St Thomas Aquinas
(1225 – 1274)
He was born of a noble family in southern Italy, and was educated by the Benedictines. He studied in Paris and in Cologne under the great philosopher St Albert the Great. He is the Church’s one and only Angelic Doctor.
Entrance Antiphon : Cf. Sir 15: 5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.
O God, who made Saint Thomas Aquinas outstanding in his zeal for holiness and his study of sacred doctrine, grant us, we pray, that we may understand what he taught and imitate what he accomplished. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading : Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
Christ brings a new covenant, as the mediator, only so that the people who were called to an eternal inheritance may actually receive what was promised: his death took place to cancel the sins that infringed the earlier covenant. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.
Psalm 97 (98):1-6
R/ Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders.
1.Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation.
2.The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. He has remembered his truth and love for the house of Israel.
3.All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to the Lord, all the earth, ring out your joy.
4.Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp with the sound of music. With trumpets and the sound of the horn acclaim the King, the Lord.
Gospel Acclamation Ps 24:4,5
Alleluia, alleluia!Teach me your paths, my God, make me walk in your truth. Alleluia!
Gospel : Mark 3:22-30
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house. ‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’
Prayer over the Offerings
May the sacrifice which we gladly present on the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas be pleasing to you, O God, for, taught by him, we, too, give ourselves entirely to you in praise. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon : Cf. Lk 12: 42
Behold a faithful and prudent steward to give them their allowance of food at the proper time.
Prayer after Communion
Through Christ the teacher, O Lord, instruct those you feed with Christ, the living Bread, that on the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas they may learn your truth and express it in works of charity. Through Christ our Lord.
God has made a covenant with us through Jesus Christ. Jesus shed his blood once and for all for us, and whoever believes in him has his sins forgiven. If we receive forgiveness for all sins through Christ, then why does he declare that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven? What does this sin consist in? It consists in rejecting Jesus and calling evil what is manifestly good and comes from him. If we reject the actions of Jesus, if we condemn the acts that are performed by his servants through his grace, then we are sinning against the Holy Spirit, since it is the Holy Spirit who inspires these acts. Consequently, to reject the actions which Jesus inspires in his children through his Spirit is to walk towards our own doom. We should allow Jesus to break into our hearts and take us hostage, so that we may see him at work in our lives and in the world and give him praise.