Today’s saint was a Greek philosopher whose sincere search for truth led him to the Christian faith. He was baptized at the age of thirty and soon became an “apologist”, one who explains the faith. In the end, he gave his life for the true God rather than engage in the lie of sacrificing to idols. As we read the following presentation by St. Justin on the Eucharist, let us focus our prayer on Pope Benedict’s General Intention for this month: that believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen One who accompanies them in daily life.
No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ. We do not consume the Eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving. The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do. They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me. This is my body. In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood. The Lord gave this command to them alone. Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things. The rich among us help the poor and we are always united. For all that we receive we praise the Creator of the universe through his Son Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.