Monday, 23 March 2020 : 4th Week of Lent, Memorial of St. Turibius de Mogrovejo, Bishop (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day all of us are kindly reminded of God’s love and providence, which He has always given to us, His faithful and beloved ones as we are called to put our trust and faith in Him, to love Him and to be devoted to Him. God has given us all assurance of a new life and existence in Him if we are faithful to Him and are willing to obey Him. Ours will be the eternal glory and true joy if we choose to follow God and trust Him.

In our first reading today, taken from the last chapters of the Book of the prophet Isaiah, we heard of the Lord speaking of the coming of a new world that He will bring to all of us, His people. In that same passage is the promise of a new and wonderful life, where our present sufferings and troubles will be no more, something which in the New Testament is also reflected in the Book of Revelations of St. John. St. John speaks of a new Jerusalem and a new earth where God will dwell with His people in fullness of grace and love.

And God kindly showed us all the foreshadowing of what is to come, through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, as we heard in our Gospel passage today of His healing ministry and works among the people. The Lord Jesus healed all the sick who came to Him seeking to be healed and to be made whole. He healed the son of an official, who believed in the Lord and took His word when He told him that his son would be healed at that very moment.

As mentioned in that same Gospel passage, many among the people did not believe or have faith in the Lord Jesus, beginning from the people of His own hometown in Nazareth who rejected Him and cast Him out, and then even among the people of Galilee who welcomed Him, the Lord rebuked many among them because they would not believe or have faith unless they witness the miracles and wonders He was to perform before them.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day therefore what we are all called to reflect on is our faith in the Lord and our belief in what He will give us and whether we have firmly grasped this assurance that God has given us all. Many of us instead put our trust and faith in various worldly alternatives, in our own strength and plans, in all sorts of pursuits for pleasures, happiness, joy, fame and worldly glory among other things.

What we have to realise is that none of these will matter in the end, and that none of these will be able to save us or provide for us when it truly matters. Only the Lord has that assurance of eternal happiness and joy, and He alone has the power to grant us true satisfaction and joy. But many of us did not realise this and we are too distracted by the many things and concerns we have, all the temptations and all the various decadence in the world.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why in this season of Lent we are called to purify ourselves through repentance and by seeking God’s forgiveness, especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as well as through spiritual and corporeal works and acts of mercy. We are called to be more faithful and to be more dedicated in faith, spending more time to serve the Lord and to glorify Him through our words, actions and deeds.

Today, we should also follow in the examples set by our holy predecessor, St. Turibius de Mogrovejo, whose feast day we are celebrating. St. Turibius was renowned for his great faith and dedication to the Lord, appointed as the Archbishop of Lima in Peru in the then New World, baptising around one million people among the natives through his extensive works in their midst. St. Turibius often went all around his Archdiocese even on foot, in bad weather and tough conditions ministering to the people.

St. Turibius also did many things in making the lives of the flock entrusted under his care to be better, such as in the building of roads and hospitals among many others. He worked hard to reform his Archdiocese and return the sanctity to the priesthood, which had by then lapsed in standard and morality. He encountered significant opposition and resentment because of this, but nonetheless he pressed on with his efforts and reforms, and was admired by equally many people.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have seen what a great servant of God St. Turibius de Mogrovejo had been, and we can also follow his examples in our own lives. Can we be inspired to follow in his footsteps and strive to serve the Lord ever more faithfully as he has done? Let us all reflect carefully on this matter, and discern how we can carry on living our lives faithfully as Christians in serving God from now on. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

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