Detail of a door at Maison St. Dominic, Fanjeaux, France, by Suzie Wong. Used with permission. (Jeremiah 31:1-7; Responsorial: Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12AB, 13; Matthew 15:21-28) Today’s readings are fitting as we celebrate the Feast of our Joyful Friar, St. Dominic because they capture both his spirit and his mission. The first reading calls us to rejoice with festive tambourines and dancing as we celebrate God’s promise of restoration of the people of Israel and, by extension, of the people of Earth today. We can find much darkness and many reasons for concern, but we are called to trust in the God who keeps promises and who will – with our help – restore the fortunes of the people. Dominic dealt with a difficult ministry and powerful heresies, but he remained joyful as he proclaimed the truth of God’s love. We, too, must deal with the challenges of our times and, with the joy of Dominic, dispel the heresies, proclaiming God’s love. The Gospel reminds us that we are also called to preach through our actions, by bringing healing to the people we encounter. Jesus seems reluctant to cast the demon from the Canaanite woman’s daughter, but the mother gently but cleverly helped him to see that she, too, was worthy of at least the scraps of healing. As Dominicans, we are called to extend healing and compassion to people on the margins – whether they’re immigrants seeking safety in the United States or local people who suffer from poverty or rejection. Let us, like Jesus and like Dominic, sow compassion and service to all who are in need. Sister Barbara Kelley, OP Adrian, Michigan P.S. Stay tuned! We will be releasing reflections on St. Dominic throughout the month of August.