Saint Justin, Martyr

posted in: Homilies, Saints | 0

Today’s readings

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 Jude encourages us in the faith to follow our Lord: “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”

For Saint Justin, whose feast we celebrate today, kept that most holy faith by standing 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.

“My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God,” says the Psalmist today. All of us have that thirst for God built into our very existence and are called to live our faith with conviction, as did Saint Justin. We might never be called to physically lay down our lives, 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.