Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Memorial of Saint Toribio of Mogrovejo, bishop

(Jeremiah 18:18-20; Matthew 20:17-28)

We humans usually do what we do for mixed reasons. We come to mass on Sunday perhaps because we love God but also because we want to be seen by our neighbors and because it is such an ingrained habit that we have no real alternatives.

The gospel today urges us to clean up our act. Let your first and foremost motive always be love of God, it tells us as Jesus admonishes his disciples that they are to serve others and not themselves. In truth, we should avoid the limelight to insure the purity of our motives. This may mean that we make anonymous donations or that we refrain from talking about our good deeds.

Today the church in Peru celebrates her illustrious patron, St. Toribio of Mogrovejo. As a layman in Spain, he was chosen as Archbishop of Lima. At first, he protested the irregularity, but later conceded. At his post, he urged colonists and probably the indigenous as well to conform themselves to Christ not to their worldly ways. He would tell them, “Christ said, ‘I am the truth’; he did not say, ‘I am the custom.’” Just so we must rid ourselves of the custom of self-seeking as we do God’s will.