In his homily during the August 7, 2017 (Monday) Mass in honor of the Feast Day of St. Dominic de Guzman, Founder of the Order of Preachers, the Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., PhD, UST Rector, reminded Thomasians of how the lives of saints like Dominic are models of the true meaning of beauty, using one’s feet as a symbolism.
The symbolism of the feet
In his homily, Fr. Dagohoy likewise paid tribute to the early Dominicans, the preachers who were “rarely found in the convent because they were going around preaching the Good News on barefoot.” The Rector quoted Isaiah who said that beauty was found in people whose feet helped bring good tidings to the faithful.
Fr. Dagohoy said that the feet usually bore the brunt of the long and arduous journey that preaching required, easily rendering the feet blistered and swollen. Despite the unsightly appearance of the travel-weary feet, however, “seeing the messenger was a blessing. Those who are sent to greet the messenger usually exclaim of how beautiful the feet of the one who brought the good news are.”
Quoting the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, the Rector said that “beauty must be a reflection of the new evangelization. As St. Augustine writes, it is not possible to love what is not beautiful. Beauty attracts us to love. God reveals Himself through beauty.”
Citing Hebrew etymology, beauty is defined not as pretty or cute, but as befitting, becoming, and perfectly appropriate. The Rector stressed that beauty is found in its honesty and appropriateness. “Ang ibig-sabihin ng maganda ay tapat, dapat, at karapat-dapat. Tapat sapagkat ito ay totoo, walang kulang, walang bawas, walang dagdag. Dapat sapagkat ito ay ukol at marapat. Karapat-dapat sapagkatito ay akma at natatangi.”
The continuing challenge for the Sons of Dominic
Addressing his brethren, the Rector said that the challenge for the friars is to be able to answer the questions: “Tapat ba? Dapat ba? Karapat-dapat ba? Harinawa, maging salamin kami ng tunay na kagandahan, upang sa huli, sa panahon na kami’y susukatin ng Diyos, isa lang ang sasabihin Niya sa amin: Maganda.”
The concelebrated Mass was held at the Santísimo Rosario Parish Church, on the eve of the August 8 Feast Day of St. Dominic. The Mass is a yearly tradition for Thomasians. Among the concelebrants earlier today was Rev. Fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III, O.P., Socius of the Master of the Order of Preachers for Asia-Pacific.