Above: Dominic receives the Rosary, from the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes. Photo by Father Lawrence Lew, O.P.
Today’s Gospel (Luke 17:7–10) is somewhat challenging. Let’s face it, when we have worked hard all day and return home ready to relax only to discover we must continue to give of ourselves, our hearts cry—“foul” and we have to call on all of our self-discipline not to engage in pouting and self-pity. In fact, even as we lapse into “this isn’t fair” thinking, deep inside we know that without God we are nothing and we are entitled to nothing.
Whatever we do, whatever good we accomplish, all comes from God. We may cooperate with His grace, but the reality is if our service has any merit at all it is because of Him. Furthermore, our service does not benefit God because He is “infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself” (Catechism of the Catholic Church §1). He does not need us to do what we are obliged to do, but we need to do all that has been commanded, for this is the path to eternal life.
God leaves us free, but when we do respond to grace and we do choose to use the gifts He has given us to work for His honor and glory, He blesses our efforts and make them fruitful. In the light of grace, the work is transformed.
Saint Dominic lived this reality. A humble man, Dominic knew that he was an unprofitable servant, but his faith told him that God would transform by grace whatever he did in service to the Lord. Dominic listened and responded to the voice of the Father who is free to ask anything and everything of us since all we are and all we have comes from Him. Whether walking on the road, talking all night, preaching to crowds of unbelievers, or praying for the conversion of sinners, Dominic’s works were transformed by the grace of Christ and merited Heaven for him and all who follow the Gospel he preached.
Saint Dominic, enriched with the grace of Christ, pray for us.