St. John of the Cross

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For 14 December 2020, Memorial of St. John of the Cross, based on Matthew 21:23-27

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’


Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thomas McCarthy was born in 1953, and took the habit of the Order of Preachers in 1971. After post-graduate studies in Rome, after his priestly ordination, he taught theology (patristics and dogmatic theology) in the House of Studies of the Irish Province of the Order, as well as at Milltown Park in Dublin. From 1996 to 2002 he served as Secretary General of the Order, residing in Santa Sabina in Rome and serving first with Timothy Radcliffe and then Carlos Azpiroz Costa. After a sabbatical year, Thomas worked with Dominican Publications from 2003 to 2016, editing Religious Life Review. He served then as prior in the Irish Dominican priory in Rome, San Clemente, and now resides in the priory in his home city, Galway, where he assists in the chaplaincy work at the University. Thomas has directed choirs in different places and has worked since 1986 with RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, as commentator and translator for Papal events (notably at Christmas and Easter) and for broadcasts from different European cities of Eucharist on major occasions.