Today’s saint, St Dominic (*1170 +1221) was born in Castile (part of modern Spain). In 1216 he founded the Order of Preachers, dedicated to saving souls by preaching and persuasion. Like the Franciscans, founded a few years before, the Dominicans put great importance on poverty, both of the individual and of the community, and of the need to be involved directly in the world while still living some form of monastic life. The Friars made a lasting impact on the life of mediaeval Europe, and the Dominicans in particular altered the course of intellectual history. According to a tradition, Our Lady gave the Rosary to St Dominic as a most effective way of helping Christians to grow in holiness.
Dominic always carried with him a copy of Matthew’s gospel which he practically knew by heart. Here is a commentary on today’s gospel (Matt 17:22-27 – copied below) from BIBLE ALIVE.
One day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men; they will put him to death, and on the third day he will be raised to life again’. And a great sadness came over them.
When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ ‘Oh yes’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ And when he replied, ‘From foreigners,’ Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so as not to offend these people, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that bites, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for you.’