Saturday, 1 June 2019 : 6th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Justin, Martyr (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us all of the truth which all of us have received from none other than God Himself, through the very words of Our Lord Jesus as written in the Scriptures and through the inspiration given to the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord by the Holy Spirit. Through this truth, we have received the true meaning of what it means for us to be followers of the Lord.

In the first reading today we heard about the passion and the courage by which Apollos, one of the Lord’s disciples, went about many places making testimonies and preachings, leveraging on his great charisma and popularity to attract many people to the faith. Although Apollos did not have the full knowledge of the truth, but his passion and commitment to do what the Lord had called him to do was truly remarkable.

And we heard how some of the disciples came to Apollos and instructed him in the fullness of the truth as passed onto them by the Apostles and through the Holy Spirit. This was exactly what the Lord Jesus mentioned in the Gospel passage we heard today, of the moment when He would reveal everything to His disciples and no longer speaking in veiled language and parables.

The Lord revealed His truth to His disciples and by sending them the Holy Spirit, He explained the meaning of this truth, which was then preserved through the Church, by the hard work and the commitment of the Apostles and the disciples of the Lord, who committed themselves to the propagation of the truth and the conservation of those same truths as recorded in the Scriptures and supplemented by the Apostolic traditions of the Church.

When the Apostles and the disciples went on with their evangelisation and missionary works, they stood up for the truth of God, even in the midst of opposition from the world, from all those who did not want the truth to be propagated. And many of them had to suffer and endure persecutions because of their defense of those truths. They went to prison, were tortured and not few were martyred for their faith.

Today, we celebrate the feast of one of those many martyrs of the truth of God. St. Justin the Martyr was a renowned Roman martyr and saint who was one of the early teachers of the faith who was once an intelligent pagan that has great eloquence in knowledge and philosophy. He became a Christian when he encountered an old Syrian Christian man who opened his eyes and mind to the truth of God.

From then on, St. Justin rededicated himself to the service of the Lord and made use of his great intellectual skills and knowledge to the purpose of the propagation of the Christian truth and faith. Many more people were themselves converted to the truth of God through the many works of St. Justin, as he travelled from places to places spreading God’s truth to everyone whom he encountered.

He was imprisoned and made to suffer by his enemies, the pagan philosophers who opposed him and sent him to the Roman authorities who tortured him and some other of the saints, eventually ended with his beheading. But even through his suffering and martyrdom, St. Justin continued to inspire many more people and more of the faithful throughout the centuries, to remain strongly attached and to stand by the truth of God.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, how about us then? Are we able and willing to stand up to the truth of God in the same way as St. Justin and many of our committed predecessors had done? We ourselves have received the same truth from God through His Church, and just as the Apostles and the disciples had laboured hard in order to continue the spreading of the truth, we too have the same charge and responsibility to do the same.

Let us all devote ourselves anew therefore to the way of the Lord’s truth, by being sincere and being as committed as possible, in all the things we say and do, to be exemplary in everything we act so that everyone who witness us, our words and all of our actions will see God’s truth being fully alive and shown in our own lives and actions. May God be by our side always and strengthen us in our faith and in our understanding of His truth. Amen.

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