The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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17th December - "Son of David, Son of Abraham - Wisdom of God"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Readings: Genesis 49: 2, 8-10; Psalm 72; Matthew 1: 1-17 Read more

Waiting in Hope - Preparing for Christmas with the Dominican Students in Oxford

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In the lead-up to Christmas, the Dominican students brothers in Oxford will be giving reflections on the coming feast on the three days before Christmas Eve (21st, 22nd and 23rd December), taking their inspiration from the great O antiphons that fall on those days. For those of you in Oxford, the details are on the poster below: for our readers from further afield the talks will also be specially pre-recorded and put up on the blog. Read more

Third Week of Advent – Friday – Living the faith that we preach

Friday, December 16, 2011

Third Week of Advent - Thursday - Accept the Fullness of God's Plan

Thursday, December 15, 2011

14th December – St John of the Cross

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

13th December - St Lucy

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Third Week of Advent - Monday - Discernment

Monday, December 12, 2011
Numbers 24:2-7,15-17; Matthew 21:23-27 Read more

Third Sunday of Advent - “Rejoice!”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Readings: Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11; Luke 1: 46-55; 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24; John 1: 6-8, 19-28 Read more

Second Week of Advent - Saturday - 'Elijah has already come'

Saturday, December 10, 2011
 Readings: Sirach 48:1-4,9-11; Psalm 80; Matthew 17:9.10-13

John the Baptist must have cut a strange figure in his day. No matter how many and various the attempts to sanitise his image, he is for many of us, an extreme character. Yet, he is a character who fulfils a vital role in salvation history. But however ‘obvious’ he may have been, the disciples in today’s Gospel could not immediately equate John with another, equally extreme figure of scripture, Elijah. Elijah, ‘whose words were a flaming furnace’, and who was destined to return and ‘to turn back the hearts of fathers to their sons.’

Following Jesus down the mountain after his Transfiguration, the disciples ask him; “Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?” Jesus replies: “I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognize him but treated him as they pleased.” Like the scribes, the disciples presume that the literal Elijah, who was translated into heaven, would return as forerunner to the Messiah. They do not immediately see John the Baptist as a ‘type’; one who would precede the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah, and prepare the way for his coming (Malachi 3:1, 4:5).

The disciples initial blindness to this fact is echoed in the wider people, Israel; ‘they did not recognize him’. Not only did they not recognize him, but he was treated cruelly and killed for his pains. Like Christ he was destined, ‘to suffer at their hands’. With Jesus to explain, the disciples were to understand all this, unlike the ‘scribes’. A clear implication for us is whether we are to be disciples or scribes. Are we to grasp the message of Christ and prepare earnestly for his coming or are we to reject his words and ultimately him. Further to this we can indeed, try to be ‘types’ of John the Baptist, and make others ready for Christ’s coming. We can try to share in the Baptist’s ministry and, ‘make straight the way of the Lord’ (John 1:23) However, in doing so, we must be prepared for others to see us as strange and extreme, and be prepared for the cruelty and rejection of the world should it come.  Read more

Second Week of Advent - Friday - 'Wisdom is justified by her deeds'

Friday, December 09, 2011
Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Ps 1, Matthew 11:16-19

If you want to live as part of a happy community, usually it's a good idea to try to fit in and not cause offence to other people – don't rock the boat. This principle governs much of our day to day behaviour, and within reason, this is no bad thing, but today's Gospel reminds us that this cannot be an ultimate principle. John the Baptist, who went out into the wilderness and preached a message of repentance, definitely didn't fit in, and Jesus, who ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners, certainly caused offence. Read more
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