Feast of St. Justin Martyr
The most illustrious opponent of pagan philosophers
Mid-summer of 1916 in Fatima, Portugal, the angel returned and admonished Lucy, Francisco, and Jacinta who lounged in the shade of a fig tree after returning early from the hills to shelter the sheep they tended in a barn: “What are you doing? Pray, pray very much! The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs concerning you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High!”
“How must we sacrifice?” Lucy asked. The angel replied: Offer God a sacrifice of anything you can as an act of reparation for the sins with which He is offended, and as a supplication for the conversion of sinners. Draw peace upon your country by doing this... Above all, accept and endure whatever suffering the Lord sends you.”
In today’s Epistle (2 Pet. 2.1-10), the Word of God exhorts us: “Be you… as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” By “SPIRITUAL sacrifices” the angel teaches us: the sufferings and sacrifices we bear in our circumstances – and these are “acceptable” only to God “BY Jesus Christ,” that is, as we unite our sacrifices with the PROPITIATORY SACRAMENTAL sacrifice of our High Priest (Heb. 10.21), Our Lord Jesus Christ, on His high altar [cf., our post “We have an altar (Heb. 13.10): The Institution of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”]; note, then, the distinction between the priesthood of the laity and the priesthood of the ordained ministers (the Levites, cf., Jer. 33.22) of the New Covenant who stand at the high altar before the face of God (cf., Ex. 33.11; 2 Par. 29.11) which our Holy Church teaches us through her Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the “Orate Fratres”: “Brethren, pray that MY sacrifice and YOURS may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.” – a distinction suppressed* in the ‘Novus Ordo Missae’ (the New Mass of 1969) “fabricated” (Card. Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, in Msgr. Gamber’s “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy” – French Ed.) by Annibale Bugnini (dismissed by Pope Paul VI for being a Freemason, cf., our post “The Catholic Sanctuary Prefigured in OT (II)“).
* In the ‘Novus Ordo Missae’, the faithful are gathered around the “presider” facing them (as in a democratic assembly) in such a way as “to make it understood that the liturgy is an action of the entire people of God” (Bugnini, adopting the erroneous Protestant conception**) and not only properly of the priest.
** “The priest is not somebody who does things that the ordinary faithful don’t do; he is not ‘another Christ’ (alter Christus), any more than any other baptized person.”