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MEMORIAL OF ST JUSTIN, MARTYR, SATURDAY OF THE EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, JUNE 1, 2024




Gospel

Mk 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.

As he was walking in the temple area,

the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders

approached him and said to him,

"By what authority are you doing these things?

Or who gave you this authority to do them?"

Jesus said to them, "I shall ask you one question.

Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

Was John's baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me."

They discussed this among themselves and said,

"If we say, 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say,

'Then why did you not believe him?'

But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?"–

they feared the crowd,

for they all thought John really was a prophet.

So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know."

Then Jesus said to them,

"Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."


REFLECTION

 'Of heavenly origin,'


Today we celebrate Saint Justin. Born in the year 100 AD near Samaria, to an affluent pagan family, St Justin was an early Christian apologist and saint. He addressed Gentiles in their own terms.  Filled by the Holy Spirit, he was able to abandon the philosophy of Plato and follow the Christian religion and glorify God. He became the first Christian philosopher.


As an apologist he defended in writing the Christian religion against the attacks and misunderstanding of the pagans. The Apology, one of his writings, defends the morality of the christian life and argues to convince the emperor to abandon the persecution of Christians.


An account of St Justin's and other martyrs' trial and martyrdom are preserved in the Acts of the Saints.


Rusticus, the prefect: "Approach and sacrifice, all of you, to the gods".

Justin: "No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety".

Rusticus: "If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy".

Justin: "That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour".

All the Martyrs: "Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols."

Rusticus reads the sentence: "Those who do not wish to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the emperor will be scourged and beheaded according to the laws.


St Justin and the other martyrs were tortured beyond mercy and beheaded in Rome in 165 by the prefect of Rome, Rusticus. St Justin refused to deny God and was a martyr in confessing his faith in the Savior. His relics are housed in St John the Baptist Church in Rome.


In the service of God, St Justin spoke with the authority of God. In today's Gospel reading, the chief priests, scribes and elders confront Jesus, demanding to know under whose authority is He speaking. Who ordained Him?


The authority of Jesus comes from His Father.


God Bless You








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