Friday, 24 September 2010

Lazarus and the rich man...

College has started again, so this week was a time to try and tie up loose end of the summer and to start to focus again on the work in the year ahead. This will be my last year philosophy before I start my study of theology. And I must say that I am looking forward to both, to finish my philosophy (although I am a bit looking up to it at the moment) and then to continue my studies with theology, and be able to apply what I have learned.

As it is already running a bit late, and as I will be away most of the day tomorrow I just wanted to share a brief thought thrown together on the Gospel of this Sunday (Luke 16:19-31). It is the Gospel of Lazarus and the rich man, where the rich man during his prosperous lifetime completely ignored Lazarus who is laying at the gate...

When both of them die Lazarus is carried of to Heaven, to the bosom of Abraham, while the rich man goes to hell and is in pain. 

After the rich man begs Abraham to sent a Lazarus to relieve his suffering by cooling his tong with water, which request is denied, he asks if Lazarus could rise from the death and go to his brothers to warn them. But Abraham replies "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." (Luk 16:29 RSV). The rich man replies "No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent." (Luk 16:30 RSV) But Abraham said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead." (Luk 16:31 RSV)

God has fully revealed Himself to us, though His Son. God gave His only Son, so we might be saved (Jn 3:16ff), that is how much He loves us. All the signs are there to help us on the way, if only we open our hearts and welcome God into our lives:"The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets" (2Ch 36:15-16 RSV)

We are made in the image and likeness of God, and we are made for God and our hearts can only rest when they rest in God as Saint Augustine tells us. God is love, but we can reject God and this is what happened with the rich man. During his life he did not even see Lazarus. His heart was closed, and he rejected the natural love of God. To love God has as its fruit love for our neighbor, and there was no sign of this in the rich man.

God is love and God has fully revealed himself through His only Son "not to condemn the world", but out of love, so "that the world might be saved through him" (Joh 3:17 RSV). However, "He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (Joh 3:18 RSV). God is ready to open us with open arms, but He cannot force us to come to Him, it is our own decision.

If we would only embrace the offer of His love, if we encounter the event, a person who is Jesus Christ, if only we would step into the light so we can see clearly what it is all about... only them would we find happiness, only then can we experience true love!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Video of the Simple Professions

The Irish Dominicans joyfully celebrated the first profession of eleven brothers of the province who have just completed their novitiate year. The event took place during the celebration of the Eucharist at Saint Mary's priory church at Pope's Quay in Cork. The video below shows the highlights of this great event:



Please note that instead of putting the video's of the Irish Dominicans under my own channel on YouTube I created a new channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/irishdominicans. If you were subscribed to my personal channel and enjoy the video's, please also subscribe to this new channel. Any future video's of the Irish Dominicans will appear here.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The good or the bad steward?

The last week has been very busy here in the Irish Province of the Dominican Order. The more regular followers of this blog have noticed the brief notes I have but on. With he launch of the website Dominicans Interactive I must confess that time to post regularly substantial post on this blog has been a bit more scarce.

So, I am afraid, also this week.
The video of the Reception of the Habits, which took place last Tuesday, the 14th of September on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, has been published and hopefully in the next day or two the video of the Simple Professions of last Wednesday, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, will follow.... Our newly professed brothers will join us today in St. Saviour's, so please keep them in your prayers as they settle down in their new life as students.

So I will only share a brief thought on the Gospel, hopefully everything will be back to normal next week! Something that struck me when quickly reading through it is the apparent contradiction in the parable of the wasteful steward. It seems that this steward indeed is not doing the right thing. First of all he is called by the rich man to make an account of his stewardship because of this fact, but then he even wastes more of it by trying to buy friends for when he is without job.

The response we expect of the master is that he would punish him for this second offense, apart from only firing him from his job. But instead the master praised the steward for his astuteness...

But can we apply this parable to ourselves in a 'spiritual' way. We are all wasteful of God's love, and are continually breaking our relationship with Him. We are the unfaithful servant! The Master has all right to dismiss us and sent us away.

But even though we are broken through original sin, the Master still loves us, and as He sees how we are astute in managing our worldly affairs, unable to undo of our own accord the damage we have done to our relationship with Him, He sees that we are still trying to build relationships with others humans around us. Our end towards we are living, and for which we are made for, is ultimate the relationship of pure love with God in Heaven. While falling short in fully living in a pure relationship with God here on earth we are still yearning for loving relationships... the commandment of loving God with our whole heart is quickly followed by the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, an expression of our love for God.

This week we had the Gospel of the woman who had a bad name in the town and came in washing Jesu His feet with her tears and hair (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus says to the Pharisee that "I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much" (Luke 7:47). We are sinful, and again, wasteful of everything God gives us, but through 'astute' stewardship of the love and gifts God has given us, we can try and live  as good a life as we can, always trying to do the best.

Just a thought...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Video of Reception of the Habits 2010

The Irish Dominican friars received two novices into the Order on Tuesday the 14th of September, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross which is the traditional day for the Irish Province to receive new novices. During the celebration of Mass at Saint Mary's Priory church, Pope's Quay Cork brothers Paul Mary Hughes and Conall Mary O' Callaghan were clothed in the Dominican habit by the prior of the novitiate house of the Irish province, Fr. Edward Conway OP. Our new novices were joined by many of the Dominican brethren from around the Irish province along with their friends and families in a simple ceremony. Below is a short video with the highlights of the day:



Please note that instead of putting the video's of the Irish Dominicans under my own channel on YouTube I created a new channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/irishdominicans. If you were subscribed to my personal channel and enjoy the video's, please also subscribe to this new channel. Any future video's of the Irish Dominicans will appear here.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Reception of the Habits and Simple Professions

In the last two days we had two important events.

The reception of two men into our noviciate, and the simple professions of our 11 novices who just finished their noviciate.

Please have a look at Dominicans Interactive for some pictures and for more information. There will hopefully be some video's soon of these events!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Reception of the Habits and Professions 2010

Reception of the Habits 2009We, the student, are just back from our annual weekly retreat and are now looking forward to the next two days:

The Novices for the coming year will receive their habit on Tuesday the 14th of September, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

On the next day, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, our current novices will make their Simple Profession. Please keep all these men in your prayers, especially over these two important days.

Soon after the event we will publish some photo's and video's capturing these two joyful occasions.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Whoever does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple

On the Gospel of Luke (14:25-33)

On a first reading this Sunday's  Gospel  seems quite hard. Having to "hate his own father and mother and wife [...] and even [ones] own life" (Luk 14:26 RSV) in order to be a disciple of Jesus seems almost outrageous.

The obvious option would seem not to take this saying of Jesus literally. The family was a very important aspect in Jewish society: Moses commanded to "Honour your father and your mother" (Mar 7:10 RSV).  Even Jesus himself rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for neglecting this command as "[they] no longer permit [a man] to do anything for his father or mother" (Mar 7:11-13 RSV) if they give everything to God (Corban).

Articles

The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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