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Spain: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

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Monsignor José María Gil, Tamayo, bishop of the Diocese of Avila heeded the call of the capitulars to celebrate with them the Eucharist of "The Transfiguration of the Lord."

On the fifth day of the chapter, Monsignor Gil Tamayo, in the company of Father Marcelo Barvarino, the bishop’s secretary, began with a fraternal and cordial greeting to the new provincial, Brother Rubén Martínez Ortega, to Brother Bonifacio García Solís, former provincial, to Brother Carlos Rodríguez Linera, prior of the Royal Monastery community, all the brothers present in the chapter.

“For me, it is a great joy and satisfaction to see all these brothers together. It is an immense joy for me to have this community of Dominican friars in my diocese. It is also an example and testimony that after than 800 years, today this charism of preaching continues ”, he said, also remembering that today August 6 marks the 800th anniversary in which Dominic gave his soul to the God of life, "Precisely today marks the 800th anniversary of that Friday, August 6, 1221, when the Lord called Saint Dominic de Guzman to His presence in heaven"

He thanked all the friars for being present as a great order: “For me as bishop it is joy, it is present, the community residing here is an important help in Avila. That is why I publicly thank you, and also thank you for the invitation to accompany you on this day ”.

In this way, he invited the friars to live the liturgical celebration for the Feast of the Transfiguration. One special day he said: “In addition to the transfiguration, we remember this champion of evangelization, as is Saint Dominic. For this reason, let us prepare our hearts to be as our Father Saint Dominic and the Saints of the order and of the Church a little more willing and at the same level ”.

In the homily, Monsignor José María reiterated his gratitude to God first for the election of the new provincial, for which he said that from the first moment he learned of this result, he has prayed for who will direct the destiny of the province during the next four years: “Brother Rubén, I pray for you, I thank the Lord and at the same time I ask Him so that your life can be the faithful reflection of Christ and our father Saint Dominic. I ask for you and for your advice, for the chapter's definers, for the responsibility that they have to assume, they count on my prayers ”. He also thanked Fray Bonifacio García Solís for allowing him to ordain three of our brothers as priests in this diocese last May “You have given to this new bishop this great satisfaction, I thank God for this, it is a grace and it links me much more to the Dominican Order, for which I have great respect and great affection. It is that, gratitude what I feel for you, for your service to the Church and much more for you, who belong to this province of the Rosary within ”. He further mentioned that he has had close friends within the Order.

Addressing everyone, the monsignor recalled that Pope Francis speaks of an outgoing Church and in this case, he said: “It could be, from an outgoing Order, a missionary outing that goes to the peripheries as this Dominican province has done so wisely. You have followed the road map proposed by the Pope. You gather all these ingredients of being missionaries and going where it is necessary and thus you make the gospel and fulfill the charism proper to this great religious order ”.

"What a joy it gives me to be able to welcome you in this very old temple, your church, a beautiful architecture and a church or Christian community here in Ávila, as the saying goes: Church that is a city of saints and songs " while he continued saying words full of gratitude to the friars.

For the bishop of Ávila, chapters like the one now in this city should be keys to collegiality and fidelity to the Church and to its own charism. He announced that he has prayed for the good performance of each one of the Brothers in the Chapter, so that they may remain faithful to the first source that our Father and founder gave us to drink: “The Lord called St. Dominic one day like today. That is why this feast of the transfiguration must also make us capable of transfiguring ourselves who participate in so many setbacks, sufferings, joys, and so many joys, in the anguish of our time as Gaudium et Spes says. They have come here to ask you to dwell in the Holy Spirit and to surrender to that Spirit who has called you, to feel again the call of that love first, but not only personally, but it is a corporate call, in this case, a call from the whole order. Seek love first, the original one. We must continue to shine a light on what God wanted and wants by giving rise to a charism like this, that of preaching. A charism that is ultimately the proclamation of the gospel, living in fraternity to accompany that proclamation of Christ. An announcement was full of coherence of life and joy everywhere they go ”.

Monsignor made mention of some places where the province has missions, highlighting those places where the Church has been persecuted, attacked, mistreated, and where so many missionaries of the Order have been killed, especially in the Province of Rosario. “Precisely in these peripheries, many of them, new peripheries, in lands now that have become the geopolitical epicenter to announce Jesus Christ, to give Christian meaning to the lives of so many men and women that you know closely. You have had an exemplary inculturation to get there. Thus they are giving an evangelical worldview to so many corners, assuming the commitment that this great man of the gospel assumed as was Santo Domingo, a great champion of evangelization”.

