Pope Francis’ Closing Dominican Jubilee Homily

Pope Francis celebrates Mass marking the closing of the Dominican order’s 800th anniversary celebrations at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome Jan. 21, 2017. (Photo by Paul Haring)

The following homily was given by the Holy Father Pope Francis at the Basilica of St. John Lateran during the Closing Dominican Jubilee Mass.

The Word of God presents us today two opposite human scenarios: on one hand the ‘carnival of worldly curiosity’ and, on the other, the glorification of the Father through good works. And our life always moves between these two scenarios.

In fact, they exist in every age, as Saint Paul’s words to Timothy demonstrate (cf. 2 Timothy 4:1-5), and also Saint Dominic and his first Brothers, who moved between these two scenarios 800 years ago.

Paul warns Timothy that he must proclaim the Gospel in the midst of a context where people are always looking for new teachers, myths, different doctrines and ideologies … “Prurientes auribsu” (2 Timothy 4:3).

It is the carnival of worldly curiosity, of seduction. Therefore, the Apostle also instructs his disciple with strong words, such as “urgent, convince, rebuke,” “exhort”, and then “be steady,” “endure sufferings” (vv. 2.5).

It is interesting to see how already then, two thousand years ago, the Apostles of the Gospel found themselves before this scenario, which in our days has developed and globalized, given the seduction of subjectivist relativism.

“Let your light so shine before men – says Jesus – that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.” In the midst of yesterday’s and today’s ‘carnival,’ this is the answer of Jesus and of the Church, this is the solid support in the midst of a liquid’ environment: the good works we can do thanks to Christ and to His Holy Spirit, and which gives birth in the heart to gratitude to God the Father, praise, or at least to the question ‘Why,’ ‘Why does that person behave like this?’, disquieting the world in face of the testimony of the Gospel.

Today, we give glory to the Father for the work that Saint Dominic carried out, full of the light and salt of Christ, 800 years ago; a work at the service of the Gospel, preached with the word and with life; a work that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, has helped so many men and women to not be dispersed in the midst of the ‘carnival’ of worldly curiosity, but who instead savoured the taste of healthy doctrine, the taste of the Gospel and became in turn light and salt, craftsmen of good works … and true brothers and sisters that glorify God and teach <others> to glorify God with the good works of life.”

(Translated from the original Italian)

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