On this day of baptisms and recalling the dramatic events of Pentecost, Father Jonathan reminds us that these are the last days. He gives some extreme examples of people who were filled with the Holy Spirit who is always calling us to love one God, love all children of God, all nationalities, all religions, all people.
For example, he tells the story of Saint Justin who lived under the reign of Marcus Aurelius in ancient Rome. Here is a transcript of the trial of Justin and six of his students:
The Prefect Rusticus says: Approach and sacrifice, all of you, to the gods.
Justin says: No one in his right mind gives up piety for impiety.
The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy.
Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence at the more terrible universal tribunal of Our Lord and Saviour.
And all the martyrs said: Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols.
The Prefect Rusticus read the sentence: Those who do not wish to sacrifice to the gods and to obey the emperor will be scourged and beheaded according to the laws.
The holy martyrs glorifying God betook themselves to the customary place, where they were beheaded and consummated their martyrdom confessing their Saviour.