Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America, for 26 years.
Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was not sharp enough a lawyer to prevent a surprising sequence of events.
When the archdiocese of Lima in Peru required a new leader, Turibius was chosen to fill the post: He was the one person with the strength of character and holiness of spirit to heal the scandals that had infected that area.
He cited all the canons that forbade giving laymen ecclesiastical dignities, but he was overruled. He was ordained priest and bishop and sent to Peru, where he found colonialism at its worst. The Spanish conquerors were guilty of every sort of oppression of the native population. Abuses among the clergy were flagrant, and he devoted his energies (and suffering) to this area first.
He began the long and arduous visitation of an immense archdiocese, studying the language, staying two or three days in each place, often with neither bed nor food. He confessed every morning to his chaplain, and celebrated Mass with intense fervor. Among those to whom he gave the Sacrament of Confirmation was St. Rose of Lima, and possibly St. Martin de Porres (November 3). After 1590 he had the help of another great missionary, St. Francis Solanus.
His people, though very poor, were sensitive, dreading to accept public charity from others. Turibius solved the problem by helping them anonymously.
When Turibius undertook the reform of the clergy as well as unjust officials, he naturally suffered opposition. Some tried, in human fashion, to explain God's law in such a way as to sanction their accustomed way of life. answered them in the words of Tertullian, "Christ said, 'I am the truth'; he did not say, 'I am the custom.'"
The Lord indeed writes straight with crooked lines. Against his will, and from the unlikely springboard of an Inquisition tribunal, this man became the Christlike shepherd of a poor and oppressed people. God gave him the gift of loving others as they needed it.
Lord, help me to be fully alive to your holy presence. Enfold me in your love. Let my heart become one with yours.
Lord, may I never take the gift of freedom for granted. You gave me the great blessing of freedom of spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.
How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
The Word of God
Wednesday of Holy Week
Reading 1 Is 50:4-9a
The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong?
Responsorial Psalm PS 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34
R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult, and shame covers my face. I have become an outcast to my brothers, a stranger to my mother's sons, because zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak, I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for consolers, not one could I find. Rather they put gall in my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving: "See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive! For the LORD hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Verse Before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King; You alone are compassionate with our errors. Or Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.
Gospel Mt 26:14-25
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'" The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" He said in reply, "He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He answered, "You have said so."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ In some places this day is known as Spy Wednesday. Judas is the "spy" or sly, sneaky person who secretly approaches the chief priests with the intention of betraying Jesus to them. Like all such "spies" he is looking for a reward and agrees on thirty pieces of silver. The naming of the price is meant to shock us. Is this all that the life of the Son of Man is worth?
▪ Jesus only uses words to persuade Judas not to carry out his pact with the chief priests. He takes no other measures which might prevent his arrest. Does this surprise you? Can you understand it?
Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
In your house I shall celebrate the Passover. (Matthew 26:18)
Many people refer to today as Spy Wednesday, an allusion to the day of Judas' betrayal. But did you know that it's also called Silent Wednesday?
This name comes from the fact that the Gospels don't tell us what Jesus was doing on Wednesday of Holy Week. He was "silent" on that day. Some speculate that after journeying to Jerusalem and spending two exhausting days in disputes with the authorities, Jesus rested on Wednesday with his close friends in Bethany.
If you want to observe this special day, imagine that Jesus is inviting himself over to rest in your house for a bit. Imagine him inviting you to join him in a day of quiet reflection and respite.
It can be so easy for our minds to become overbusied, our bodies overworked, and our calendars overscheduled. But rest is essential because it's restorative. Rest is also holy because it creates an opening for us to welcome Jesus into our hearts. Imagine yourself sitting with him at your kitchen table, catching up as you would with a friend. Or picture yourself coming home from a busy workday to find him waiting at your front door, eager for you to invite him in for dinner. Even if it means just slipping away for a few minutes of stillness with him, make the most of the opportunity; nothing is as refreshing as spending quiet time with the Lord!
Throughout this season of Lent, you have been journeying with Jesus as he walks toward Calvary. You're almost there! Tomorrow evening, you will watch as he is arrested and beaten. On Friday, you'll witness his crucifixion. And on Sunday, you'll see him gloriously resurrected. But today, Silent Wednesday, is the calm before the storm.
As you read the Gospel for today, listen to Jesus' voice echoing through the centuries, telling you, "In your house I shall celebrate the Passover" (Matthew 26:18). Jesus has chosen to spend today with you. Your schedule may not be silent today, but you can still find a special way to rest with him and prepare yourself—body, soul, and spirit—for the great celebrations that will start tomorrow evening.
