Pondering for Thursday: August 8, 2019

Readings forDominic Priest and Friar, 1221

Psalm 96:1-7 Romans 10:13-17 John 7:16-18

“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Romans 10: 17)

I got into a long discussion in a recent Bible Study (teaching) wherein we talked about how love and faith is taught to our young people.  We all came away with the consensus that both love and faith is taught. (I still hold out that faith is implanted) It is taught via word of mouth with words and with hugs and acts of kindness and forgiveness. The mouth – word part is mouth to ear. It’s preaching and teaching. Saying and doing.

Dominic was the founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as Dominicans. In England they were called Black Friars, because of the black mantle they wore over their white habits. Dominic was born circa 1170 in Spain. (Great Cloud of Witnesses for August 8)

Dominic loved preaching.  He preached to everybody but was especially drawn to young minds. He developed preaching in ways that changed some and enhanced the faith of others.

“The continuing Dominican apostolate embraces intellectual work and the arts of preaching, their major houses usually situated in university centers, to which they have contributed such notable teachers as Thomas Aquinas. Their Constitutions express the priority this way: “In the cells, moreover, they can write, read, pray, sleep, and even stay awake at night, if they desire, on account of study.”  (Great Cloud of Witnesses for August 8)

Paul writing to the Romans repeats the Isaiah 52:7 passage that says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10: 15)  This reminds me that the first Christian preachers were on foot.  They had beautiful feet indeed.  They carried the teachings of the Gospel, the Good News, throughout the Roman Empire.  Word of mouth preaching and teaching is still the most effective way of publishing the Good News today around the world in spite of technological advances. We are hardwired to be human to human.

I’m no Dominican but I love teaching and preaching.  Full disclosure, I like teaching the most.  I like the ability converse rather than lecture.  When we converse I can check for understanding as well as learn something new myself.  The Holy One often brings me insight through my so-called students.  I learn from them.   What I have heard from them certainly informs my “implanted” faith and my faith grows more and more as I too listen to, or read from great teachers, in the class or in a book.

I think the problem with society today is that people are falling away from hearing the Good News human to human. The Good News informs us that we are loved by a God who really exist and wants us to love one another human to human and have everlasting life.  We are not to do evil for evil, nor take what belongs to another.  The Good News is that we are “licensed” by Jesus through Baptism to love everybody without having to defend why we love everybody.  We are Christians.  That’s just who we are and what we do.  Thank You Jesus.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to (and through) God’s people.  John+

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