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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

June 1st: Memorial of Saint Justin, Martyr
Gospel text (Mt 5,13-19): 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».

«You are the salt of the Earth»

Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García (Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus shows us the testimony as the essential mission of all Christians: «So let your light shine upon others» (Mt 5:16). This light will come to us out of satiating us with the Gospels and being inflamed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus also tells us that we must be salt: "You are the salt of the Earth" (Mt 5:13). What is the salt supposed to be for? Mainly for two things: to give savor to the meals and, in those days, also to keep food. The Lord wants us to give the taste of the divine grace to our world that needs it so much while preserving good manners in our society, a good coexistence, justice and respect for the value and dignity of all human lives.

At all times there have been people who have seriously taken the call of God, and the saint whose memory we venerate today, Justin (2nd century), is one of them. In Christian ancient times, he was salt and light; at the same time he was one of the first secular saints of the Church. Intrinsically, a philosopher and researcher, he found in the Christian faith a reason for his life and the answer to his questions, as he himself stated before the prefect of Rome Rusticus in the process that led to his martyrdom: "I have endeavored to learn all doctrines, but I have acquiesced at last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians". Pope Francis says in his "Lumen Fidei": «Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets».

While he was a student of philosophy and theology, Justin was also one of the early popularizers and exhibitors of the Christian doctrine; we owe him the first detailed revelation of the Sunday Eucharist and its rites.