Saint Justin, Martyr

Jude 1:17,​20-25; Psalm 62(63):2-6; Mark 11:27-33 OR 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; Psalm 33(34):2-9; Matthew 5:13-19

Letter of Jude
The letter of Jude is possibly the oddest in the New Testament. For one thing, it does not surface in the liturgy very often - so that part of my bible at least is not very well thumbed. Jude also includes some references to texts that did not make it into the bible - the book of Enoch (Adams' seventh son) and a reference to Cain and Balaam which does not appear in the Old Testament. We could easily hear the whole letter in one liturgy of the word, rather than the second half only as today. The first half deals with a crisis arising in the community, people (are we not ever thus!) mis behaving, especially it seems in the bedroom. Must we abide by a moral code, or does anything go?   The second half of the letter provides a solution - we do not have to give in and join in their 'games', we have been warned that there will be those who mock us - but by being faithful to God's will we shall be saved, and will enjoy the comforts of heaven.
St Justin
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.
Posted in Daily Reflection.