Thursday, January 28, 2010

Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, doctor of the Church

(II Samuel 7:18-19.24-29; Mark 4:21-25)

It is said that when St. Thomas Aquinas finished his tract on the Eucharist in the Summa Theologiae, Christ appeared to him. The Lord reportedly said, “Thomas, you have written well of me. What would you like in return?” Aquinas answered, “Nothing but you, O Lord.”

Thomas’ desire to be united with Jesus shows an appreciation of the gospel passage today. The lamp that is to be placed on a lamp stand and the word that is to be heard are none other than Jesus himself. Thomas made knowing the Lord his quest in life. Encyclopedias will describe him as a theologian and philosopher. These labels are certainly valid, but they belie the fact that as an academic the only title that Thomas Aquinas ever carried was professor of Scripture. He knew God’s holy word thoroughly, commented on it (or him!) prodigiously, and lived it implicitly.