“Do not be afraid” by br. Fernando Delgado, OP

Praching of August 2, 2022 by br. Fernando Delgado, OP

The Lord asks the prophet Jeremiah to write down all the words he has spoken to him. The words that the prophet wrote on behalf of God are not pleasant words: fractures, infection, sores, scars, lack of love, crimes. All these words denounce a situation of sin. Faced with the situation of his people, God shows compassion and announces the renewal, the change and the time of the feast when the people will be the people of God.

During this week, the Chapter finds itself writing words to address its brothers and sisters who from a distance are waiting on different shores: situations of poverty, illness, war, persecution, ideologies…. We have the responsibility to say a few words in the name of the Order, and we want these words to come from the wisdom of God.

The Gospel of Matthew (14:22-36) invites us to look at the behavior of Jesus: he sends the disciples to the other shore, dismisses the crowd, then devotes himself to prayer, and at dawn walks on the raging sea. The intrepid Peter, to make sure that Jesus is not a ghost, asks to come to Jesus. The Lord granted him his request; but “when he felt the force of the wind, Peter became afraid, began to sink and cried out: Lord, save me! Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him and said to him: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?

That boat with the disciples traveling during the night to the other shore and being tossed by the waves has been taken as an image of the Church in the world with different threats, dangers, fears, doubts, even in the presence of God. We also see society as a raging sea that rocks the boat of the Church and the Order. Jesus invites us to walk on the difficulties of life, the problems that hit hard the sense of our mission as preachers. But without faith, we will sink. We will drown. We have come to this shore of the world in Tultenango to hear God’s voice, possibly in a different way than we hear it on the shores where we are familiar with the winds of each day, and we where we know how to walk on known waters. As we are gathered together, we realize that, as we gather all the waters together, the waves are made large by the wind of ideas, postures and definitions that we attempt to assert about who we are and what we do.

The Lord takes care of people on whatever shore they find themselves. Today we are also invited to look at the shore of our origins as we celebrate the memory of Blessed Juana de Aza, the mother of Santo Domingo.

According to tradition she had a vision before giving birth to Domingo that she was carrying in her womb a dog with a flaming torch in its mouth, with which, coming out of her womb, it would set the whole world on fire. Every mother has expectations of the child she is carrying. She imagines her child to be someone important. Her plea, as Domingo grew up, was “Lord, may the flaming torch not be extinguished! It is good for us to ask ourselves what vision we as capitulars have of the universality of the Order. Do we want her to continue to set the world on fire with the Word of God?

Tradition also attributes to Juana (or perhaps to her godmother) that she contemplated the shining of a star on Domingo’s forehead. Dominican iconography usually represents it in this way. A star that orients towards the Truth that is Christ.

Blessed Juana was characterized for being a woman of great charity and compassion towards the poor of the town of Caleruega. She was a woman of great faith who went assiduously to the Benedictine monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, probably for that reason, she gave the name of Domingo to her third son (the first ones being Antonio and Manés).

By the grace of God, may we not be afraid to tell our story, to give meaning to our dreams, and to offer a message of hope to the Order and to the Church.

Br. Fernando Delgado, OP

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