September 13, 2016

John Chrysostom

September 13, 2016:  St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor

  • 'Sparkling body' tie pin:  "The body is not a single part, but many.  You are Christ’s Body." (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "We are his people: the sheep of his flock." (psalm)
  • 'Clef' pin:  "Sing to the Lord" (psalm)
  • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. John Chrysostom memorial
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  St. John Chrysostom, Church 'doctor'
  • Gold-colored accoutrements:  St. John "Goldmouth"

For 1st reading
For the psalm [more info]
Pope Francis homily
Often when people meet each other, each thinks of themselves:  they see but don't look, hear but don't listen.  An encounter is different.  Today’s gospel proclaims one between a man and a woman, between an only living son and a dead one, among a joyful crowd following Jesus and weeping people accompanying the woman.  The encounter makes us reflect on how we interact.
Jesus was "moved with pity."  The pity he felt isn't what we have when going out in the streets:  we see something and say, "What a shame!," but Jesus goes up to the woman for a real encounter, then performs a miracle.  We see his tenderness and the fruitfulness of that encounter that restores people and things to their proper place.
We, used to a culture of indifference, must ask for the grace to create a culture of fruitful encounter that restores to each person their dignity as a living child of God.  We say, "What a shame; look how they're suffering," then carry on.  We must look; it’s not enough to see.  If I don’t stop, look, touch, and speak, I can't have an encounter and help build a culture of encounter.
We all need Jesus' Word and that encounter with him.  In our families, the heart of society, how often at dinner do people watch TV or use their cell phones, indifferent to encounter?  May we strive for a culture of encounter, just as Jesus did.  To look, listen, stop, be moved with pity, draw near, touch, say in the language of the heart, "Don't weep," and give life.
    • 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a  As a body is one though it has many parts, so too Christ.  In one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body and drink of one Spirit.  Some people God has designated to be Apostles, prophets, teachers, to do mighty deeds, heal, assist....  Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
    • Ps 100:1b-5  "We are his people: the sheep of his flock."  Sing joyfully to the Lord; serve him with gladness.  The Lord is God; enter his courts with praise and thanks.  His kindness and faithfulness endure.
    • Lk 7:11-17  As Jesus drew near to Nain, a dead man was being carried out, son of a widow.  When the Lord saw her, he said, moved with pity, “Don't weep.”  He touched the coffin:  “Young man, arise!”  He began to speak.  They glorified God:  “A great prophet has arisen; God has visited his people.”  The news spread through Judea and beyond.
        Auferweckung des Jünglings zu Nain
      • Creighton:  Jesus is moved with pity when he sees the deceased man’s mother, weeping and grief-stricken.  But the mother, focused on her loss, doesn't approach him; Jesus stretches out his hand and the dead man revives!  God's nature is to be “moved with pity” at human suffering.  He hears us but also often makes the first move....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Seek the gifts":  Jesus commands us to set our hearts on spiritual gifts, especially on the greater gifts, those that build up the Church.  The Father and the Son sent the Spirit to give us gifts and to help us recognize them.  We must recognize, use, and develop these gifts, we need their benefits, and we must be open to the ministry of other Christians as they use their gifts.  Pray to recognize and use your gifts and to see those around us as gifted....
      • Passionist:  The story of Elijah's raising the son of a widow in Zarephath may be linked to the crowd’s reaction to the Nain widow's son's raising to life:  “A great prophet has arisen”; “God has visited his people.”  Jesus took the initiative out of compassion, as we must.  The widow would have had no way to support herself.  We must make it a priority to care for the weakest, the least.  Paul puts mighty deeds below apostles, prophets, and teachers so we don't value the spectacular over the Spirit's more important gifts....
        St. John Chrysostom,
        Archbishop of Constantinople
      •  "The Lord had compassion on her":  Jesus was often "moved to the depths of his heart"; 'compassion' doesn't convey the deeper meaning of the original expressing heartfelt sympathy and identification with the person's grief and condition.  Jesus not only grieved the man's death of a young man but was also concerned for the woman who lost husband, only child, security, and livelihood.  Jesus' physical contact with the dead man mad him ritually unclean in the Jews' eyes, but his touch and identification with the widow's loss showed love and concern for her, and his desire to free people from the power of sin, corruption, and death.  His word of command restored the young man to life.
      This miracle took place near where Elisha raised another son to life.  Jesus' word restored life to one marked for death.  Jesus, Lord of the living and the dead, promises believers abundant life now and forever.
      St. John Chrysostom ("Goldmouth")
      • Universalis:  Exiled ascetic, preacher, patriarch, reformer
      Special greetings to and prayers for the community at

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