Thursday, September 13, 2012

Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church

(I Corinthians 8:1b-7.11-13; Luke 6:27-38)

St. John Chrysostom’s last name was not “Chrysostom” nor was Chrysostom the place of his origin. No, Chrysostom means “golden-mouthed” and is used as a way to describe the saint as eloquent. His preaching was also prophetic. In a famous sermon he challenges his listeners to give alms to the poor before donating gold to adorn church altars. This kind of message amply reflects Jesus’ in today’s gospel.

One gospel commentator notes that the so-called “Golden Rule” did not originate with Jesus but may be found in any number of prior sources. On the other hand, the command, “Love your enemies” is characteristically Jesus’. It is unconventional, in-your-face wisdom that challenges listeners as much as any words can.

We may have to look around for enemies to love. We find Muslim extremists who still make war on the western world. In addition, a relative or friend may have betrayed us deeply. Perhaps a talented person rivals us for a job get. Following Jesus’ command, we pray for all of these asking God’s blessing that they live righteously and prosper accordingly.