Today the Church remembers St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople and one of the great Fathers of the Church. He is one of the favorite saints of our community because his writings and teachings are pure spiritual gold. He was a great preacher and his name, “Chrysostom” means “golden mouth”. We often use his teachings when we do our weekly study of Sacred Scripture.
In the Office of Readings today we can meditate on one of his homilies. Here is an excerpt. It has a timeless message and can be applied to our life in this present culture:
The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? ‘The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.
Do you not hear the Lord saying: Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst? Will he be absent, then, when so many people united in love are gathered together? I have his promise; I am surely not going to rely on my own strength! I have what he has written; that is my staff, my security, my peaceful harbour. Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to his promise and read his message; that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!
For more information about St. John Chrysostom check out the following links: