Vocations find their true meaning in Christ
Three young men share their stories as they are just days away from receiving an irreversible grace of being ordained priests. They speak about how they were influenced by others and how they could not avoid the call from God to be men who serve others.
Click here to see their video.
Keeping the Light Burning
Your prayers, service and donations help us to keep the flame of Dominican Vocations bright in the Western United States. Please do consider making a regular contribution for future preachers for the salvation of souls.
Fear of or Faith with God
33rd Sunday Ordinary Time
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Salt Lake City, Utah
Mark 13, 24-32
Fr. David Orique, OP
Focus: Dwelling in Fear of God or Walking in Faith with God.
Function: To remind hearers to walk in faith with God rather than to dwell in fear of God.
A. My name is Fr. David Orique, O.P. I am a member of the religious Order known as the Dominicans; in the past few years other Dominican priests have also visited you. Your pastor, Fr. Wayne invited me here this weekend to celebrate the Eucharist with you, and to ask for your support for our overseas missionary activity—an effort that benefits many.
B. The Dominicans are a missionary Order and serve in many countries around the world. The particular region of Dominicans with whom I serve, the Western Dominican Province, has friars—priests and brothers— serving throughout the Western United States, particularly working in higher education, such as at the University of Utah Newman Center. Our Western Dominican Province also has friars in Mexico—Mexicali, Chiapas, and Ciudad Juarez, in Guatemala, and overseas in Kenya and in Lithuania. These are the particular friars that I ask you to consider supporting faithfully by your prayers, and generously by your donations.
C. The particular work that our friars (priests and brothers) do abroad is sharing the faith with and generously serving those they meet. All Christians are called to serve—to offer service by walking in faith rather than dwelling in fear. How about us? Do we dwell in fear or do we walk in faith with the God of life and love? Today's readings evoke images that could illicit a response of dwelling in fear or walking in faith.
II. Dwelling in Fear of God
A. As we prepare for the Advent Season, the liturgical preparation to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth (It is not the beginning of the Catholic shopping season), we hear a number of ominous readings, like today's Old Testament reading and the Gospel. If we were to read them in isolation, they could cause us to dwell in fear of God, rather than to walk in faith with the Creator.
B. Mark's Gospel speaks about the future Second Coming of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ will return trailing glory with trumpet blasts and angel flashes! He will come to judge the living and the dead—to judge them according to how they walked their life of faith. Yet, this future Second Coming is not the only coming of Jesus Christ.
C. We will meet Jesus Christ in the future, either at the end of time or when we die. Either way, we are going to experience a "Second Coming." In the end, Jesus Christ, source of all creation, will draw us to Himself, to reward each of us according to our responses both to the lessons He left us and to the price He paid on the Cross for our redemption. This future meeting with Jesus Christ is echoed in today's first reading from the Book of Daniel. For some it will be "overflowing with splendor" for others it will be "full of horror." In any case, "everyone who is found written in the book... shall escape." At either Second Coming, what will be written in the book about our lives? Will the written pages describe how we walked by faith or dwelt in fear?
D. As Christians, if the novel of our lives is punctuated by faithful action, especially on behalf of those most in need, we have nothing to fear of either Second Coming of Jesus. If we have walked a life of faith in response to God's goodness in ourselves and in the lives of others, there will be no fear. Do we walk by faith or do we dwell in fear? If we dwell in fear, apathy, or indifference, especially toward those most in need, the pages of our lives will be blank, there will be nothing for Jesus Christ to read. Yet, we know how to walk by faith so that we can write in the book of our lives; so that we can write an exciting novel, a real page-turner, because Jesus Christ, during His First Coming taught us the way to live and to walk by faith.
III. Walking in Faith with God
A. In addition to the Second Comings of Jesus Christ, there was a First Coming. Jesus Christ, God made flesh, the Incarnation, the Eternal Word of God wrote on the pages of human history. Our God in human form was born as a little child, lived as a great prophet, and died as a perfect offering, to teach us the way to walk in faith and to open for us the way to eternal life. Jesus Christ wrote these dynamic chapters in human history for us to read and from which to learn from—so that we can walk in faith rather than dwell in fear.
B. We walk in faith and write our part of this dynamic story when we are mindful of Jesus Christ's future Comings, and when we prepare for His First Coming during Advent and celebrate it during the Christmas season. We prepare for and celebrate these Comings when we serve others— especially the most in need. Then our writing is inspired by Jesus Christ who is present among us in the people we serve.
A. One of the ways that we write a dynamic faith story is by sharing with others. There are those in need in the world who cannot make it without the support of people of faith. As a Christian people, Jesus calls us to share with our needy sisters and brothers. Today, you are being asked to share with those who live in the areas that our Dominicans serve.
B. You can share in two ways: financially and spiritually. You can share financially by donating today during the second collection or by returning the blue envelope to our Mission Office with a donation. Many individuals donate regularly to this ministry. If you are unable to share financially, you can share spiritually by praying daily for those who serve the most in need. Ultimately, it is prayer that sustains us.
C. So, I invite you to share in faith, financially and spiritually, with our efforts. This sharing will write beautiful lines in the pages of your life and will allow others to write on the pages of their lives too.
Campaign for Dominican Friars
Support the Western Dominican Province
Mission West: Campaign for Dominican Friars is a capital campaign to raise critical funds for the support of our mission of evangelization and preaching the gospel in the Western United States, Mexico, South America and other places world-wide. Our mission begins by forming and educating our novices and student brothers to become good priests and brothers, zealous for Christ and His Gospel.
We must also care for our aged friars who, having dedicated many years in service to the people of God are now offering their continued service in prayer during their retirement, often requiring specialized care. This is why our new, three-year effort to raise $15 million is subtitled Campaign for Dominican Friars. We need and greatly appreciate your generous support. Can you help today?
A pledge of $25.00 a month from each person served by the Western Dominican Province over a four year period would make the total reach at least $15m. Some might be able to give more, others less, but if all could participate our goal would be easily reached.
Fill out the pledge cards at your local parish or Newman Center served by the Western Dominican Province or make a recurring donation now at our donation page.
|TOTAL as of Mar 30:||$945,617|
Please help us reach our goal.
Mission West Newsletter
The Mission West Newsletter helps to keep your finger on the pulse of the province.
Click here for the latest version in PDF format.
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Building A Faithful Church
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
At DSPT we are a community engaged in study that is rooted in tradition and provides answers to today's challenges.
"Undoubtedly one of the strengths of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology is the ability it fosters in its students to dialogue, on the intellectual level, with contemporary society ....The faculty is both academically prepared and doctrinally sound."
- 2008 report of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education.