I heard on the radio news this morning that less than half of the population in England today profess to be Christians, which comes as no real surprise. As we continue to celebrate this Jubilee Year and approach the 800th anniversary of the Church’s Approval of the Order of Preachers, we may well ask ourselves what Our Holy Father Dominic would be preaching to us if he lived among us today. We may also ask whether his preaching would even be relevant for our times.
I’m sure our Dominican scholars will approach these questions in so many eloquent ways. But in my own mind I would revisit Saint Dominic’s last will and testament; among his final and most memorable words to his brethren were: “Let your treasure be voluntary poverty, guard humility, have charity.” Not only did Saint Dominic live this message himself, these were the values that he was anxious to transmit to his followers. You might agree with me when I say that our own culture is in desperate need of these values. Surely, the Dominican tradition impels us to face the challenges in our country and in our world like rampant consumerism, uncontrolled greed, and fundamentalism, and try to replace them with hope, courage, and compassion. As we grapple with the meaning of Saint Dominic’s deathbed legacy for us, we must try to discover how we can be an incarnation of Saint Dominic’s last will and testament here in Lymington and beyond.
As we observe the Memorial of Saint Dominic’s Translation, let our prayer be that we may grow in our commitment to BE THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST in our own times, just like Saint Dominic was in his, 800 years ago.
Our Holy Father Dominic, pray for us.