Today’s Gospel: Matthew 15: 21-28 – St. Dominic
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is approached by a Canaanite woman who desires Him to heal her daughter. The disciples want Our Lord to send her away; they see her as nothing but a heretic. Jesus speaks to the woman in the way His followers think of her, and she proves her faith to them with her humble answer, “Lord, even the dogs receive scraps from the table of the master.” Jesus grants her desire and heals her daughter.
Today is the memorial of St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers. Dominic did not begin his priestly life trying to found a new order of mendicant preachers, but he felt called to do so when he and his bishop travelled through southern France together and encountered the Albigensians. This heretical sect had begun to take hold in the region and drew Catholics away from the Faith partly because it preached radical simplicity. Common people saw Catholic bishops and priests living luxuriously while Albigensian preachers lived in poverty, preaching that this was how the apostles lived. But Albigensians also preached that the physical world and our bodies were evil, that suicide was laudable, and that procreation was a sin. These views put souls in danger, and Dominic began preaching against the heresies on the spot. He stayed up the entire first night talking to the innkeeper about true Catholic teachings, and by morning the innkeeper was back in the Catholic fold.
Surely Dominic saw that this passage directly related to his own mission of preaching for the salvation of souls. Dominicans today – friars, nuns, sisters, and laity alike – can use this passage as inspiration to preach and reach out to a world in need of the beauty of the Catholic Faith. Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!
How can you help the people you meet each day grow closer to God and to His Church? How can you reach out to them in love?
Lord, You see people who have fallen away from You as lost children. Help me to see everyone through Your eyes and show those who are far from You in spirit how to return to Your love.
Copyright 2018 Christine Johnson
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