Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani leads the University Fiesta Mass and the Launching of the Triennium of St. Thomas Aquinas at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church on Friday, Jan. 27. (Photo by Josh Nikkolai S. Bravo/ The Varsitarian)

FAITH can be blinding if not empowered by love, Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. said at the University Fiesta Mass in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church on Friday, Jan. 27.

In his homily, Bacani warned that faith per se is not enough to see God: “You need that power of faith to be energized by love. Unless it is energized and empowered by love, faith can be blind faith. Faith can remain unseen.”

The Novaliches bishop emeritus described St. Thomas as someone who saw people “in the eyes of faith.”

“He saw in fellow human beings Christ the Lord, whom he loved with all his heart. And because he had faith, that faith sought answers. Because he had the love, he sought endlessly for those answers and lovingly presented them to fellow human beings,” Bacani said.

He added: “St. Thomas received light. Having received the light in love, he passed them to others with great love, preaching, and teaching.”

“He has contemplated so much beauty yet sought to share. And yet having shared it, he saw that all he did was nothing compared to what had been given to him,” Bacani said.

The University launched Friday the triennium of St. Thomas as part of the Church commemoration of the 700th anniversary of his canonization in 2023, 750th death anniversary in 2024, and 800th birth anniversary in 2025.

Coinciding with the Mass and the launching was the arrival of the relic of St. Titus Brandsma, a journalist-martyr canonized by Pope Francis in May 2022, personally received by UST Parish Priest Fr. Paul Talavera, O.P. It will be on display at the parish until Sunday, Jan. 29.

There were no classes and office work in the University on Saturday, Jan. 28, St. Thomas’s feast day.


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