied to the person of Dominic and the mission and foundation of the Order.The first Reading from the Book of Wisdom is about trusting God and joyfully having the courage to do what God asks, enduring the dangers and hardships as well as the blessings that this work of God might entail. Dominic had a tremendous trust in God. He realised the power of the Scriptures, the word/Word of God in transforming lives and the need for preaching the truth regardless of danger and opposition from heretics. He was passionately concerned with the salvation of  all people. Dominic had this tremendous, genuine love for people – he cared deeply for them. We are told that “his heart was full of an extraordinary, almost incredible, yearning for the salvation of everyone”. ( Libellus 34)We know he was steeped in Sacred Scripture and had the Gospel of Matthew and the letters of St Paul almost off by heart, so well did he know them and preach them. To emphasise this, one of our antiphons at the Office of Readings reads:“Proclaim the word, convince, rebuke, encourage with patience in teaching; put up with hardship and do the work of an evangelist.”Among many instances recorded in the life of Dominic, the story is told of St. Dominic and his companions being purposely led astray by a heretic, whom they thought was a Catholic. On enquiring of him the directions to the place where a debate was to be held with the heretics, he led them or more correctly misled them (barefoot […]