Friday, 28 January 2022 : 3rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures all of us are called to remember the words that we have heard, so that we may remember to sow the seeds of faith in our hearts and provide them the best condition possible for our faith to grow and blossom. Then, at the same time we also ought to be guarding ourselves against the snares of sin and evil, so we will not end up falling further and deeper into the trap of sin.

In our first reading today, we heard from the second Book of the prophet Samuel of the continuation of the account of the reign and deeds of King David of Israel that we have been hearing for the past two weeks or so. We heard of the time when King David had been secure in his kingdom and had been blessed by God with much prosperity and happiness. However, David was swayed by the beauty of one named Bathsheba, the wife of one of his army captains named Uriah, known as the Hittite. David began to desire for Bathsheba and was infatuated with her when he saw her bathing in one occasion.

That led to an affair between David and Bathsheba, which resulted in her having a child that was David’s. Afraid that his affair would be found out by Uriah and others, David was desperate in trying to trick him into sleeping with his wife so as to hide the fact of the sin that he has committed before God and others. Uriah however was a righteous man and he did not do as David intended, and as such, David with the help of the cunning advisors he had, sent Uriah to the thickest midst of the battle against the Ammonites and ended up leading to Uriah’s death.

But God knew all that each one of us had done including that which David had done, no matter how hard he might have tried to hide it. Even the righteous and faithful David could fall into the traps of sin, and the snares of evil and wickedness indeed reached far and wide as those past examples have shown us thus far. Unless we are vigilant in our defence and preparedness against the forces of sin and evil, we may end up finding ourselves in the wrong side during the Day of Judgment because our sins and wickedness become stumbling block on our path towards salvation in God.

Today, in our Gospel passage, all of us heard the Lord speaking to His disciples using a parable, namely the parable of the sower and the mustard seed. Through those parables, the Lord wanted to explain clearly in the context of what the people understood, how building the kingdom of God requires effort and hard work, and our faith is not one that can just be easily lived in idleness and passive attitude. Instead, all of us as Christians are called to live our lives with vigour and great zeal, spending the time and effort to follow the Lord in all of our actions and deeds, in our words and interactions.

That means each and every one of us have to be active in nurturing our faith, doing whatever we can in every small and little things in life, in following the teachings of the Lord, obeying His will and Law, living in the way that His commandments had shown us, and doing whatever we can to be exemplary in our contributions as Christians, in being role models for one another. It is important that we do so, just as the mustard seeds require the right condition and nurturing to be able to grow to the great size it will attain when mature, and how the sower will earn a lot of returns if he took great care of the fields.

Today we all celebrate the feast of a truly great saint, whose renown throughout all Christendom remained even to this very day. St. Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest minds of the Church, a most faithful and ardent servant of the Lord dedicated to the glory of God. St. Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican friar and priest who was remembered for his amazing treatises and works in theology and philosophy, Church law and other things, especially in his works in the Summa Theologiae, his most famous work of all.

St. Thomas Aquinas spent a lot of years in immersing himself in his works, gaining much insight over various areas of Christian philosophy and theology, while learning the great experiences from the past philosophers in improving his own understanding of the Divine. He was known later as the Angelic Doctor or Doctor Angelicum and is recognised as a great Doctor of the Church, a very important persona in the history of Christendom in the West, who still inspired many even to this day.

Through the great faith and dedication showed by St. Thomas Aquinas, we are called to remember our own need and obligation to follow the Lord wholeheartedly, and to do whatever we can in order to serve the Lord by our actions and deeds, even in the smallest things. We are all called to remain true to our faith and resist the many temptations to sin present in our world today. We have to remind ourselves how sin can even twist the most righteous of peoples like David, and therefore strive to remain committed to Him at all times.

May the Lord be with us always and may He empower each and every one of us to resist the temptations of sin and to be righteous and just in all our lives. May God bless our every endeavours and good works, and may He bless us always with His truth and love, that we may always walk faithfully in the path of His servants, especially that of St. Thomas Aquinas whose memory we remember today, now and always. Amen.

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