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By Sr Rose Rolling

The second-century Roman poet Juvenal, in his poem Satire X, writes that “two things only the people anxiously desire – bread and circuses”. The phrase “bread and circuses” was devised to describe how the politicians of Ancient Rome maintained peace and popularity through distraction. Distraction revolved around distributing free food and providing free entertainment like gladiatorial games, chariot races and theatre shows. These freebies acted like a sedative or anaesthetic on the population, wooing them into a comatose-like state.

            In the first section of our Gospel passage today, Jesus rebukes a generation of people who exhibit what we could call a bread-and-circuses attitude towards religion. Jesus recalls their attitude: “We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t be mourners.” This spiritual sickness was not new, nor confined to the secular authorities, for it had afflicted the prophets of Israel generations before. In our first reading today, 700 years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah voices God’s lament

Read more …Attention!

Hail Redeemer, King Divine

by Sr Ann Swailes o.p.

This weekend, we celebrate a feast for rebels. That might sound surprising. Sunday is the great Solemnity of Christ the King, and royalty conjures up images of sumptuous wealth, establishment privilege, and unthinking, maybe fearful, kneejerk obedience to the powers-that-be. All this has often been true of earthly monarchy, of course – but this King is different. 

In comparison with much of the Church’s calendar, Christ the King is a recent innovation, instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925. It was a turbulent time in international politics, and consequently in the life of the Church, and the new feast spoke to that situation.   Christians in some parts of the world – the Mexico of Grahame Greene’s The Power and the Glory for instance – were doubtless comforted by the thought that Christ, the King who conquered death, would be victorious over the forces that oppressed them.

Read more …Hail Redeemer, King Divine

Golden Jubilee of Profession of Sr Mary Teresa OP 2nd Oct. 2021

By Fr Martin Ganeri o.p

Today we celebrate and give thanks for the fifty years of professed religious life that Sr Mary Teresa (Terry) has lived.  And in doing so, we celebrate and give thanks for the commitment and perseverance in religious life – in our Dominican religious life – that this represents.  A commitment and perseverance that encourages us to celebrate that Dominican life itself – our Dominican mission – as we have all lived it – and as we commit ourselves to continue to live it in the years to come.  Although there are many and very great challenges that face us in the present, our Dominican life is a wonderful thing – it’s wonderful because by its nature it remains every vital and ever necessary – because preaching and living out the truth of the Gospel remains every vital and ever necessary – and because those of us who have given our lives to this can realize what it means to preach and live out the truth of the Gospel in so many ways.  

In the Summa Theologiae, St Thomas Aquinas starts that great work of theology with a discussion of sacra doctrina, sacred teaching (ST 1.1).   This is the subject matter of the Summa, the subject matter of Dominican study and the basis for Dominican life and mission.

Sacra doctrina, sacred teaching, is in the first place the revelation given to us by God – the Word or Truth revealed to us by God and embodied in Christ.  And then, by extension, sacra doctrina is the reflection on and application of that revealed Word and Truth – in the intellectual apostolate of theology and preaching, and then the practical application of that in all the other forms of apostolate in which we seek to manifest that saving Word and Truth to others in showing charity or merciful love to them.

Read more …Golden Jubilee of Profession of Sr Mary Teresa OP 2nd Oct. 2021

Searching for Water: Samaritana

by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach

I came and looked for water, but found none
The ancient cisterns, cracked, had all run dry
Dry-throated, desperate, I sent my pail
into the dark again, no water came.
Behind, a little brook glinted and sang
Clear as the Dawn of time, from which it sprang