Preaching


The OP after our names stands for “Order of Preachers,” the formal name of the religious order founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. As Dominicans, we preach with our lives—in both word and deed—guided by a search for truth (veritas) and a commitment to contemplate and share the fruits of our contemplation (contemplate et aliis tradere). 

Our Dominican lives are shaped by the interconnecting movements of study, prayer, communal life, and ministry. 

Dominic so firmly believed in the importance of study to the preaching mission that he provided a rule of “dispensation” from other responsibilities in the event they interfered with study. We are women committed to study. Through prayer and contemplation we interiorize our learnings and enter into communion with the Source of all truth. Our communal life orients us to the common good of the whole Earth community. And in ministry, our preaching takes effect.

As women of the Gospel, our preaching is also expressed in word. Read reflections on the Word of God posted by Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates on the Praedicare Blog below.

 


Preaching for Christmas Day 2023 by Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP

2023 Christmas Day
Preaching by Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP

Monday, December 25, 2023
Isaiah 52:7-10
Hebrews 1:1-6
John 1:1-18

Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP

 

At Christmas time, we enjoy the traditional images of the baby Jesus in a manger, with Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the wisemen, the angels, and an assortment of animals. For 800 years that has been our traditional Christmas image, thanks to St. Francis who created the first creche scene.

And yet for some reason the church chooses this very distinct Gospel from John that begins not in a manger, but in the beginning of time and space. We could even call it the cosmic creche.

Why do we have this unusual reading that does not match the images on our Christmas cards at all?

Perhaps because it offers us the bigger picture and the deeper reality of Christ. And the bigger picture and the deeper reality of ourselves and all creation.

It reminds us of Genesis – "In the beginning" – so this is about God’s creation. And what was there? The Word! Remember, in Genesis, it was simply by speaking that God brought all elements of life into being. That’s the same active Word here – a Word that makes things happen! A Word also known as Wisdom.

Light and life and love come into being at the beginning of time. That means us, too. In our human perception, we know that this process began about 13.8 billion years ago. The force of life that God imbued into the universe led to all that has appeared, including us.

Unlike a manger scene, it’s not easy to grasp. I think in recent years, we’ve had a taste of the beauty and power of that Genesis through images we’ve seen from the Hubble telescope, truly stunning and magnificent images.

And yet, here we are on and with Earth, where we live out our lives. And to help us understand the power of connection and love, God became flesh, part of creation. The eternal Word took on the form of a human being who pitched his tent among us, who experienced the world as we do, limited by space and time.

The one who sustains the universe accepted the limits of being a creature in need of food, love, family, and sleep and who experienced disappointments, joys, and suffering. The Word “gets us.” And the incarnate Word shows us how to live and love.

Jesus announced good news, even as he lived in an occupied land, even as so many suffered from illness or rejection around him, even as he was condemned. He brought healing, hope, and salvation and encountered others with profound love and compassion. He was always connected to the source of life and love which is not limited by time and space.

We certainly can get discouraged when we see the struggles in our world and our Earth community. Our hearts ache so much we may be tempted to look away or escape. And yet, deep down, we know there is something bigger that holds us all, that is beyond time and space, and when we connect with that divine force, we too can bring good news with our beautiful feet, like Isaiah says.

I came across a quote that touched me: “The Word spoken in love into the world inscribes a power of self-giving love into the structure of the universe.”

Our invitation is to hold on to the power of self-giving love and to share it wherever and however we can in the world right around us.

The cosmic Christ and the human Jesus have the same message – all is imbued with love, with connection, with relationship, with self-giving.

We experience it in some particular ways in our time here on Earth. And we know there is a golden thread that carries throughout and beyond all time and space that we can hold on to and trust.

The love that stirs in our hearts as we see a little baby in a manger is the same love that permeates the universe.

That’s the love we are called to bring into this hurting world – not denying the negative, just as Jesus did not, but recognizing the power of God from the beginning that still sustains all and draws our entire cosmos forward in love.

For our time on Earth, may we join in that spirit of love and, though our feet may not be so steady, or smooth, we can be assured that they are still beautiful when they bring good news.

Merry Christmas!

 

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LINKS

word.op.org - International Dominican Preaching Page

Catholic Women Preach - Featuring deep spirituality and insights from women

Preach With Your Life - Video series by Adrian Dominican Sisters

 


 

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