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Dominicans celebrate end of 800-year jubilee

ROME (SE): Pope Francis celebrated the closing Mass of the Dominican Jubilee, which began on November 7 last year to mark the eight centuries that have passed since the movement was formally confirmed as the Order of Preachers by Pope Honorius III.

At the January 21 Mass celebrated in the church of St. John Lateran, he invited Dominicans worldwide to become the salt and the light of the world in what he described as a carnival of curiosity, which he noted, reflects a similar world to the one that the order was born into 800 years ago.

He described the carnival as being one of seduction, which calls for an urgent response, as the tendency is to seek novelties, so the proper world of the human being is redefined as an environment of appearance and consumption, which recycles old things, but without making them new again.

In describing the globalised world of today as being liquid or fluid, he said that it lacks fixed points, leaving it deprived of solid, stable references in a culture that he often describes as being ephemeral, or a throwaway society.

Pope Francis stressed that a coherent response involves simply doing good for neighbour, as that is what gives birth in the heart of gratitude to God the Father and is the only way to pass through the pseudo festive superficiality to glorification.

“However, for this shakeup to happen, salt must not lose its taste and the light must not be hidden,” Pope Francis told the Dominicans gathered for the occasion.

“Jesus says it very clearly: if salt loses its taste, it is no longer useful. Alas if salt loses its taste! Alas a Church that loses her taste! Watch out for a priest, a consecrated person, a congregation that loses its taste!” he added.

“Today, we give glory to the Father for the work that St. Dominic carried out, full of the light and salt of Christ, 800 years ago; a work at the service of the gospel, preached with the word and with life; a work that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, has helped so many men and women to not be dispersed in the midst of the carnival of worldly curiosity, but who instead savoured the taste of healthy doctrine, the taste of the gospel and became in turn, light and salt, craftsmen of good works,” Pope Francis concluded.

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