Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas
Today the church celebrates Saint Thomas Aquinas considered one of the Catholic Church’s greatest theologians and philosophers. The works of Aquinas have long been used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests and deacons as well as those seeking formation in other disciplines in philosophy, Catholic theology, church history, liturgy and canon law. He is regarded as the master and patron of Catholic academia. In a real sense, we have Aquinas to thank for giving us a model of how to live and love as faithful Christians no matter the deity one follows or worships.
So how are we supposed to worship and live as faithful Christians today!? In the reading from Hebrews we hear;
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
In our psalm response we hear:
A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.
In the Gospel from Mark, we are encouraged to let our light shine, taking care not to keep it hidden under a bushel basket. We are reminded that there is nothing hidden and to make all things visible; that nothing is secret except to come to light. Furthermore, we are called to listen carefully and to act accordingly.
This past week has been filled with much excitement as we said goodbye to past leadership and welcomed new leadership for our country. It is a time of hope and promise as well as anxiety and concern for the problems and issues that surround us. Our scriptures seem to dwell on the importance of ‘light’. The young poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, gave us this image of ‘light’ in her stirring poem, The Hill We Climb.
‘When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.’
The light of Christ shines brightly within each one of us. We are called to share this light with those around us, whether it be those we agree or disagree with. Sharing the light of Christ with others takes courage, determination, faith and love. For so many months and years it seems we have been surrounded by the darkness of despair and negativity. The gospel message, the message of our new leadership, the hope of the coronavirus vaccine, the sunshine that streams in my window as I write this reflection, the news of an impending birth is just some of the ways I feel bathed in the Light of Christ. What are yours!
Let us rouse one another to love and good works. Let us keep our lamps lit and shining. Let us always be brave to not only see the light but also to BE IT!
HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!
Theresa Secord recently retired as a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.