Today’s Gospel: John 17:20-26 – St. Justin, Martyr
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Justin, Martyr. Saint Justin is a Father of the Church from the second century, who wrote extensively for the conversion of the Romans. In his writings survive some of the earliest recorded descriptions of the Mass. He wrote in his First Apology:
“For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Saviour being incarnate by God’s word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the word of prayer which comes from Him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.”(First Apology, 66)
Saint Justin had a clear understanding of the gift that is the Eucharist. We know that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the faith. And, as Saint Justin indicates, it nourishes our body with Christ’s Body. It is in the Eucharist that we are united to Jesus and brought into the inner life of the Trinity.
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus prays that we, the Church, might be one, united with each other as He is united with the Father, and united to Him. He prays, “that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them”. Jesus instituted the sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, so that we might have efficacious signs of the graces He gives to us. How blessed we are to have the Eucharist available to us weekly, even daily!
When we approach Jesus in the Eucharist, are we truly in awe of the gift He has given us?
My Lord and My God, I am ever thankful for your Presence in the Eucharist. May Jesus live fully in me, as You live in Him!
Copyright 2017 Amanda Lockwood Torres