On October 31, 1517, the Augustinian monk, Doctor of Theology, and priest Martin Luther made public his 95 Theses. This year we commemorate those ideas, posted to stir academic debate 500 years ago. One of the theses that resonate with my Dominican spirituality of Veritas is number 62: “The true treasure of the Church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.”
As one nurtured by Dominican Sisters, and ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I am profoundly grateful for the vast gifts of St. Dominic and Martin Luther. Both lived in a time of turmoil. Both had deep concern for the well being of people. Both were dedicated to making the Gospel available to all. Dominic made the revolutionary move to preaching in the local vernacular. Martin made the revolutionary move of translating and printing the bible in the vernacular. Both were fiercely dedicated to the Church and to the Word of God.
Both these disparate yet similar worlds live well within my spirit as one who was loved by Dominican teachers who were seeking truth, making peace, and reverencing life. In time, I was called by my baptism to ordination in the Lutheran tradition. During my training in seminary, I learned of Martin’s dedication to social justice as he created a Community Chest as a resource for any in need. In this I hear the echo of Dominic’s dedication to meet people where they lived, and in their need. My life as a preacher is a legacy to their dedication to the Word and to the world, held in tension with the matters of social justice, and in the light of the Gospel.
I am deeply grateful to live into the missions of both Dominic de Guzman and Martin Luther. May their examples of faith seeking truth for the good of the world inspire all. –
Rev. Annette Griffin, Lutheran Minister
The full text of last year’s post for Reformation Sunday from which this passage is drawn, click here.