EDUCATION without wisdom is nothing.

In his homily during the Concelebrated Mass for the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas last Jan. 27, Bishop Jacinto Jose of Urdaneta, Pangasinan emphasized the importance of wisdom in strengthening the University’s teachings.

“Education is a tool so that one may be able to know, but wisdom would be the faculty and the need of the spirit to know and follow what is good and to recognize and avoid evil,” he said.

Education he said, might lead one “out of ignorance,” but wisdom could help a person accumulate knowledge and skills, guided by reason.

Jose commended the University for living up to its pastoral mission and offering services to the needy, citing the Simbahayan project that built 40 houses for the victims of typhoon Pepeng in Villasis, Pangasinan last Dec. 13.

“UST, for us in Urdaneta, is a source of inspiration and hope,” Jose said. “I came here to say thank you very much.”

To commemorate the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Triduum Masses were held last Jan. 23-25, with homilies focusing on “The Prophetic, Priestly and Kingly Mission of the Lay Faithful.”

Dominican friars urged the faithful to serve the Church with the grace and guidance of the University’s patron saint.

Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P., theology professor, said Thomasian laity should uphold the values of competence, compassion, and commitment in offering one’s self to the mission of the Church.

“You are not just ordinary laities, but with the characteristics that can be offered to our Church through the inspiration of St. Thomas Aquinas,” Coronel said in his homily.

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Coronel also recognized the prophetic missions of martyrs and saints such as San Pedro Calungsod and San Lorenzo Ruiz, who symbolize the role of the laity in cooperating with the Church’s mission of evangelization.

The primary obligation of a lay person is to become “living water,” answering the call to preach the Gospel and to be living saints, he added.

Reflecting on the kingly mission of the lay faithful, Fr. Filemon Dela Cruz, O.P., vice-rector for religious affairs, said lay persons are the “frontline of the Church.”

The laity must respond to the call of the Church to be part of its ministries and to reach out to the lost and afflicted, Dela Cruz said.

Aquinas, the “Angelic Doctor of the Catholic Church,” is the patron of Catholic schools and universities. His monumental works include the Summa Contra Gentiles and the Summa Theologica.

His famous teachings on the “five scholastic proofs of the existence of God,” theories on knowledge, education, the human being, and other theological and philosophical works — all harmonizing faith and reason — made him the Catholic Church’s “greatest theologian.”

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