1 TIMOTHY 2:1-8; PSALM 28; LUKE 7:1-10
St. Paul says; “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” Beloved, our leaders; whether spiritual or temporal need our prayers. We should not only critize them, we should also encoruage them and most importantly pray for them. They need our prayers because ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. We boast of many things until we are enthroned before we learn the ways of mercy.
Again, we must brace up to our duties. Irrespective of our positions we must not neglect the well-being of those under our care. In the gospel a centurion – a high placed official took it upon himself to approach Jesus for the well-being of his slave. So big; yet attended to the needs of his slave. We can do the same! Let us learn to serve sincerely. St. John Chrysostom whose memorial we celebrate today used his office for the spread of the faith and defence against heresies. Beloved, use your office to help not hinder.
LET US PRAY
O God, strength of those who hope in you, who willed that the Bishop Saint John Chrysostom should be illustrious by his wonderful eloquence and his experience of suffering, grant us, we pray, that, instructed by his teachings, we may be strengthened through the example of his invincible patience. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
Born in Antioch, c. 347, Saint John Chrysostom (Golden-mouthed) was perhaps the greatest preacher in the history of the Church, thus the name given him, and the most prominent Greek father of the Church.
He grew up in Antioch, received an excellent classical Greek education, and upon meeting the holy bishop Meletus, he decided to devote his time to the study of religious works and the Sacred Scriptures. He received Baptism after three years of study and set out for the desert to live the ascetic life of a hermit.
His extreme mortifications left him in fragile health, and he thus returned to Antioch after two years of recovery, and devoted himself to studying for the priesthood. He was ordained in 386 and served in the Cathedral of Antioch for 12 years, winning widespread fame for his sublime preaching.
In 398 he was forcefully appointed Patriarch of Constantinople, and fast became very popular with his flock through his example of preaching and courage in front of the imperial power, whose corruption and decadence he never shirked from criticizing in public.
This attitude naturally made an enemy of the empress, Eudoxia as well as Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria, who had him condemned on false charges in 403. He was exiled to Armenia where he continued to be a great presence in the Church of the East through his many letters. He was exiled from Armenia to an isolated place along the Black Sea. He died during the journey in 407 in Pontus, his ill health unable to endure its rigors.
In 438 the Emperor Theodosius II of Constantinople had John’s body returned to Constantinople, and did penance for the sins of his mother Eudoxia.
Chrysostom’s many writings, especially homilies and commentaries on the Gospels, are still extant and have exerted great influence over the centuries. (Catholic News Agency).