And our Doctor of the Day is St. John Chrysostom.
St. John Chrysostom was born around 347 and died in 407. His last name means ‘The Golden-Mouthed’ and is called such because he was a great preacher. He is also called the Doctor of the Eucharist because much of his theological study concerns the great depth of the gift of the Eucharist. We celebrate his feast day on Sept 13.
Chrysostom was bishop of Constantinople and was known for his eloquent preaching (St. John is the patron saint of preachers). Before becoming bishop he lived as a hermit in the desert for four years growing into a depth of relationship with God. He is most famous for a collection of 22 homilies called Homilies on the Statues that were preached with such pastoral care that it inspired many to repentance and conversion. He also wrote many works on Sacred Scripture. He was a fervent defender of the Faith against the Arian heresy of the time. Furthermore, it wasn’t enough for Chrysostom just to use his intellectual gifts to teach. He also was known for his great pastoral care. He was remarkably dedicated to shepherding the flock that the Lord put in his care. He strove to make the connected between an intimate relationship with the Lord naturally led to Christian charity and a concern for the needs of others. He wrote in one homily, “This is the principle of our social life…[that we are] not to be solely concerned with ourselves”(Homily 9 on Genesis). In another place he writes, “To support one another in the things of the Spirit (that is works of charity and service) is the true sign of goodwill between brothers, of loving kinship and sincere affection.”
Let us ask St. John Chrysostom to pray for us today. May we true and faithful preachers of the message of Jesus by our words and actions and prayer. Let’s pray for our priests, that they may be good preachers of the Gospel and never back down from boldly proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. Amen.