Homily by br. Felipe Trigueros Buena, OP

Friday, 5 August 2022
Eve of the anniversary of the death of Saint Dominic.

The Spirit of God raised Dominic, messenger who crosses mountains, valleys, hills, and vast plains, announcing the Word of salvation, announcing peace. And Dominic made himself a prayer, groaning and weeping; and, from his sleepless nights, and from his tireless walk, the Father, who always hears the cries of his people, knew how to draw from Dominic words of grace, life and mercy.

Dominic did not want this to be only something personal, that is why he promoted the creation of an Order of Preachers, that is to say, of men and women equal in dignity and, in one way or another, each one according to their particular charisms, all entirely dedicated to the ministry of the Holy Preaching—preaching for the salvation of souls.

To proclaim the Word of salvation means to pass from dismay before error and sin, before lies and theft, to exaltation, to the celebration of those who know they are liberated, to the consolation of the Good News of the Gospel. And this is our mission, our compassionate mission, our particular way of living charity: to make our faith reasonable and understandable and to give reason for our hope; to be witnesses and prophetic signs of Jesus, of his Kingdom, which is nearby.

Today it could be thought that our world neither wants nor knows that it needs any salvation. That it does not seek any truth, and therefore does not care about lies either. A world that only feels robbed if someone proclaims it a god, any god, because it understands it as fictitious and useless. There is our world, particularly some parts of our world, composed of totally indifferent realities and people, who by their silence manifest the nullity of everything, the uselessness of all. And their indifference extends also to the next person lying on the edge of the road of life.

But let us not forget that there is no more deafening cry than that which produces no sound; and there is no greater hunger than that of one who has already forgotten what it is to eat. In the silence of indifference, we humans urge a response that listens and welcomes, a compassionate response, a testimony of true mercy.

And we, and I, messenger of peace, bearer of compassion and consolation, where am I, who do I listen to, who do I pity?

It is easy for me to live a lie, it is enough not to see Jesus in those who are different from me and who challenge me; it is enough to deny Christ where Christ wants me to proclaim Him, where He wants me to proclaim His Peace and Salvation. We are preachers for the salvation of souls, of all souls.

This is our mission, and in our mission, like Christ, we find our cross, which is a symbol of death, but it encloses the resurrection, it encloses the Risen One. “Take up your cross and follow me.” Deny yourself, live entirely for the Kingdom of God!

But if I only see myself, if I only see and hear what is mine, what is ours, if I only hear what is ours, then who will have compassion on me? Where will I find compassion?

For no one has been sent to preach to himself, nor to proclaim his truths, philosophies, theologies, or good morals. All of us have been called to preach Christ, and Christ crucified, the pierced cry, the Word of Salvation. And this is not a matter of marketing. This is just a matter of life: to whom do I give my life? what do I expect in return?

I, we, we await the same salvation that we proclaim. That is why we carry his cross on our backs and shoulders. Because we are no other than our Master. Because we follow Him and, with Him, we go up to Jerusalem, and we cross the mountain, yes, the Mount of Olives. Lord, thy will be done, thy will of truth, of peace, of comfort, of salvation.

Saint Paul teaches us that, on our backs and shoulders, we carry the weight of our brothers and sisters, the weight of fragile humanity, in pain and in need of redemption. We also carry the weight of indifferent humanity. This is how the apostle explains charity and compassion.

To carry the cross weeping with those who weep and cry out, even if they do not realize that they are doing so, because they do not hear themselves.

To carry the cross feeling the hunger for justice with those who feel the same hunger, even though they no longer hope to be satisfied.

To carry the cross with the one who thirsts for the truth, feeling myself also the dryness of my lips, longing also for the fountain of wisdom.

Lord, may we Preachers feel the cry of humanity, the work of your hands. May we, in compassion, weep with those who weep, so that we do not settle in lies; so that we do not live in domination or oppression; so that we may proclaim You, always You, only You, who are Peace, the only Peace; so that we may know that You are close even to those who deny You or repeatedly deny You. Lord, may we Preachers be able to look at ourselves in Dominic’s eyes; may we enjoy the warmth of his embrace and feel pitied and loved by the one who is more useful to us in heaven than he was on earth.

So be it.

Br. Felipe Trigueros Buena, OP

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