THURSday 23 MARCH
SAINT TURIBIUS OF MONGROVEJO
He was born in Spain in about 1538 and studied law at the University of Salamanca. He was named bishop of Lima in 1580. He was full of apostolic zeal. He died in Lima on 23 March 1606.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 104: 3-4
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face.
We invoke your mercy in humble prayer, O Lord, that you may cause us, your servants, corrected by penance and schooled by good works, to persevere sincerely in your commands and come safely to the paschal festivities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Exodus 32: 7-14
The Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostatised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried, “who brought you up from the land of Egypt!” The Lord said to Moses, “I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me, now, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.” But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your wrath blaze out against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Why let the Egyptians say, “Ah, it was in treachery that he brought them out, to do them to death in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth? Leave your burning wrath; relent and do not bring this disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self you swore and made this promise: I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.” So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Psalm 105: 19-23
R/ O Lord, remember me out of the love you have for your people.
They fashioned a calf at Horeb and worshipped an image of metal, exchanging the God who was their glory for the image of a bull that eats grass.
They forgot the God who was their Saviour, who had done such great things in Egypt, such portents in the land of Ham, such marvels at the Red Sea.
For this he said he would destroy them, but Moses, the man he had chosen, stood in the breach before him, to turn back his anger from destruction.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Jn 6: ,68
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: John 5: 31-47
Jesus said to the Jews: “Were I to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid; but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf, and I know that his testimony is valid. You sent messengers to John, and he gave his testimony to the truth: not that I depend on human testimony; no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this. John was a lamp alight and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave. But my testimony is greater than John’s: the works my Father has given me to carry out, these same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me. Besides, the Father who sent me bears witness to me himself. You have never heard his voice, you have never seen his shape, and his word finds no home in you because you do not believe in the one he has sent. “You study the Scriptures, believing that in them you have eternal life; now these same Scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life! As for human approval, this means nothing to me. Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you. I have come in the name of my Father and you refuse to accept me; if someone else comes in his own name you will accept him. How can you believe, since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God? Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father: you place your hopes on Moses, and Moses will be your accuser. If you really believed him you would believe me too, since it was I that he was writing about; but if you refuse to believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?”
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that what we offer in sacrifice may cleanse us in our frailty from every evil and always grant us your protection. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jer 31: 33
I will place my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
May this Sacrament we have received purify us, we pray, O Lord, and grant your servants freedom from all blame, that those bound by a guilty conscience may glory in the fullness of heavenly remedy. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
O God, protector of all who hope in you, bless your people, keep them safe, defend them, prepare them, that, free from sin and safe from the enemy, they may persevere always in your love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus rebukes us on this day for our hardness to believe. John the Baptist testified to Jesus not only by acknowledging that the latter was greater than he was, but also by presenting him as the lamb of God. But the people did not understand and did not believe. Jesus acts with power and authority by performing great signs that testify to the coming of the kingdom, yet people do not believe. They do not recognize in Him the liberator and the envoy of God. They claim to follow the law of Moses, but in reality they do not practice it. And it is because they do not practice the law of Moses that he will be their own judge. For he who truly follows Moses should also follow Jesus. Let us open our hearts to the word of the Lord and recognize Jesus as our true saviour.