13 September 2007

St. John Chrysostom--Preacher with Gilded Mouth

Lutheran Service Book commemorates St. John Chrysostom on 27 January, but other calendars commemorate the great preacher today, 13 September. So, in the same spirit of striving for ecumenical concord that the Augsburg Confession displays (see AC, Preface, 10), we commemorate John, the golden-mouthed preacher ("Chrysostom" is Greek for "golden mouth"), with a sample of his preaching. (And you can be sure that we'll also commemorate him on 27 January! :-)

Here Chrysostom proclaims our Lord's Resurrection by tying it back to His Incarnation:
How can I recount for you these hidden realities or proclaim what goes beyond any word or concept? How can I lay open before you the mystery of the Lord’s resurrection, the saving sign of his cross and of his three days’ death? For each and every event that happened to our Savior is an outward sign of the mystery of our redemption. Just as Christ was born from his mother’s inviolate virginal womb, so too he rose again from the closed tomb. As he, the only-begotten Son of God was made the firstborn of his mother, so, by his resurrection, he became the firstborn from the dead. His birth did not break the seal of his mother’s virginal integrity. Nor did his rising from the dead break the seals on the sepulcher. And so, just as I cannot fully express his birth in words, neither can I wholly encompass his going forth from the tomb (Homily on Holy Saturday 10; cited in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, John 11-21, p. 336-337).
I sure wish that I could have heard such a preacher with such a golden-mouth way of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen. What a blessing he must have been to his hearers!

1 comment:

Ezekiel said...

Some of us celebrate St John Chrysostom most Sundays of the year with one of his greatest preachments.

Let the reader understand.