Instruments of God’s Compassion
In today’s Gospel, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem. Our Lord’s tears have a special significance for those with a Dominican vocation.
The following homily was preached to the student brothers during compline. You can listen here or read below:
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because the chosen people, the people loved by God, do not recognise in the coming of Jesus the culmination of God’s love, the chosen people do not recognise that Jesus is the definitive mediator between man and God. Yet Jesus’s tears are not tears of anger or resentment. Jesus weeps because he is moved with compassion. I believe there is a special Dominican vocation in this passage from Luke’s gospel.
Compared to St Francis and other saints, we do not know much about St Dominic, about his life, but there is at least one thing we are sure of. There is one feature of St Dominic’s life that never left him: his tears. We know very well, from those who knew him, that St Dominic shed countless tears for sinners.
Blessed Jordan of Saxony says that Saint Dominic “ was consumed with an ardent zeal for the salvation of infidels and sinners. To move the divine mercy to regard them with pity, he spent often whole nights in the church at prayer, watering the steps of the altar with abundance of tears, in which he was heard to sigh and groan before the Father of mercy, in the earnestness and deep affliction of his heart; never ceasing to beg with the greatest ardor, the grace to gain some of those unhappy souls to Christ.”
Christian compassion is not simply a feeling or an emotion that comes and goes as if nothing had happened. Instead, it is a conscious decision of both the mind and heart to take on the sufferings of those around us. And we are aware that there is no greater suffering than not knowing Christ, there is no greater suffering than not knowing his love and his mercy which keep lifting us up. Our holy father Dominic felt intense compassion for those who either did not know the loving face of Christ or knew a face of Christ disfigured by error and heresy.
As sons of St Dominic, it is our responsibility to focus seriously on this element of his life as a source from which we can draw a new momentum of evangelization.Let us invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Dominic so that we can become authentic instruments of God’s compassion for humanity.