Memorial of St. Justin, martyr
(I Peter 4:7-13; Mark 11:11-26)
The title “Good Samaritan” will always belong to the protagonist of Jesus’ parable about the man who helped a foreign stranger in need. But St. Justin is also worthy of the distinction. Born in Samaria with a hunger for truth, he converted to Christianity which he found capable of satisfying his need. He died a martyr when he was given the choice of worshipping idols or giving up his life. Justin’s life conforms well to the admonitions in today’s first reading.
Peter’s letter warns its readers to be “serious and sober-minded.” Nothing is to interfere with their attention to God and their love of neighbor. It mentions a “trial by fire” for peace-loving Christians indicating that their exemplary behavior will escape neither the world’s envy nor its contempt.
In an election year we must remain vigilant. There are many issues on which we are to evaluate candidates. We will be scorned for not giving central importance to bread and butter questions like how the economy may best serve our personal interests. Like Justin, however, we turn to Christ who will satisfy our need for what is true.