A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
“Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
Jesus said in reply,
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?
Bring the boy here to me.”
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
“Why could we not drive it out?”
He said to them, “Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Today is the feast day of St. Dominic. A few years ago we held our seminarian retreat at a Dominican retreat house in Justice, IL…. In the chapel of this retreat house they have a large, round stained-glass window. And in the center of the window is a dog with a torch in its mouth.
The first few times that I prayed in the chapel I was drawn to this image of the dog. I had never seen a dog in a stained-glass window, so I asked one of the Sisters about the meaning of the dog.
She told me that when St. Dominic’s mother, Blessed Joan of Aza, was pregnant with Dominic, she had a dream in which she saw a dog running through a field with a torch in its mouth. The field of hay was very dry, so as the dog ran through the field, the torch lit the dry hay and the fire spread through the whole field.
It was a vision for what her son was going to do to the world with the Word of God – light it on fire! This was God’s will for Dominic’s life. He was to be that dog that runs through the field of life. There are so many people who don’t know God and are dried up spiritually. They thirst for God and don’t even know it. Dominic was to be a preacher (the Dominicans are known as the “Order of Preachers”; hence they have OP after their name). By preaching the word of God he was to light the world on fire with the love of Jesus Christ.
Now that is inspiring! We too are to light a fire in the world. People are hungering for the Truth, thirsting for holiness. They are looking for Jesus, but often in the wrong places. Jesus wants to light your heart on fire first because we can’t give what we don’t have.
Do I know the Lord and His burning love for me?
Has my heart been lit on fire for Jesus?
Am I spreading this fire, or am I spreading other things (lies, rumors, gossip)?
Lord, help me to be your instrument of love to this world that is so hungry and thirsty for you. Give me the grace to know your love deep in my heart. Give me the desire to seek you above all things and to cling to only you. Then let your love shine through my smile, my words, my actions and my work.
St. Dominic, pray for us!
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