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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Whose house are you building?

Monday, March 19, 2007
Solemnity of St Joseph Read more

Taste and See the Lord's Goodness

Saturday, March 17, 2007
Sunday 4 of Lent - Laetare Sunday

Readings: Joshua 5:9a, 10-12; Ps 34; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them..." (Luke 15:3) In response to the murmuring of his detractors, Jesus tells three parables of things lost and found: a sheep, a coin and two sons. Each ends with rejoicing and celebration when the lost is restored, and this is fully expressed in the parable of the lost sons where the father's joy is shown through feasting, music and dancing. As we have reached mid-Lent, rejoicing is indeed the keynote of Laetare Sunday: the Liturgy expresses this through the use of distinctive rose vestments and the resounding of the organ, and at the Eucharistic feast we too make music and celebrate.

Why do we celebrate and rejoice? Because the Lord has chosen to feast with us sinners and indeed He feeds and restores us to new life with his own Body and Blood. Thus today's psalm response invites us to "taste and see the goodness of the Lord". The Eucharist is the joy-filled celebration when we experience God's goodness. As Pope Benedict XVI said in his recent apostolic exhortation Sacramentum caritatis: "The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God's infinite love for every man and woman ... Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us 'to the end,' even to offering us his body and his blood."
Christ and St John at the Eucharist
In the light of this, we have a choice of either accepting Christ's offer of love or rejecting it. The prodigal son, after he had repented of his ways and returned to his father, accepted his unconditional love. That is our Lenten and life's journey in a nutshell: to recognize our sinfulness, to return to God, accepting His loving mercy and rejoicing with Him in the intimacy of the Eucharist.

But even so, some of us can be like the elder son, who observe the Father's love daily yet do not truly see and taste God's goodness; we hold ourselves aloof and independent of God's embrace and take His Eucharistic gift for granted. The Eucharist is thus a challenge to us, for "Eucharistic communion, includes the reality both of being loved [by God] and of loving others in turn. A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented". We may choose to stay outside.

Others may withdraw from the feasting because of unworthiness. While repentance is necessary, just as sorrow comes before joy and Lent before Easter, our fundamental unworthiness is not foremost. Rather, in the Eucharist, Jesus Himself chooses to welcome sinners and eat with us, and because we are unworthy, God takes the initiative. That is the way of love, the gift of the Eucharist, which George Herbert's poem Love bade me welcome expresses so well.

This Laetare Sunday, what better cause for rejoicing have we than a realization of God's love manifest in the Eucharist and the foretaste of eternal life that it offers?  Read more

To love God

Friday, March 16, 2007
Friday 3 of Lent Read more

Finger of God

Thursday, March 15, 2007
Thursday 3 of Lent Read more

Unity through distinction

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Wednesday 3 of Lent Read more

The duty to forgive

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Tuesday 3 of Lent Read more

Resist not evil

Monday, March 12, 2007
Monday 3 of Lent Read more

God’s eternal presence

Sunday, March 11, 2007
Sunday 3 of Lent Read more

Sibling Rivalry

Saturday, March 10, 2007
Saturday 2 of Lent Read more

Room for God in Europe?

Friday, March 09, 2007
Friday 2 of Lent Read more
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