Feast of Blessed Dominic Barberi, CP
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Today we celebrate the feast of Passionist Blessed Dominic Barberi. Orphaned as a small child, Dominic was raised by a maternal uncle and aunt and learned to tend sheep. As a young man, Dominic experienced his true calling: join the Passionist Congregation and someday set up a Passionist Mission in England.
Dominic Barberi truly felt the word of God at work in his heart. After years of ministries in Italy and then Belgium, Blessed Dominic was finally able to fulfill his vocation; in 1842 he was sent to establish the first Passionist residence in England. During his time in England, Dominic Barberi preached missions and received many converts to Catholicism including Anglican John Henry Newman. Dominic lived his life as a son of the Gospel, proclaiming the word of God to all. He was a true believer and lived his life as God’s will; when people saw and heard him preach, it was evident he spoke from a spirituality deep within.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the "foolish virgins." The five wise virgins brought extra oil and were prepared as they waited for the bridegroom, ready to enter the feast. The five others were foolish and were not prepared with extra oil, they had to go off and get more and were late in returning. Because of their foolishness, they were not allowed to enter the feast. They proved themselves unworthy of entering the eternal feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.
How are we preparing ourselves for the day when we will enter God’s Kingdom? Will we be ready to greet him, or will we be foolish? How can we, as spiritual and moral followers of Christ, learn to glorify God with the gifts he has given us and share those gifts? It does not have to be in the form of a call to religious life as Dominic Barberi received. Maybe these readings can help us to remember to let our trust in God be the center of our lives and to put our labors to good and loving use.
Claire Smith ([email protected]) is on staff at the Holy Cross Province Development Office in Chicago, Illinois.