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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Saint Justin Martyr

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

“Praise the Lord, Jerusalem”Ps. 147

Text of Saint Justin Martyr (+162) on the Eucharist

St. Justin between the years 132 and 135, while walking along the beaches of Ephesus, an old man drew his attention to Christ and the writings of the prophets, as ancient teachers bearers of a profound message. The tranquility of the believers before the martyrdom convinced him that they were not, as it was said, a sect of people given to cannibalism and pleasure. The doctrine was convincing to him and he resolved to convert to Christianity, in Ephesus in Hadrian’s time, and devoted the rest of his life to spreading what he considered the “true philosophy”. He dedicated himself to the defense of the Christian faith and we present below an account of his, describing how the Eucharist will be celebrated at the beginning of the second century, when perhaps John the Evangelist was still alive or would have just died. I just add the words in capital letters, so that you understand what you mean.

“… After being thus washed (BAPTISM) and adhering to us who have believed, we bring him to those who are called brothers, to pray together for ourselves, for the one who has just been enlightened, and for the others scattered throughout the world. We pray that, since we have known the truth, we may be in our works men of good conduct, keeping the commandments, and thus attain eternal salvation.

On the day called the sun (SUNDAY) a meeting of all who live in the cities or in the fields is celebrated, and the recollections of the Apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, while there is time (READINGS). When the reader finishes, the one who makes his head exhorts us with his word and invites us to imitate those examples (HOMILY). Then we all got up in one, and raised our prayers (PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL).

After the prayers, we give ourselves the osculum of peace (PEACE) then, bread and wine are offered with water as we have already said (OFFERTORY), and the one who presides, according to his strength, also raises his prayers and long thanksgiving (EUCHARISTIC PRAYER), and all the people exclaim: Amen, which in Hebrew means so be it. Then comes the distribution and partaking of the food consecrated by thanksgiving (COMMUNION) and its sending to the absent through what we call deacons.

Those who have and want, freely give what seems good to them (COLLECTION); what is collected is given to the one who makes head so that he can help orphans and widows, those who are in need due to illness or other cause, the imprisoned, strangers who are passing through: in short, he is constituted as a provider for those who are in need.

We call this food the Eucharist. It is not lawful for anyone to participate if he does not believe that our teachings are true and if he has not been washed in the bath of the remission of sins and regeneration (BAPTISM), and lives according to what Christ taught us. For we do not take them as common bread or drink, but, just as Jesus Christ, Our Savior, became incarnate by virtue of the Word of God for our salvation, so we have been taught that this food – on which our flesh and blood feed – is the Flesh and Blood of Jesus incarnate himself, for in these foods the wonder has been accomplished through prayer containing the words of Christ himself. The Apostles – in their commentaries, which are called the Gospels – conveyed to us that Jesus commanded them to do so when, he took the bread and, giving thanks, said: Do this in remembrance of me; this is my
Body. And in the same way, taking the chalice, he gave thanks and said: this is my Blood. And only to them did he deliver it (…) (CONSECRATION)

We hold this general meeting on the day of the sun, because it is the first, on which God, transforming darkness and matter, made the world; and also because it is the day on which Jesus Christ, our Saviour, rose from the dead; …”

Readings for the Week

Sunday: Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a/Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20 (12)/1 Cor 10:16-17 /Jn 6:51-58
Monday: 2 Cor 1:1-7/Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9/Mt 5:1-12
Tuesday: 2 Cor 1:18-22/Ps 119:129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135/Mt 5:13-16
Wednesday: 2 Cor 3:4-11/Ps 99:5, 6, 7, 8, 9/Mt 5:17-19
Thursday: 2 Cor 3:15 -4:1, 3-6/Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14/Mt 5:20-26
Friday: Dt 7:6-11/Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 10 (see 17)/1 Jn 4:7-16/Mt 11:25-30
Saturday: 2 Cor 5:14-21/Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12//Lk 2:41-51
Next Sunday: Ex 19:2-6a/Ps 100:1-2, 3, 5 (3c)/Rom 5:6-11/Mt 9:36-10:8

Observances for the Week

Sunday: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Monday: Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Tuesday: Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Wednesday: Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday: Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Friday: Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saturday: Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Next Sunday: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time