"When you awake in the night, transport yourself quickly in spirit before the Tabernacle, saying: 'Behold, my God, I come to adore You, to praise, thank, and love you, and to keep you company with all the Angels.'" — St. John Vianney
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"My Lord, I offer you myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. You have died for me, and I in turn make myself over to you. I am not my own. You have bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for yours. I put away reputation and honor, and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in you. Enable me to carry out what I profess." — Bl. John Henry Newman, p. 135 AN EXCERPT FROM Everyday Meditations
click to go there
Justin never ended his quest for religious truth even when he converted to Christianity after years of studying various pagan philosophies.
As a young man, he was principally attracted to the school of Plato. However, he found that the Christian religion answered the great questions about life and existence better than the philosophers.
Upon his conversion he continued to wear the philosopher's mantle, and became the first Christian philosopher. He combined the Christian religion with the best elements in Greek philosophy. In his view, philosophy was a pedagogue of Christ, an educator that was to lead one to Christ.
Justin is known as an apologist, one who defends in writing the Christian religion against the attacks and misunderstandings of the pagans. Two of his so-called apologies have come down to us; they are addressed to the Roman emperor and to the Senate.
For his staunch adherence to the Christian religion, Justin was beheaded in Rome in 165.
As patron of philosophers, Justin may inspire us to use our natural powers (especially our power to know and understand) in the service of Christ and to build up the Christian life within us. Since we are prone to error, especially in reference to the deep questions concerning life and existence, we should also be willing to correct and check our natural thinking in light of religious truth. Thus we will be able to say with the learned saints of the Church: I believe in order to understand, and I understand in order to believe.
"Philosophy is the knowledge of that which exists, and a clear understanding of the truth; and happiness is the reward of such knowledge and understanding" (Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, 3).
"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord. What a wonderful privilege that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me. I welcome His presence.
Lord, you created me to live in freedom. May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely. Instil in my heart a desire To know and love you more each day.
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr
Reading 1 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.
For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God.
He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, for which I was appointed preacher and Apostle and teacher. On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 123:1b-2ab, 2cdef R. (1b) To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes. To you I lift up my eyes who are enthroned in heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes. As the eyes of a maid are on the hands of her mistress, So are our eyes on the LORD, our God, till he have pity on us.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes.
Alleluia Jn 11:25a, 26 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mk 12:18-27
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone's brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants. So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise. And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died. At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her." Jesus said to them, "Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ God is not of the dead, but of the living. Our world is so concerned with competition and the violence it generates, that it does need to hear this wonderful message. Yet, religious people seem to waste so much time arguing about details, while the life-giving message is neglected. Pope Francis said that when they speak about the Gospel, some Christians sound more like just coming out of a funeral than of proclaiming the joy of the Good News of God's love for the world. May my life show that God has come to give us life, and life in abundance.
▪ Do I sometimes find myself closing my heart to others in God's name, because I am a Christian? Lord Jesus, save me from such blasphemy.
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way? I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
He saved us and called us to a holy life. (2 Timothy 1:9)
In this one sentence, St. Paul maps out the entire Christian life. Yes, Jesus has redeemed us, but he didn't save us and then leave us to our own devices. He has also destined us to become holy—to become saints.
"Who? Me? I can't do that! I have a hard enough time just staying out of trouble. I can't become holy."
Yes, you can. Jesus was so convinced of your potential that he gave himself up for you. He looked into your heart and saw your desires for purity and innocence. He saw your desire to do great things for him and to build his kingdom. He saw the love and humility that lie deep in your heart. He saw it all and decided you were worth saving. He decided that the "holy" version of you was worth dying for.
What does this "holy" you look like? In a 2014 audience, Pope Francis described it as "a visible sign of God's love and his presence." He went on to describe the way to holiness: "Are you consecrated? Be holy, living your gift and your ministry with joy. Are you married? Be holy, loving and taking care of your husband or wife, as Christ did with the Church. Are you a baptized person who is not married? Be holy, performing your work with honesty and competence and giving time to the service of others." That doesn't sound too hard!
