This Tuesday the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, commonly called the Angelic Doctor. St. Thomas lived in the 13th century and was the most significant Scholastic of the period. Though a member of the Order of Friars Preachers, or Dominicans, he grew up in a wealthy family in Italy. Having expressed his desire to enter religious life his family sought a "suitable" position for him at the famous Benedictine monastery Monte Cassino. However, St. Thomas' desire was to live as a mendicant among the newly founded Dominican order. After much, and sometimes aggressive, protestation from his family he took the white habit. He became a student of St. Albert the Great. Once, when a fellow student mocked his oafish demeanor during class by calling him a dumb ox, St. Albert responded, "We call this man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world." His professor's prediction proved accurate. St. Thomas would go on to write the great Summa Theologica, and though it was never completed, it is still one of the most significant theological works in the history of the Church. Intended for seminarians and the literate faithful, it begins by addressing the questions of God's existence and the creation of man. This is commonly called natural theology, it is the things one can know through reason alone without divine revelation. St. Thomas then moves on addressing law, the moral life, the life of Christ, divine revelation, and more.READ MORE
As we dive into Ordinary Time, having just celebrated the Baptism of the Lord last Sunday, we stay with St. John the Baptist in our Gospel today. John sees Jesus and remarks, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." To the Jewish ear, the allusion would have been quite clear. This is a clear comment about the Passover Lamb, now in a person. Where the blood of the Passover Lamb in Egypt had protected the Hebrews from the angel of death, John now points to a person who is the true Lamb of God. The power of Jesus is power over death. Even more so, his power is the power of life itself. Every time we attend mass the priest holds up the Host and echoes the words of John, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb." The last part reminds us that as we are called to share in the "supper of the Lamb" now, even more so are we called to attend in eternity. In the Mass, we receive a foretaste of heaven, an invitation to receive now what God desires us to share for eternity.READ MORE
Happy New Year!
2020 is here! It's hard to believe that a new year is upon us once again. This past week, 9 members of our staff attended the FOCUS SLS20 conference. This event focused on evangelization and making missionary disciples. I am very grateful that our parish had the opportunity to attend with such a great showing. While originally for college students (there were about 15,000 present), FOCUS recently added a track for those living and working in the parish setting. We look forward to co ntinue to discern how the Lord is inviting each of us here at St. Joan of Arc into a deeper relationship with Him.READ MORE