St. Thomas Aquinas, Memorial~Br. Milan Komadina, Novice

Today we commemorate Saint Thomas Aquinas. He was born in Italy in 1225 (only four years after Saint Dominic’s death). In 1244, he entered the Dominicans and in 1245, he moved to Paris (and later to Naples, Rome, and Cologne) to study, teach and write. Written toward the end of his life, Thomas Aquinas’s most noted work is the Summa Theologica, in which he posits five arguments for the existence of God. But, Saint Thomas’s genius is attributed to much more than a single work. He is honored as a Doctor of the Church, and is the patron saint of scholars, schools, and students. Nearly eight-hundred years after his death, his legacy continues to teach much about grappling with truth, learning, and how both are essential to faith.

Today we read in Hebrews 11 about the importance of having faith. In our everyday life we encounter many problems. These problems could be health issues, financial or job insecurity problems, having a bad relationship with some friends or family members and so on and so forth. However, there is one thing that we, as Christians share and it could help us a lot in those hardships. This is called Faith. Faith in God does not only mean that we believe that there is God who created us. It also means that we believe that God is still present everywhere and at any time in our life. He is timeless and he has no limitation in existing at the same time in the past in the present and in the future. Sometimes we see that in the present the things in our life are not as we would like them to be. We hope we deserve better and we feel that our cross might be a bit bigger that we could carry. In those situations it is good to remember Hebrew 11:8-19 saying about Abraham who trusted God and who had full faith which means that he know that all the hardships he was struggling with were there for some reason. He moved to the Promised Land even though he could not know what this new land would bring him. But he trusted that God is in control of the future and he trusted that God had a plan. This chapter reminds us that God also has a plan for every single person. Especially the verses 11 and 12 –

And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

This is what we could call the Faith in Action. I guess that we all have struggles with having strong faith in absolutely every period of the life. Sometimes we feel unjust, or we feel hurt or we feel that we do not deserve the things that are happening to us. But still, it is important to remember also that Job was the most righteous man of his time and God allowed the devil to make many temptations, loss and hardship to his life. Yes we know the past, and sometimes it can be hard to remember it, yes, we also live our present and we could sometimes feel blue about it, but what we do not know is the future. God is in the future and he knows why we have certain hardships or temptations. But he gave us the Bible and he thought us that we will always have the cross that we can carry. He gave us the faith and he thought us through Abraham what having faith means. As a perfect example of faith is the readiness of Abraham to sacrifice his own son. As we read in verses 17, 18 and 19 –  

 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

A God example of perfect faith is that Abraham knew that God could even get Isaac back from the death. The lesson about Abraham and the importance of strong faith is the lesson that we all should repeat in our everyday life. People tend to lose or minimize their faith in the moments of hardships. Many years after Abraham, Our Lord Jesus also experienced the lack of faith of his followers when he was sleeping on the boat while there was a storm coming. As we read in Mark 4:35-41. In verse 38 they asked –

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

This is the sentence we probably often ask when struggling with the storms of our everyday problems. We are not used to let us be guide by Jesus and trust him. But happy news are that we could always rely on Him because he was the one killing down the wind and calming the storm. And he wants us to be always reminded about the question he asked in verse 40 –

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

My prayer for today is that we all could have the faith as Jesus thought us. The faith strong as the one that Abraham had. And to always remember that God is in control. Amen.