St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Hebrews 9:15,24-28 + Psalm 98 + Mark 3:22-30
January 28, 2013
“Christ is mediator of a new covenant….” [Hebrews 9:15]
In the Church’s calendar, St. Thomas Aquinas is referred to by two titles. He was a priest and a Doctor of the Church. The latter is a far more rare title. Only 35 members of the Church have been declared such a great “teacher” (the literal meaning of “doctor”) of the Catholic Faith.
Nonetheless, St. Thomas Aquinas would likely see greater honor in being called to the ordained priesthood. The life of Jesus shows us that teaching is subordinate to the sacrifice of self. Jesus preached during three years of public ministry in order to draw people after Him to Calvary. Christians don’t only accept the gift of salvation that comes through the death and Resurrection of Jesus. We allow Jesus to live His entire life—dying and rising—within each of us. Our own personal sacrifices of self, even if small, can bear to others the grace that Jesus won for us on Calvary.
“Christ is mediator of a new covenant….” At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you’” [Luke 22:20]. Jesus’ words reveal to us the centrality of the Last Supper, and therefore the Holy Eucharist, in the life of the Church: “‘This cup is the new covenant….’” From the Eucharist we draw the strength to find meaning in our daily sacrifices. For them, we accept “our daily bread”.