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Liturgical day: June 1st: St. Justin, martyr

Gospel text (Mt 5,13-19): Jesus said to his disciples: «You are the light of the world». Jesus said to his disciples: «You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its strength, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it. You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead it is put on a lamp stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven».

«Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to remove but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or stroke of the Law will change until all is fulfilled. So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them and teaches others to do the same will be great in the kingdom of heaven».

Today, we will talk about St Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, the most important of the second-century apologist Fathers. Justin was born in the Holy Land. He spent a long time seeking the truth, moving through the various schools of the Greek philosophical tradition. Finally, a mysterious figure, an old man he met on the seashore, pointed out to him the ancient prophets as the people to turn to in order to find the way to God and “true philosophy”. In taking his leave, the old man urged him to pray that the gates of light would be opened to him. At the end of a long philosophical journey, a quest for the truth, he arrived at the Christian faith. He founded a school in Rome.

—For this reason he was reported and beheaded in about 165 during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor to whom Justin had actually addressed one of his Apologia.