Acts 20:28-38; Psalm 67; John 17:11-19 (for the feria)
Salt and Light - we are certainly challenged to put our heads above the parapet in Jesus's command to us today. Place your light where it will do good - not under your bed (where some humourist might note the naked flame oil lamps of the day would be a fire risk!!). And salt - don't keep it to yourself, it will loose its saltiness. The salt available of the time was probably rock salt - so it makes sense once it has lost its taste to throw the remains on the path - it would have just become a sandy gravel.
It is very easy to hide our light - the true, full message of Jesus, in the face of an unwelcoming school, workplace or for some, even, their family home. The salt might be those key passages of the bible that have enlightened us and then sustained us in our faith journey. Keeping them to oneself is not what the Bible is for - we should share those passages with all, and not be afraid of the consequences.
Justin was noted for his willingness to share the truth.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25; Psalm 33; Matthew 5:13-19 (for the memorial)
|Saint Justin, Martyr (- 165) - from Universalis.com, where you can also access the Office of Readings should you wish:
He was born at the beginning of the second century in Nablus, in Samaria, of a pagan Greek family. He was an earnest seeker after truth, and studied many systems of philosophy before being led, through Platonism, to Christianity. While remaining a layman, he accepted the duty of making the truth known, and travelled from place to place proclaiming the gospel. In 151 he travelled from Ephesus to Rome, where he opened a school of philosophy and wrote defences and expositions of Christianity, which have survived to this day and are the earliest known writings of their kind. In the persecution of 165, in the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, he was denounced as a Christian, arrested and beheaded. The transcript of his trial by the prefect of Rome, Rusticus, has also survived: it can be found in today’s Office of Readings.
Justin treats the Greek philosophy that he studied as mostly true, but incomplete. In contrast to the Hebrew tendency to view God as making revelations to them and to no-one else, he follows the parable of the Sower, and sees God as sowing the seed of wisdom throughout the world, to grow wherever the soil would receive it. When we dispute with people who disagree with us, we would do well to assume that they too are seeking wisdom and have found truth of a kind. Since there is only one God and one Truth, it is our task not to contradict or belittle their achievement, but to show them how their strivings and searches are ultimately fulfilled in Christ. This is harder to do – not least, because we have to take the trouble to understand our own faith thoroughly – but it is ultimately more worthwhile.