Timoner: Forgive, shake dust off your feet to preach convincingly

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MASTER of the Order of Preachers and University Chancellor Fr. Gerard Timoner III, O.P. told his fellow Dominicans and Thomasians to forgive those who have wronged them and shake the dust off their feet to be able to preach the Gospel effectively.

Reconciliation is an integral part of being the bearer of the Good News, Timoner said in his homily during the Eucharistic celebration on Aug. 7, the eve of the feast of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the order.

“Jesus tells us, if you offer your gift to the altar and realize that you have something against your brother or sister, leave that gift, be reconciled and then come back and offer your gift,” the 88th successor of St. Dominic said.

“Forgiving is difficult when we try to forget. To forgive is not to forget but to remember in a different way,” Timoner added.

To be an effective preacher of the Word, the faithful must shake the dust off their feet — “bad news” and “toxic memory” in their journeys as Christians, he said.

“We can only preach the Gospel convincingly if we do so joyously, [and] to do so, we must shake the dust off our feet,” he said.

Timoner said there was an “urgency” to preach the Gospel, and those called must travel lightly and promptly.

“It is difficult to travel when we have a lot to carry,” he said. “Jesus admonishes us to travel light. [T]he Gospel needs to be proclaimed with compelling and immediate action.”

The chancellor also reiterated the importance of “humility and hospitality” in proclaiming the Gospel, as seen in Jesus’ cleansing of the apostles’ feet.

Timoner is the first Filipino and Asian Master of the Order of Preachers, founded by St. Dominic to fight heretics in 1215.

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