June 1, 2017


June 1, 2017:  St. Justin, Martyr

Find a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 16
Christians have a great model in St. Paul:
Preaching:  Paul was the ultimate action man, always on the go; it’s hard to imagine him relaxing.  Driven by a passion for preaching, he was always announcing Christ to the world.
Persecution:  Paul suffered persecution at the hands of the religious leaders of his day.  In front of the Sanhedrin, he said, "I'm a Pharisee on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead"; the Spirit inspired him to pit the Pharisees who believed in the resurrection against the Sadducees who didn't.
Prayer:  Paul's intimate relationship with the Lord propelled him; he shows a mystic dimension of his encounter with the Risen Christ.  His strength came from constantly seeking and encountering the Lord.
Lord, grant us the grace to learn the attitudes of preaching, resisting persecution, and encountering Christ through prayer.
  • Acts 22:30; 23:6-11  Paul before the Sanhedrin:  “I'm a Pharisee on trial for hope in the resurrection.”  The ensuing Pharisees/Sadducees dispute was so serious that the commander had Paul rescued and taken to the compound.  Lord:  “As you've borne witness in Jerusalem, so must you in Rome.”
  • Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11  "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope."  I'm glad you won't abandon me but will show me the path to life and joy.
  • Jn 17:20-26  Jesus prayed:  “May they all be one as you, Father, and I are.  I've given them the glory you gave me, so they may be brought to perfection as one, and all may know you sent me and loved them.  I made and will make you known to the world so that your love, and I, may be in them.”
    • Creighton:  Today is about unity.  In the Gospel Jesus is praying for us, for unity, that we be connected like he is with God:  one with Jesus and each other.  It's a vision of a unified church where we know God because we recognize Jesus, we know each other because we all know Jesus, and we know and share God’s love.  Too bad it hasn’t happened yet.  Paul, in trouble just hoping for the resurrection of the dead, was spared by the division between the Sadducees who didn't believe in spirits and the Pharisees who did.  The Lord told him to keep bearing witness and trying to unify.
    St. Justin was an early church theologian, a pagan till he heard about Jesus and saw the reason in Christianity; then he witnessed and taught.  When asked to give up the Christians' meeting place, he said Christians can meet anywhere because God is everywhere, fills heaven and earth, and is worshipped everywhere.  God is everywhere, and we are one in God.
    Jesus loved us so much that he gave us God, each other, hope in the resurrection of the dead, and unity.  He prays we be one in God and Jesus and united with each other.  May we seek the unity of God and come together with Jesus and each other and share God's love.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "'One' Spirit":  God created man and woman to be one flesh, crafting a supernatural unity, but we with our fallen nature tend to fracture into disunity.  People became so evil that God wiped them out in the flood.  God started over with Noah's family, unity restored, but soon pride led to false unity as people joined to glorify themselves, so God brought division through different languages and physical dispersion.  Then God sent his Son "to gather God's dispersed children." by ascending into heaven and, with the Father, sending the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit started over and reversed man's disunity:  the apostles and disciples "were filled with the Spirit and began to express themselves in foreign tongues."  Dispersed people heard and understood the gospel in their own languages.  Our fallen nature tends toward disunity, but God makes us "sharers of the divine nature" through the Spirit.  Only the Spirit can unite us. "Receive the Spirit."  Come, Spirit of unity!"
      St. Justin
    • Passionist:  In today's gospel, Jesus prays for you and me, that we have the same relationship with him and the Father that they have with each other, and that we find that relationship in our relationships with one another.  "Brought to perfection" can also be rendered "made whole" or "brought to completion."  Without the relationship Jesus asks for us, we're incomplete.  May we get out of the way and accept the relationship Jesus prays for, and find in that relationship a wholeness and completion with all I meet.
    • DailyScripture.net:  “May they become perfectly one”:   Jesus' prayers were personal, direct, and focused on others' good.  Jesus' "high priestly" prayer, excerpted today, reveals his love for his Father and believers; it focuses on love and unity; he prays for unity among all, present and future, who profess Jesus as Lord.  The unity of Jesus with the Father is one of mutual love, service, and honor, and a oneness of mind, heart, and spirit.  Jesus calls each of his followers into this same unity.  Jesus knew his disciples would soon abandon him, but he entrusted to them the task of spreading his name.  He entrusts us with the same mission.  Jesus, who included each of us in his high priestly prayer, continues his high priestly office as our intercessor at the Father's right hand.  "Christ Jesus, who died and was raised, is at God's right hand interceding for us" (see also Heb 7:25)
    • Universalis:  Justin, martyr, philosopher led to Christianity, opened philosophy school in Rome and defended Christianity, which have survived (as well as the transcript from his trial). He was denounced as a Christian and beheaded.   Justin treats the philosophy he studied as true but incomplete; he saw God as sowing wisdom throughout the world, to grow wherever soil would receive it.  When we dispute with people, may we assume they also seek wisdom and have found some truth.
    Dress legend
    • 'Angel' pin:  "Suppose an angel has spoken to him..." (1st reading)
    • 'Cups' tie:  "Lord, my portion and cup" (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "With the Lord at my right hand I shall not be disturbed" (psalm)
    • 'Heart' pin:  "My heart is glad" (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Jesus lifted his eyes toward heaven... (gospel)
    • 'Children holding hands' pin, '1' (thanks, OneLife LA) button:  "May they all be one" (gospel)
    • White in shirt and socks:  Easter season
    • Red in shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Justin's martyrdom

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