24th Sunday in
Ordinary Time – C
My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory
Memorial and full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion]
is on Saint John Chrysostom,
whose Feast Day is September 13. Born in Antioch in 374; he died in Pontus in 407, and is known by his Greek nickname ‘Chrysostom’ which means ‘Golden mouth.’ His ‘wonderful eloquence’ in both preaching and teaching, for which his Collect extols him, earned him the honorific title ‘Doctor of the Church’ as in a doctorate or PhD in theological and scriptural studies.
Roman Catholics expect to see Bishops in Latin Rite or Western vesture: the pointy-hat miter, which is based on ancient Roman senatorial garb; but Greek or Eastern Rite Catholic bishops wear crowns, as seen above, not miters. They also wear stoles that crisscross their chest outside their robes, unlike the way we wear our stoles: underneath our chasuble. So you know if a Bishop is in the Latin or Greek, Western or Eastern Rite by their vesture and headgear! Here are Saint John Chrysostom’s orations:
Collect – Saint John Chrysostom
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
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 … for ever and ever. Amen.
ARE WE PROPERLY SCHOOLED?
Saint John Chrysostom was well educated in Greek philosophy and in the social, intellectual, and political issues of his time; nor was he a stranger to the heretical, erroneous mindsets of his day. So he was able to bring biblical and ecclesial or church dogma into every discussion or debate. He also firmly believed that the world’s Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Church that continues His mission, has what the world truly needs to solve its problems and advance in every worthy goal. He is thus our role model in dealing with – and trying to fix – our sin-sick, broken violent world!
Prayer over the Offerings – Saint John Chrysostom
May the sacrifice which we gladly present
in commemoration of Saint John Chrysostom
be pleasing to you, O God, for, taught by him,
we, too, give ourselves entirely to you in praise.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
DO WE GIVE OURSELVES TO THE LORD?
The future Saint made good use of all that the secular world offered him, but he also sought spiritual guidance in religious
studies. He even lived as a reclusive hermit, far removed from worldly temptation and struggles; however, due to its rigors and strict demands, his venture into this intense form of monastic life was short-lived. But like many who – even in our own time – do a short stint in the Peace Corps or a similar organization, his ‘time away’ in ‘service’ was a life-changing, eye-opening experience!
What do we who claim to ‘serve the Lord’ do to give ourselves more fully to Jesus and His Church? Do we take time, or rather, MAKE time to learn more about our Faith, and to put our Faith into liturgical, social and communal action? Do we properly balance secular and religious, earthly and heavenly, every day and eternal needs and concerns?
Prayer after Communion – Saint John Chrysostom
Grant, O merciful God,
that these mysteries we have received
as we commemorate Saint John Chrysostom,
may confirm us in your love and enable us
to be faithful in confessing your truth.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
DO WE BRING OUR FAITH INTO DAILY LIFE? The best analogy I can think of what Saint John Chrysostom had to deal with in his Diocese is this: imagine being appointed Bishop of Hollywood where you’d have to challenge and confront the immoral, lavish, scandalous behavior of the rich and famous! That was the sad state of this Saint’s Diocese 1600 years ago, and it earned him enemies – outside and within the Church – who often tried to exile or murder him. If, as we confess the Faith, we face no liabilities or criticism, are we truly confessing our Faith? Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us!
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS