The readings from today’s Mass speak about who it is that God finds important: “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing…” God finds everyone important – the little no less than the great! We all have apart in His plan for humanity.
This past Friday we celebrated the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas; a man whose studies of theology and his writings earned him the official church title of Doctor of the Church, and the unofficial title Angelic Doctor. He was a giant among the giants of theology of the 13 century and his works are still one of the standards in theology in which theologians are compared to.
But I am always struck by what I consider was his greatest academic achievement. In the last year of his life he had quit writing. When his secretary asked him why he had ceased to write, Thomas answered, “All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” Here was a man that truly understood what it meant to understand God. After all the great writings, poetry, insights and teachings about God he truly understood that God was too great to understand, at least completely.
But what we should understand, what truly mattered, what makes anyone a doctor of the Church; the foolish and the wise, the weak and the strong, everyone, was summed up in just three small sentences. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Academic knowledge, social success isn’t the prerequisite for a relationship with God. A relationship with God is the prerequisite – and He is always making the first step. And for those of us who know this, well, we are match-makers; aren’t we?