"Jesus, help me to find some quiet time today. Come, Lord, and prepare me for what you have in store this week."
my2cents: We heard today the prophet say of the Messiah "I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame". The Lord knows what is at hand, He knows what is going to happen. Yet He sets His face like flint, cut sharp, to pierce through darkness that covers the world, and what was shame was only the fame the people knew, not the truth the Lord would reveal by shedding His precious blood and body. We pray the Psalms " Lord, in your great love, answer me. Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak, I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for consolers, not one could I find. Rather they put gall in my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Can you imagine, through all the disaster and terror unleashed on our Lord, can you imagine what the greatest pain was? There was a saint that said the Lord revealed to her that his greatest physical pain was the shoulder that bore the cross, it must've been atrocious, to have flesh torn off, already debilitated, weak, already spat on the face, beard plucked away, punches to the face, clobbering on the head while wearing a crown of sharp thorns that hurt the head, and to lug a heavy stump of wood up a hill on a torn shoulder, on a bone, perhaps the wood was wearing on the bone as He tried to walk, impossible, impossible it would seem to carry the cross, but after all this pain, perhaps, the greatest pain would be because Jesus lived the Psalms and today we read "insult has broken my heart...and I am weak". It's one thing to suffer, but another to suffer a broken heart for this knocks at the inner strength that pushes physical strength. Some people get paralyzed with fear, some die of a broken heart, and some are in between. Today, the Lord trembles, for the cross is always before us. How heavy is your cross? How heavy does your heart weigh? The Lord has done all the heavy lifting...if only we'd do our part. If only, we'd bind ourselves to His.... In comes the Lord of our lives in the Holy Gospel today "...in your house I shall celebrate" and He speaks about the Passover, the all important Jewish feast that recalls salvation through the blood of the lamb. By now, Judas had already been tempted by the devil to make some money by turning in the Lord. Perhaps he had masked it as a good intention, for the Lord was seeking a death wish by going to Jerusalem for the Passover, where they wanted Him dead, but Jesus would be the Lamb of Salvation regardless, for He had set His face like flint. Today, how do we take advantage of others and mask it as a good cause? Today, have I decided to set my face like flint, or is it just another "good intention" that gets nowhere? They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Lots of nice thoughts "If I won the lottery I'd buy the church this and that", or "one day I will help so and so", and they are all musings that differ no more than King Herod who amused the thought of a Christ, yet never really sought a Christ, a Messiah, a savior of the soul. When the Lord says "in your house I will celebrate" He speaks of our souls, of our temples, and He feeds His precious body and blood to the temple, especially in the Holy Eucharist. And so the Lord says that one who dipped his hand in his bowl would betray Him and they all asked "it isn't me, is it Lord?". Is there room to doubt your betrayal? Why would I ask? Because deep inside we carry a guilt, because even Judas asks the same and the Lord replies "You have said so". We lie to ourselves, not to the Lord. The betrayal is not merely on Him, but on ourselves. Sin is like this. We aren't fooling the Lord, just ourselves. What then ensues is a self infliction. And for this very reason the Lord has come. Knowing well He would be betrayed, and warning Him "woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." Not because God would punish Him, but that betrayer would punish himself. And Judas did not live to see the day the Lord rose from the dead, because the self infliction tormented him to death...literally, but what is worse is eternal damnation. So to hell with our masquerade, to hell with our false intentions, and to hell with the ways of the world. If lent has been set for a purpose it is to reveal our true identity before the Lord. For Good Friday reveals who truly loves the Lord and who will betray Him. One man dies in betrayal, the other betrays the Lord 3 times and is forgiven 3 times for St. Peter never gave up on His love. It is an inspirational day and a true day of atonement. What does atonement even mean? It meant alot for Jewish people, it meant to "wipe out", and it meant to "cover" and also giving meaning to "pay the ransom" a "ransom for life". Nowadays ransoms are a new virus "give me money or your information and property will be destroyed". You pay, and you are safe. This is Jesus on the cross when the devil held the world for a ransom. This is how cruel the devil is, and how did we get stuck with the devil in this world? The devil, lucifer was kicked out of Heaven, and for what? Satan became vain about his beauty and position, and his heart became rebellious against God. We are born into a free world, where vanity and power makes us rebellious against our Lord. These things added up equal to pride. These are the very issues that kept our Lord from being seen as the Messiah among the Jewish leaders, scribes, and pharisees. Pride locks out the Lord. And for this the Lord gives His life, it was never taken. Holy week then, becomes a setting apart, and it comes by way of giving. It begins with washing of the feet by the Lord, giving of life by the Lord, and returning to life and giving life by the Lord. Will my life be phased and amazed? Then the true identity will show