Somehow I thought of being a priest when I saw the Superbowl commercial below.
In this commercial there is a little dog named “Wego” who, when his name is called, runs and fetches a spirited drink (aka Bud Light) for those who call his name. Yes, you might see Wego as a kind of “Domini canis” (a dog of the Lord), who fetches something of the “spirit” for those who ask. While some say this Latin expression is where Dominicans get their name, that is not so, they are named after St. Dominic. Yet many priests, Dominican and other, proudly wear the title Domini canis as well!
Yes, I’d just like to say that “Wego” represents every priest who is called to be a Domini canis (a dog of the Lord).
Now Wego is also called a “rescue dog” which is another good title for a priest. For, rescuing souls from darkness and drawing them to the life of the Spirit, by God’s grace, is surely a central role of the priest. And we should be willing to work like dogs to do it.
In fact, I have it on the best of authority (my own imagination) that the dog’s name WEGO is short for Willing Energetic God Offerer. Which is also what every priest should be.
Now Wego the Dog brings a “spiritual” beverage to to each person in need. I pray you will allow for the humor of considering beer a symbol of thing spiritual. I beg your patience on two counts.
- First Scripture also plays on “spirited” drinks and the Holy Spirit. For when the Holy Spirit descended on them in the upper room and the crowds marveled at their joy we read: Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine” (Acts 2:13). Yes, some in the crowd confused the effects of the Holy Spirit with an ordinary spirited drink! But joy is hard to hide. They are indeed filled with the Holy Spirit.
- In second defense I offer the oft disputed quote of Ben Franklin who (may have) said, Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Whoever said it, I largely believe it’s true, if the beer is consumed in moderation. 🙂
With these two witnesses in my favor please allow the spirited beverage (aka the Beer) to represent the Holy Spirit and things spiritual.
And one final thing to note about Wego the “dog of the Lord” is that he adapts himself to the needs of each person or group. As St. Paul says,
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor 9:19-23)
Thus note how Wego the dog assesses each situation differently and responds. But note too, he always brings the same spirited beverage. Thus, though his approach is different, the “truth” of what he offers remains unchanged. Many priests have to do this as well, adapting themselves to many different situations while never compromising the Gospel, the Word of God or the teachings of the Church.
In this short video you’ll see a number of aspects of priestly ministry that Wego exhibits analogously:
- There is Men’s Ministry
- There is Women’s Ministry
- There are pre-Cana instructions
- There is a baptism
- There is Theology on Tap
See if you can find them all in the video. At the end is a call to prayer, for rescue dogs. But perhaps you might also see Wego asking you to pray for priests, the rescue dogs in your own life.
Wego, Dog of the Lord!