Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Justin, M. (01st June, 2017) on the Gospel and the memorial
(Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter)
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11;
Ps 15:1-2.5.7-11. (R. v.1);
Saint Justin was born in Nablus in Samaria at the beginning of the second century. A philosopher and on his conversion to the faith wrote in defence of religion. His only works now extant are his two Apologies and his Dialogue addressed to Trypho. He opened a school in Rome and took part in public disputations. He suffered a martyr’s death with his companions during the time of Marcus Aurelius, about the year 165.
Topic: Knowing the Father.
Today’s gospel is the concluding part of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples. And the concluding verse reads, “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Jesus’ determination to make the Father’s name known to His disciples and the Father’s love it brings about could make one ask, ‘What does it mean to know the Father?’
While speaking to the Jews Jesus said, “But you have not known him; I know him... I do know him and I keep his word” (Jn 8:55). Again, the first letter of Saint John reads,
Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, ‘I have come to know him,’ but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist (1Jn 2:3-4).
Knowing the Father is far beyond one’s ability to say that His name is God. It demands living as His child. Hence Saint Paul condemned the attitudes of those who paraded themselves as Jews but never lived as Jews with this quotation, “For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you’” (Rom 2:24; cf. Is 52:5; Ezek 36:20-22). Whoever says that he/she knows God but does not live it out will not be saved, cf. Jas 2:14. Saint Justin we are celebrating today witnessed to the point of laying down his life. We all are to witness to the end.
Bible Reading: Rom 2:17–3:8.
Thought for today: Do you really know God?
Let us pray: Lord, give us the grace to know you and to live it out – Amen.
Saint Justin – Pray for us.
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