How providential we have the gospel reading this weekend about paying taxes to Caesar. We are a little more than two weeks away from the elections, and we have had the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, nominee to be a Supreme Court justice. Just what is the relationship between the state government (by state we simply mean secular) and the Church? A little background this week on this concept.
Fr. Michael Mascari, O.P. preaches on the Annunciation through the eyes of St. Thomas Aquinas; that the Birth of Jesus was planned and executed entirely because God’s love for humanity. Under God’s Providence, Mary acts according to God’s plan. Amazingly, as Mary was, we are also completely enfolded in God’s Providence; in the midst of all our anxiety, we can always turn to God and trust in His hidden work.
We see both in the Scriptures today and in the Summa Theologiae of Thomas Aquinas that the Law we Christians are under is that of the Spirit and of Charity.
The gospel this Sunday is about the temptation of Jesus. Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted. But why? Why was it the Spirit led Jesus into the desert? Saint Thomas Aquinas provides four reasons, and we have much we can learn from today’s Gospel.
So many things could be said about the great doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas. But perhaps the most important thing to be said about Saint Thomas, is that more important than anything else was his loving relationship with God.
There is an often quoted statement from Saint Thomas Aquinas, who we celebrate today. Aquinas is really the most gifted theologian in the history of the Church. But toward the end of his life, he was saying that all he had written was just so much straw. Some take this to mean he did not value or appreciate what he wrote. However, truth be told, he was comparing what he wrote with his mystical experience of God and compared to this mystical experience of God, what he had written, his attempts to clarify, seemed like so much straw. What we are reminded of today is what Aquinas knew so well; there is nothing better than our relationship with God.