Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church
(Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 6:20-26)
Christians in the West may not know St. John Chrysostom, but within Orthodoxy he is more famous than St. Augustine. There are similarities between the two. Neither grew up Christian, and both studied rhetoric as young men. Both became bishops although Augustine’s diocese was backwater while John’s see was the imperial city of Constantinople.
John was both an eloquent preacher (Chrysostom means golden mouth) and an outspoken social critic. He had little patience with imperial protocol and openly appealed to the wealthy to assist the needy before adorning a church. In a famous sermon he said, "Give (Christ) he honor prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.”