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Sept. 13th - St. John Chrysostom

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordSeptember 13, 2022
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Today’s readings are1 Corinthians 12: 12-14, 27-31;  Psalm 100 and Lk. 7:11-17

When it comes to preaching the Word of God, The Code of Canon Law (1983) of the Church says the following:

Can. 757 It is proper for presbyters, i.e. priests, who are co-workers of the bishops, to proclaim the gospel of God; this duty binds especially pastors and others to whom the care of souls is entrusted with respect to the people committed to them. It is also for deacons to serve the people of God in the ministry of the word in communion with the bishop and his presbyterium.

Can. 762 Sacred ministers, among whose principal duties is the proclamation of the gospel of God to all, are to hold the function of preaching in esteem since the people of God are first brought together by the word of the living God …

There is no doubt that the People of God deserve good and effective preaching of the Word.  As Pope Francis said in his January 24th Angelus talk this year, preaching long, spiritually empty homilies can reduce the Word of God to a mere set of abstract concepts that fail to awaken one's soul. "Even many homilies — I say it with respect but with pain — are abstract, and instead of awakening the soul, they put it to sleep. When the faithful start looking at their watches (and say), 'When is this going to end?', they put the soul to sleep.”

No such words could be spoken of the saint we honour today, St. John Chrysostom, the Archbishop of Constantinople who served in that position around the year 400.  His preaching was so dynamic and effective that the name Chrysostom was not his family but in fact a nickname he was given by the faithful, which means “golden mouth”, and he is the patron saint of all who preach the Word of God.

May his intercessions be with all those, myself included, who are entrusted with this sacred ministry of preaching.