Memorial of St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
In American society, we value freedom and achievement. Jesus values humility, love, and service. The greatest freedom is to love others. Humility is also a true ingredient for authentic freedom. And truly, you can have no greater achievement than to serve Christ by serving others from a pure heart.
St. John Chrysostom understood this. He spent his whole Christian life serving others. He was called “The Golden Tongue” because he preached so fluently. He was so well regarded as a preacher and Christian thinker that some have called him the St. Augustine of the East. His preaching balanced pastoral concern with Christian responsibility. He would hold anyone to task, even the rich. At one time, he was banished from his Apostolic See, or place as bishop, because his teaching ran afoul of the Empress at that time. As tradition holds, an earthquake struck Constantinople just as he was leaving it. The Empress took this to be a sign of divine intervention and promptly requested that St. John return to the city.
When we trust in God fully, we can serve just as St. John Chrysostom did, and do so with confidence.
Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB