The greatest men and women who have ever lived have followed the example of our Lord Jesus Christ in that they have been willing to give their lives for the truth, for what they believed in, for what is right. In our first reading, Saint Paul is on trial for preaching Christ and bearing witness to the truth. He is only saved by playing on the rivalry between the Pharisees and Saducees.
For Saint Justin, whose feast we celebrate today, he also chose to stand up for the truth. He was born a pagan, and spent a good deal of his youth studying pagan philosophy, principally that of Plato. But he eventually found that Christianity answered the great questions of life and existence better than did the pagan philosophers, so he converted. He wrote famous apologies, defenses of the Christian faith, to the Roman emperor and to the senate. Because of his unwavering dedication to his faith, he was beheaded in Rome in the year 165.
In the Gospel reading, Jesús prays for Paul and Justin and all of us. Because we are all called to live our faith with conviction, as did Saints Paul and Justin. We might never be in the dire straits in which they found themselves, but we too are called to give our lives, our comforts, our standing in the community, our reputation among our peers, for the faith. Today we pray for the grace to live what we believe and to be an everlasting remembrance.