Is Dominic still relevant today?

Jubilee celebration for the Province of Malta

The Maltese Dominicans of St. Pius V Province officially celebrated the Dominican Jubilee on the 24th May, solemn memorial of the Translation of Our Father St. Dominic. Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna presided over the Mass along with the friars and  members of the Dominican Family. This Eucharistic celebration was held at the Priory dedicated to our Lady of the Grotto which is also the House of Formation and the Provincial Curia.

Archbishop Scicluna said that St. Paul’s phrase, “For this I was appointed preacher and apostle, teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth”, (1 Tm 2:7) sums up Dominic’s charism and vocation. This confirmed identity led him to locate the sanctity and the dignity of the human person at the centre of preaching when engaging the Cathar and Albigensian heresies which looked down upon the human body and upon human relationships, marriage even. Dominic’s preaching then could be seen as a celebration of God’s good creation, at the core of which is the image of the Creator uniquely imprinted on every human individual redeemed by God’s love in Christ.

The title given to Dominic – Praedicator Gratiae – is intimately connected to the way God has revealed his love for us all, namely, through his mercy which is granted as pure gift. That the Order has chosen conviviality and fraternity around Dominic’s table as the principal theme, reminds us all that just as eating is a vitally basic human activity, so should our gratitude for God’s unfailing care be expressed in tangible love, compassion and fellowship to all.

Finally, the Archbishop asked, is Dominic still relevant today? This is not a question even to be asked since the need to preach and evangelise is as urgent as ever. The demand for our preaching corresponds to the perpetual human thirst for the compassion and grace-filled truth offered by the Lord. Let us pray that Dominican communities may radiate the marvellous aroma that emerged from Dominic’s tomb on that unforgettable Translation and which beckons our faith in the Paschal mystery of Christ, the core message of our preaching today.

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