Monday 01 June 2020
St Justin, Martyr (165)
Justin was converted from a pagan philosopher to Christianity. He then became the most illustrious opponent of pagan philosophers. He died in 165.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 118: 85, 46
The wicked have told me lies, but not so is your law: I spoke of your decrees before kings, and was not confounded.
O God, who through the folly of the Cross wondrously taught Saint Justin the Martyr the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, grant us, through his intercession, that, having rejected deception and error, we may become steadfast in the faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: 2 Peter 1:2-7
May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more. By his divine power, he has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature and to escape corruption in a world that is sunk in vice. But to attain this, you will have to do your utmost yourselves, adding goodness to the faith that you have, understanding to your goodness, self-control to your understanding, patience to your self-control, true devotion to your patience, kindness towards your fellow men to your devotion, and, to this kindness, love.
R/ My God, in you I trust.
- He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High and abides in the shade of the Almighty says to the Lord: ‘My refuge, my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’
- His love he set on me, so I will rescue him; protect him for he knows my name. When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you.’
- I will save him in distress and give him glory. With length of life I will content him; I shall let him see my saving power.
Gospel Acclamation: Col 3:16a, 17
Alleluia, alleluia! Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you; through him give thanks to God the Father. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes and the elders in parables: ‘A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard. But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed. Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. “They will respect my son” he said. But those tenants said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this text of scripture: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see? And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant us, we pray, O Lord, that we may celebrate worthily these mysteries, which Saint Justin strenuously defended. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: 1 Cor 2: 2
I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Prayer after Communion
Refreshed by heavenly food, we humbly implore you, O Lord, that, attentive to the teaching of Saint Justin the Martyr, we may abide at all times in thanksgiving for the gifts we have received. Through Christ our Lord.
In today’s Gospel passage, the Lord Jesus in his typical style uses familiar activities of his time to draw the attention of his listeners. Land owners in Israel could give out their land to tenants who in turn paid back a percentage of the produce to the owner. The land owner in today’s parable builds new facilities and improvements, plants a vineyard and leases it out. When the period of farming ends and the land owner sends someone to get his portion of the harvest, problems arise as the tenants turn away the representatives; abusing and even killing them. Subsequently, the land owner sends his own son whom they kill. Now they feel they can become owners of the land. The farmers forgot that they were only stewards and their sole responsibility as tenants was to return to their landlord a portion of the proceeds of their labour. It is easy to forget God’s blessings and we should never imagine that God’s blessings are rights, they are gifts. We are stewards and God has been so patient and loving in our lives that he sent his only Son and who died for our sake.