"Where you work you can become a saint," Francis said. "At home, on the streets, at work, at church, in the moment and with the state of life that you have, a door is opened on the road to sainthood."
Today, believe that as you travel the road God has put you on, you can become holy—simply by being more fully the person God has intended you to be, the person that, deep down in your heart, you want to be.
"Jesus, I embrace your call to holiness. Shield me today from discouragement so that I can be a visible sign of your love and presence."
my2cents: Saint Paul says "I am grateful to God" and grateful equals holiness. And we are all made holy, that is, designed to worship God, yet living in this world, that worship gets twisted and all your love and money and time goes into other things. "I am grateful" and then you immerse yourself in God, and in return, He lets your holiness shine... "whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day." And this is an act of great love, constantly praying for one another, not just once in a while but constantly. One day, your prayer will be answered, and that day could be now, or in a hundred years, because time belongs to Him, not me. "For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. " For Catholics, remember this and the importance of this; Jesus lay His hands on the Apostles and breathed life into them...they in turn have lay their hands on us through the succession of Bishops and priests. These are holy hands and we become that breathe of God once His holiness shines. "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice" and if we can equate courage to holiness, then we are on the right path to Heaven. I was watching with my family last night a youtube video of Jim, the actor who portrayed Jesus in the Passion of the Christ movie. He had a near death experience on the cross, lightning struck him, he got out of his body and saw himself, and everything he did, including almost really dying on the cross because of his condition, he offered it up to the Lord and to you, like Jesus really did. He said from the onset "I am going to do the Passion of the CHRIST, not the passion of mediocrity". He left the interview in a passionate cry for holiness to the world. For we have been given such a spirit of fire, not of cowardice! We prayed today "To you, O Lord, I lift up my eyes." They say that Jesus never looked at his accuser, but He always looked to Heaven. I am asking you now, are you focusing on your problems and the world and not so much on Heaven? Because I've said it before...you can love someone to death, but how about for an eternity which is not of this world? Therefore, I dare you to lift your eyes to the Lord, this means like my dog, who always has his eyes fixed on me to see what command I will give, and with a simple gesture he does what I say, and we are to equate ourselves to this type of servitude to the Lord. Because the fall of Adam and Eve was such, their eyes looked elsewhere and not as God said. Let us continue with our lives with our Lord. They ask who marries who when they die. And God says "I am a God of the living". You make yourselves worry about the dead. That is why Jesus says "let the dead bury the dead", and "do not look behind to what is being plowed", in other words, the Spirit of Fire must never doubt and not focus on what others are telling you, but what God is telling you, and this is how you will know: It will bring you to holiness. You will feel God's pull when you are in His grace. He is pulling you gently, asking you gently to do this for Him. What we face in the world is contradictory. Everything on TV is smudged and tainted, but everything in His Holy Good News is clean and teeming with life. I say this because the life of a sinner is heavy. That is why God says "Take my yoke, my burden is light" and this is light is bright. I remember many years ago, my wife asked me about marriage and heaven, and I recalled today's Holy Gospel. I explained that in Heaven, we are not earthly beings, but we are His. If you've ever felt a void in your life, it is going to be filled in Heaven. This is why the Lord says "blessed are the poor in spirit". And so we live Hope. And this spirit is not of cowards. Cowards turn away from God. This is why now that I have seen the light, I see strong men devoted to the Holy faith. If they turn from the faith, they have gone cowardly ways, and are in dire need of my prayers and not my disdain. And I miss them tremendously when they turn away. God feels this and a million times more. He misses you when you sin. He loves you when you turn to Him. Extreme joy is to be had in your name when you turn to Him. Your eyes must focus on Him always, your arms must be open to Him always. When your arms are open like this, many things will happen: People will run to your arms to embrace God. The devil will throw swords at the open arms. And God will receive the Glory of the flowering fruit.
All because of His Holy love, we live, we are to live, and I write to you for one reason, for the Glory of God, for the world to be on fire of courage the courage to love as we ought, to Love God as we ought, and it is all possible through Him who saves us...