Sunday, 8 February 2009

Vocation weekend and the Gospel (Mark 1:29-39)

This weekend we had a "live-in" weekend, in which young men who are interested in the Dominican Order live with us for the weekend to experience our way of life and talk to various brothers about the Dominican Vocation.

I would just briefly want to make the link between the weekend and the gospel of today, as it is very close to the heart of the Dominican Vocation (Mk 1:29-39).

"And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. (Mk 1:35 RSV)".

Jesus went out early in the morning to pray. This shows us how important prayer is. Jesus, the second person of the trinity went out to a lonely place to pray! The Dominican vocation is a contemplative vocation, we are a contemplative order. The companions of St. Dominic always tell us that St. Dominic used to talk either of God or with God. In the evening, late and night and early in the morning he was praying, often moved to tears. Prayer is a very important part of our vocation, it is to get to know God, and then we bring the fruits of this conversation to others.

"And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, and they found him and said to him, 'Every one is searching for you.' (Mk 1:36-37 RSV)".

Everybody is searching for Him, as St. Peter says. This is a very true statement, as everybody in the whole world is looking for God. They might not know it, might search in the wrong place, but they all search Him deep down in their heart. "O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting" (Psalm 62), the soul of every human being is yearning for God as a deer for a running stream. We recognise the need to bring the Word of God to the world.

"And he said to them, 'Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out.' (Mar 1:38 RSV)".

And this is the apostolic side of the Dominican vocation, to preach the Word of God to others. We contemplate the Word, we study and make it in a way our own, and then go out to the world to bring the Word to them.

St. Dominic preached by day, carried the gospel of St. Matthew and the Epistles of St. Paul with him everywhere to study the Word and he prayer at night. These few verses sum up an important part of the Dominican vocation!

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