To be a Dominican is to be a preacher.  As preachers, we share the Good News that has been entrusted to us.  Every day, we preach the word of God in hundreds of different ways through our work in the communities and with one another.

We also share the Word of God on our website through the Sacred Space. This is a collection of reflections, written by a Dominican Sister.  These works proclaim the Word of God and impart a message of hope and peace to those who need to take out of their busy daily lives to reflect and consider.

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 9 Oct. 2022

2Kings5:14-17 Naaman and Elisha were both men who wielded much power, Naaman as a successful military man and great favourite of the King of Damascus,  Elisha a Man of God  with a reputation for healing among the Israelite community. Unfortunately Naaman had Leprosy and wanted to be healed of this blot on his career which caused him great anxiety.  He had tried many accepted ways for healing but nothing ever occurred.  A little Israelite girl who had become a slave in the family in the house of his enemy suggested that he go to Elisha the healer and ask him for healing.  Elisha suggested to Naaman bathe in the River Jordan. This was a bit annoying and insulting for Naaman. After all they had many good rivers of their own, why the Jordan. Reluctantly, he did what was required of him, he bathed in the River Jordan and he was healed. He was overcome with his cure and returned to thank the Prophet, acknowledging that for certain there was no other God in the whole world but your God. 2Tim2: 8-13. In the message Paul is entrusting to Timothy, it is both simple and profound: Speaking of Jesus   he says ‘Remember who He is and who you are, disciples of the Lord , all of you. Each one has received the Message. Paul urges Timothy to encourage the community to be true witnesses, and steadfast in passing the message on.  The Lord will himself give you understanding in all things. God works with faith however weak it may be. We are all weak and vulnerable but we remember the suffering of Jesus.  Remembering is one of the most powerful gifts of our humanity. It enables us to hope for the better, and the best. Paul is most anxious that Timothy’s community remembers the one who suffered.’ It enables the community of believers to hope for the better, the best to stand firm. Paul is most anxious that the Community REMEMBERS. HIM, HIS SUFFERING: AND THAT HIS WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS. Gospel Luke : 17  11-19 In the gospel what we learn is that God’s Love for us is unfathomable but He likes to be thanked.  Oftentimes gratitude does not come easily with us.  We forget to thank even for the most profound of gifts.  We have each of us experienced this.  Gratitude strengthens us. Why and Who has gifted us with the power to be grateful?   Sr. Dominique Horgan OP

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 2 October 2022

1st Reading God’s plans are not always the same as our plans; they are often invisible to our eyes, incomprehensible to our living and feeling. How many times do we ask ourselves like Habakkuk, where are you my God? But God is sovereign in his teaching. He gives us what we need and asks us to be patient and humble. May we daily renew our hope, our love, our service. God’s time is the time of trust and mercy, which will do everything to give us eternal life. 2nd Reading God created us in his image and likeness…” with a spirit of strength, charity and moderation.” These are the fundamental qualities of the apostle remembered to Timothy: strength in the face of difficulties, love as a surrender to Christ and to people, and the prudence necessary to guide the community. In reality, the world around us presents countless challenges, human fragility, discouragement which so often leads us to rediscover at every moment the meaning of choices and total surrender to Christ and his message. What are my interests? The meaning of my choices? How do I daily resurrect my commitment to Christ and to my brothers and sisters? Am I strong enough to proclaim the word of the gospel? What moves me is love and service to others. Gospel The 2nd reading invites us to this reflection, asks us to keep the true teaching and to trust in the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. In the Gospel according to Saint Luke, we continue to be invited to walk the path of the Kingdom of God, to bear witness to its truth with faith and humility. We are a picture, so often complex, we go through demanding moments and times in society, in the world and how often is faith and love the central axis of our life, of our existence. This path to the Kingdom is a reality to be made daily…faith is a journey of trust, humility and forgiveness. May there be light in the little things, for the creation of a renewed humanity of love and hope.   Carla Correia Director and Pastoral Minister of Centro Sagrada Familia , Lisbon. Portuguese  1ª leitura Os planos de Deus, nem sempre são iguais aos planos dos homens; são muitas vezes invisíveis aos nossos olhos, incompreensíveis ao nosso viver e sentir.  Quantas vezes nos questionamos como Habacuc, onde estás tu meu Deus? Mas Deus é soberano no seu ensinamento. Dá-nos o que precisamos e pede-nos para sermos pacientes e humildes. Que possamos renovar diariamente a nossa esperança, o nosso amor, o nosso serviço. O tempo de Deus, é o tempo da confiança e da misericórdia, que tudo fará para nos entregar a vida eterna.   2ª leitura Deus criou-nos à sua imagem e semelhança…” com um espírito de fortaleza, caridade e moderação.” São estas as qualidades fundamentais do apóstolo recordadas a Timóteo: Força perante as dificuldades, o amor como entrega a Cristo e aos homens e a prudência necessária para orientação da comunidade. Na realidade o mundo que nos rodeia apresenta inúmeros desafios, a fragilidade humana, tantas vezes o desanimo leva-nos a redescobrir a cada instante o sentido das escolhas e a entrega total a Cristo e à sua mensagem. Quais são os meus interesses? O sentido das minhas escolhas? Como ressuscito diariamente o meu compromisso com cristo e com os meus irmãos? Sou forte o suficiente para proclamar a palavra do evangelho? O que me move é o amor e o serviço aos outros? A 2ª leitura convida-nos a esta reflexão, pede-nos para guardar a doutrina verdadeira e cofiarmos no Espírito Santo que habita em nós.   Evangelho No evangelho segundo São Lucas continuamos a ser convidados para percorrer o caminho do Reino de Deus, dar testemunho da sua verdade com fé e humildade. Somos um quadro, tantas vezes complexo, atravessamos momentos e tempos exigentes na sociedade, no mundo e quantas vezes é a fé e o amor o eixo central da nossa vida, da nossa existência. Este caminho do Reino é uma realidade a fazer-se diariamente…a fé é um caminhar de confiança, humildade e perdão. Que se faça luz nas pequenas coisas, para a criação de uma humanidade renovada de amor e de esperança.     Carla Correia Director and Pastoral Minister of Centro Sagrada Familia , Lisbon.        

Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 25 September 2022

Amos 6: 1, 4 – 7, I Timothy 6: 11 – 16,  Luke 16: 19 – 31 Over many years I have found reading the Scriptures in the ancient process of Lectio Divina to be very nourishing and enriching. Lectio Divina as prayer…  deepens our relationship with God in a natural organic way, disposes, opens, and informs us for the gift of union with God, it challenges and changes us. The gospel for this weekend is one of Jesus’s best-known parables and it is probably one that is misunderstood by many. The parable is not about life after death, nor is it a judgement on riches, nor is Jesus making a choice of the poor over the wealthy. At the heart of the story, Jesus is teaching us that God does not condemn people to hell or bring people to heaven. The way to follow is challenging and learning to love, with one’s whole heart, whole soul, and whole mind and to love your neighbour as yourself is the deeper call. This universal love doesn’t notice differences, like the nameless ‘rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day’ or the poor man, Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table”. In reading this parable through the lens of Lectio Divina:  Read, Reflect, Respond and Rest, the phrase, the ‘bosom of Abraham’ caught my attention, and I was curious to explore its meaning. The parable tells us that the poor man called Lazarus, whose name means ‘God has helped’, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table, dies, and was taken away, by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. But what is significant about the bosom of Abraham? Well Abraham is our father in faith. He had been given the promise that his people would become chosen and special people and that when they died, they would follow Abraham. “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heir according to the promise.” (Gal: 3: 27 – 29). The Bosom of Abraham refers to the place of comfort in the Sheol or Hades version of the Hebrew scriptures from around 200 BC, and therefore is described in the New Testament as the place where the righteous dead abide prior to Jesus’ resurrection. In the New Testament, the phrase bosom of Abraham occurs only once and it is in this scripture passage for today, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  Lazarus, the man with leprosy,  is carried by the angels to that place of comfort. “When the poor man died, “he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham”. The rich man when in torment, raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. He knew Lazarus was in a place of comfort, “and he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me’. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.”  “Abraham replied, my child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.” For us, Abraham is a significant figure in our faith, indeed God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because with them God’s relationship of promise and purpose was fixed for all those who descended from them.  And the Lord took him outside and said, “Now look to the heavens and count the stars, if you are able.” Then He told him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 5:15). We are reminded of the special place of Abraham in our lives in praying the Benedictus in the Prayer of the Church. Here we recall Abraham and the covenant that was sworn to him. “He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands our enemies, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our lives”. The last line of the Magnificat reads “He protects Israel his servant, remembering his mercy promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and their decedents for ever”. There are many things that could be said about the reading for this weekend and the golden thread running through the Gospel is that God does not judge, heaven is open, and the Bosom of Abraham awaits us. We can begin our heaven on earth by responding to the innate desire to know God and to be known by God, deepening the relationship through daily reading of the scriptures in the process of Lectio Divina. When we arrive at the place that the rich man and Lazarus went to,  we will meet the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.   Fionnuala Quinn O.P.