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St Thomas Becket (1118-1170)


Christmastime Year C, 29/12/2021, Mt 16,24-27

Thomas Becket was born in London and became a close friend of King Henry II. He was a deacon when appointed chancellor of England. On being ordained archbishop of Canterbury, he underwent an abrupt conversion and began to defend the Church’s rights against the king. He had to take refuge in a French monastery for six years. When he returned to his diocese four knights, inspired by careless words from the king, assassinated him in his cathedral on 29th December 1170. He was immediately acknowledged as a martyr. The king later did penance and endowed his shrine. Thomas is remembered for his courage in defence of the rights of the Church.

Some leaders have a short prayer on their desks that reads “Lord, there is nothing in this world that YOU and I can’t handle!” As King, Jesus came not just to live among us but to live with us, share our journey, our ups and downs, joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and help us in very way possible if we allow him. As King, Jesus came to serve us, not Lord it over us. Being conferred with the kingdom is about becoming family and inviting others to join us. The more responsibility we have in our family the greater should be our service, particularly clergy and hierarchy. Thomas Becket wanted to protect his family, the Church, and was willing to give his life for it, which he did. We are called to serve our family out of love, which we wish to do always, even though we fail at times.

Thomas Becket “Many are needed to plant and water what has been planted now that the faith has spread so far and there are so many people … No matter who plants or waters, God gives no harvest unless what is planted is the faith of Peter and unless he agrees to his teaching.”

by Fr Thomas O'BRIEN a.a