He asked the Holy Spirit for great courage for so many of our brothers. He said that his prayer will be permanent for those in mission territories, who also bet on constant renewal to shake off what hinders thus being able to discover through good discernment: “Where can be the deficiencies that do not allow us to grow personally and communally? What is the Holy Spirit asking of this Province so rich in diversity of languages ​​and cultures here and now?". He pointed out that he will continue with what St. Dominic dreamed one day and for which he continues with a spirit of prayer asking: “Hopefully the Holy Spirit has found here a sufficient echo, the creativity to faithfully renew the charism, to set apostolic goals that avoid the temptation of maintenance or stagnation, and so that ardor and evangelizing passion as Pope Francis teaches and encourages us, you continue to preach as you have done up to now. Please do it as the church loves you, admires you, and respects you, do it with this specific charism. Do it in the mystical body of Christ, without puritanism, without imitations, with creativity, with the contribution that the Dominican order has always given, with that desire of those who want to be a faithful follower of Christ, like the first Christian communities. With a sense of martyrdom and joy in the Lord, with vigor like the apostles and Sunday himself. Do so by setting an example of those who witness to Christ with his own blood, with their lives. Do it with the joy that a Christianity full of joy, purposeful, hopeful proposes, not being messengers of calamities, do not be prophets of misfortunes, but announcers of this gospel that liberates, with simplicity, meaning and demand. Do it from the smallness of your lives and your existence, with that whiteness that your habit symbolizes, in the whiteness of whoever wants to reflect the absolute dependence on God and the brotherhood among you. 

The Bishop of Avila invited and insisted that we give a reason for our faith and our hope: “And to give a reason is to study, it is to train, it is to deepen in the sacred sciences and in the human sciences that help for evangelization. To be worthy warriors of the deep and intellectual tradition, fleeing from current dangers such as Neo-Pelagianism, and from a kind of disembodied gnosis of life that installs us in a world that is not that of God, that is not that of the prolonged incarnation of the story of the son of God in his church, so love the church, help the church, we need you, I need you. Please we need you. That is why I insist on this renewed freshness of first institutional love to be givers of the reason for hope, convinced and convincing announcers of the Gospel ”.

The Monsignor emphasized that there must be a deep commitment to touch the body of Christ in those most in need and that it is based on study and research and thus be able to preach with firm criteria: “You are in those scenarios of the new evangelization because you are not yet they have heard of Christ. Be evangelizes with spirit, as Pope Francis asks us in Evangelii Gaudium, with meaning, with deep knowledge of Christ, to have that assiduous and constant relationship with Jesus, as you know how to do by contemplating and giving to others what is contemplated so that contemplated, be known and transmitted, the world needs Jesus Christ ”.

Gil Tamayo also said: “You know and suffer from pagan scenarios, there is no anti-theism, there is paganism. There are people who do not have the light of Christ on in their hearts. Be enlightening without pretending to be "enlightened" that unfortunately when it is so full of doctrine, when there is no education of the faith of the people or the shepherds are lacking, a thousand currents and false doctrines arrive as exposes the letter of Saint Peter in the solemnities inviting to live with fidelity the sound doctrine of the church ”.

He finished his preaching and reflection by encouraging the friars to move forward: "May the face of the transfigured and risen Jesus be manifested in each one of you, may you be evangelizers by being effective transformers"

He asked the intercession of the Virgin Mary in the invocation of Our Lady of the Rosary: ​​“May She help you to be good children of God our father. May She help you to continue with the proclamation of the Gospel with a convincing simplicity. May she, humble and simple, lead us to her Son so that we can continue announcing Him who is the light that, anticipating her mission, manifested Himself to the apostles as we announce in today's Gospel at this feast. Brothers, let us ask the Lord to see his face, as the apostles saw Him when he was transfigured. Amen".

The liturgy was animated by the songs of Brother Jesús Ángel Barreda accompanied by Brother Rafael Jesús Jiménez Morillo, on the organ.


Fray Marcos Julio García Sánchez, OP (Media Commission)

Photos: Fray Marcos Julio García Sánchez, OP

Traducción Modesto Fontela