Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest

(Hebrews 10:11-18; Mark 4:1-20)

If the seed is the word of God and if it produces an abundant harvest when it falls on fertile ground as today’s gospel proclaims, then it has seldom yielded more than when it struck the ears of Thomas Aquinas.  Few writers have been more prodigious and few thinkers more profound than the thirteenth century Dominican friar.

What made Aquinas such rich soil for an intellectual yield?  Three factors come to mind.  First, as a child he was sent to a Benedictine monastery for school.  There he probably learned to savor the word of God in his heart so that he could appreciate its every aspect.  Second, as an adolescent Thomas studied Aristotelean philosophy in Naples.  The ancient Greek’s rigid analysis of the real world gave the budding genius a penchant to express the truth with the purity of an angel.  Finally, Thomas embraced the radical life of the Dominican friars who depended implicitly on Divine Providence and allowed no concern to impede their vocation of saving souls.

Like all the saints, Thomas Aquinas was especially endowed by God.  As very few possess his genius, we can hardly rival his holiness.  But God continually breaks down the rocky texture of our lives so that we might, like Aquinas, produce an output of wise words and loving deeds that assist others on the road to salvation.