Today we celebrate and give thanks for three people who have gone before us in faith, yet still walk with us today. First, we look at the lives of our ancestors in faith, Abraham and Sarah. Their journey of faith which included leading a nation of people beset with worries and woes along with all sorts of issues and events, both happy and sad. For Abraham and Sarah, life was a struggle as they sought to live out their married life, enduring the agony of childlessness no different from many childless couples of our time. Throughout their lives, Abraham and Sarah had a deep and abiding love in the promises of the God who gave them life and who promised if they were faithful, they would reap the benefits of a long and prosperous life with countless descendants for all ages. We are the fulfillment of that promise and enjoy the life we have because of the faithfulness of our ancestors.
Next, we look at the life and contribution of Saint Thomas Aquinas, whose solemnity we celebrate today. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, was an Italian Dominican Friar and priest who was an influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism. He is considered a model teacher for those studying for ordained and lay ecclesial ministry in our church. Aquinas did not have an easy road to attaining this high status in the church. He was born into Italian nobility which included an uncle who was abbot of Monte Cassino, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the country. From an early age, Thomas was educated to follow a path leading to embracing a vocation to the Order of St Benedict. Thomas had other ideas which included pursuing a life as a Dominican Friar. His many scholastic and theological works have earned him a place of honor and respect not only in the Catholic Church, but other traditions and schools of higher learning as well.
We are blessed to be called children of Abraham and Sarah and as such to enjoy a lasting place in the kingdom of God. We celebrate, as well, the life and contributions of St Thomas Aquinas, Doctor, theologian, priest and scholar. May we continue to grow in faith and knowledge that has been handed down to us by our ancestors in faith.
Sarah, Abraham, St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us! Amen.
Theresa Secord is a retired Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.