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Jubilee Year of St Paul

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"You are the chosen instrument of God, Saint Paul, the apostle of the nations. You are the preacher of truth in all the world" - responsory for the feast of the Conversion of St Paul
St Paul
To mark the 2000th anniversary of St Paul, Pope Benedict XVI has exhorted the Church to celebrate a year of St Paul to begin on 28 June 2008 and run to 29 June 2009. The 'Pauline Year' will be a period for us to reflect on the writings and example of St Paul, and to renew our desire to spread the Word of God. Our world, like the world that St Paul inhabited, needs our Christian witness of love and a dynamic preaching that engages with the concerns of our contemporaries and transforms the philosophy of the age with the truth of the gospel. Thus, the Holy Father said, "Today, too, Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St. Paul", and so, we are invited to respond generously and courageously to God's call.

As preachers of the truth, Dominicans have a special love for St Paul and seek to share in his apostolic life of itinerant preaching. We recall the words of St Paul who said: "God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise… so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord’” (1 Cor 1:27-31). Thus, St Paul offers a witness of humility to those of us who wish to follow in his footsteps. He also reminds us not to rely on "lofty words or wisdom" but rather on God's Holy Spirit so that our "faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God" (see 1 Cor 2:1-5). In this regard, one is reminded of the advice of the fifth Master of the Order, Bl Humbert of Romans, who said in his Treatise on Preaching: "Since human effort can achieve nothing without the help of God, the most important thing of all for a preacher is that he should have recourse to prayer, asking God to grant him speech that will be effective in bringing salvation to his hearers".

With this in mind, Godzdogz invites you to join us on this year-long journey as we celebrate the Year of St Paul. In the next few months we shall present an A-Z of themes in St Paul's writings. Later in the year, we plan to follow Paul's example of dialogue with contemporary ideas by presenting a response to the challenges of the so-called 'new atheism'.

Lawrence Lew OP


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