Sometimes we can move mountains in the most basic of conversations, even by exchanging pleasantries. I will start off with a true story about a young man named Justin who was walking on the beach one day. It seemed Justin encountered an older man who was looking for family and friends that he had planned to meet.
In conversation, the older man surmised that Justin was quite a learned and well-trained young man who was well versed in all the major philosophies of the day. The old man concluded that if he was looking for truth is had been revealed by God, not the voluminous pagan deities of Greece and Rome. Justin had said that he respected Jews and Christians but could their God really hold the truth? The conversation spurred the young man to find out.
Do you think this true story happened this year in say Hilton Head, the Outer Banks of maybe Siesta Key? No it didn’t happen in 2016, it happened in 116 in the area around Caesarea, modern day Tel Aviv, Israel. Justin went on to become Justin the martyr, one of the western world’s most learned men, one of the earliest Church Fathers, a true light in an age of darkness, he gladly died for the faith telling others about the truth of Christ. He wrote volumes about Christianity, and he reached many learned Romans who were impressed which his knowledge of the Roman gods, and the Greek and Roman philosophers of the day.
St. Justin the Martyr also gave us the first eyewitness description of the mass around 116 that sounds very much like what you see today. This all came about because one old man engaged a younger man in casual conversation, something all of us can do.
Dave Hartline is a Catholic writer, who graduated from Marion Catholic High School and Ohio University. He has also been a Catholic school teacher, coach and administrator in the Diocese of Columbus. He currently is the Stewardship and Development Director at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Powell. He is the author of various articles as well as two Catholic books. He is the author of an book on unreported “Good News” in the Catholic Church published by St. Benedict Press.