In commemoration of the 800th anniversary of St. Dominic de Guzman’s Dies Natalis, or the eternal life in heaven, Archbishop of Manila Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, O.P., D.D. presided over the Eucharistic Celebration on August 4, 2021 at the Santísimo Rosario Parish.
Remembering St. Dominic as the salt of the Earth, light of the world
In his homily, grounded on the two central images of salt and light, Cardinal Advincula said the Thomasian community must remember and reflect on St. Dominic’s life, which was dedicated to serve the Church and the people: “St. Dominic’s zeal in preaching the gospel remains an example for us today, like the exaltation of St. Paul in our Second Reading.” The Thomasian cardinal added: “St. Dominic preached the word and stayed with his task, whether convenient or inconvenient, constantly teaching and never losing patience.”
Moreover, relating the milestone with the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines this year, Cardinal Advincula mentioned that St. Dominic’s legacy of preaching has been kept alive by his successors. “We cannot ignore the great contributions of the sons of St. Dominic to our country. The Dominican missionaries have truly become salt and light, [who are] faithful to their mission of preaching the Gospel of Jesus,” he said.
Cardinal Advincula, who is currently the 33rd Bishop of Manila, also mentioned that the first Bishop of Manila was a Dominican missionary, Bishop Domingo de Salazar, O.P., who served from 1579 to 1594. “Domingo de Salazar was a great son of St. Dominic, [who was] grounded in the truth of universal human rights and defended the dignity and the rights of the native people,” Cardinal Advincula said, citing Pope Francis’ letter to the Master of the Order, Very Rev. fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III, O.P., in celebration of the Order’s Jubilee Year.
The Christian Standard
Meanwhile, Cardinal Advincula reminded the Thomasian community of their role as “the salt of the Earth and the light of the world”, which Jesus had entrusted to each and everyone. “What we find here, my dear friends, is an incredible esteem, trust, and confidence that the Lord has in us; it is an incredible hope that he places in us,” he said.
“Jesus encourages us to be aware of this [role], to be conscious of this [role]. He is telling us that we should not simply remain superficial, but instead go down deep in the deepest recesses of our hearts. And there, we will find the lighted lamp and a handful of salt,” Cardinal Advincula added.
The two central images both signify the Church’s way of living and proclaiming the Gospel. “Both salt and light achieve their purpose by being consumed and by disappearing, like salt in food and like oil in the lamp. This points to a discrete way of loving. Both [images] are also at the service of others. Salt gives flavor to food so that someone else can enjoy eating it, while the lamp provides light so that someone else can walk safely. And so, salt and light are images of a love that is not directed to one’s self, but places one’s self generously at the service of others. And this precisely is Christian love […] this is the standard with which we should measure ourselves,” Cardinal Advincula said.
Watch the Mass presided over by Cardinal Advincula here.