Francis and Dominic – an unconditional love for the Redeemer | Homily for the Feast of Our Holy Father St. Francis, 2019

As is traditional for the liturgical celebrations of the Feast of Our Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, a Dominican friar came to the General Curia to preside and preach on the Word of God. This year, Br. Jean-Ariel Bauza-Salinas OP, General Secretary of the Order of Preachers came to us and we share part of his homily below. For the complete text (in Italian), click here.

 

Homily for the Feast of Our Holy Father St. Francis 2019

Br. Jean-Ariel Bauza-Salinas, OP

 

 

Francis and Dominic — so close and yet so different.

  • An unusual friendship springing up like a flower in the deserts of their time.
  • An unlikely friendship that no one could have foreseen — not even themselves.
  • Friendship rooted in the purity of heart of these two servants of God, who with a clear and simple gaze were able to recognize the breath of the Spirit in the insights of the other.
  • A friendship that has endured for centuries, which still lasts and which we seek to preserve as a common treasure that unites our Orders — both born of the will of the Holy Spirit.

 

So many learned and ardent preachers have come here to talk about Francis and Dominic. Having neither the wisdom of the former nor the ardour of the latter, I would simply like to mention this evening just one of the points that our founders had in common and then try to see how it is expressed in the words of Francis.

How are Dominic and Francis alike? Perhaps one of the common characteristics that could be highlighted is the attraction that both had for Christ — St. Paul sums this up in his letter to the Galatians: As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Both had unconditional love for the Lord Jesus, the Redeemer, the One who has saved the world through his blood. The concrete evidence for this are the stigmata, the signs of the passion that Francis received in his flesh, and the prayer of Dominic. In eight of his nine ways of praying, Dominic is represented in prayer before the crucified Christ from whose side there flows blood in abundance.

Both were attracted to this mystery, a mystery that they left us as their legacy. The consequence of this is the centrality of Christ in our life, in our Orders, in our legislation, in our preaching, in our way of evangelizing. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. I think of our first churches, where huge crucifixes were hung at the entrance of the choir — to be seen, for example, in Giotto’s frescoes in Assisi. To gaze on Christ, who welcomes and speaks, saying; Go and repair my church. To have no other reference, no other purpose, no other joy than to dwell with Christ and draw the world to him. […]