Thursday, January 26, 2017

Something from ... Chrysostom on the Church and the Apostles

Something from St. John Chrysostom (ca. 349 - 407), bishop of Constantinople.

Here, John comments on the benefits we have received through the Apostles and Evangelists who have recorded the words and works of Jesus Christ, by which the Holy Spirit brings people into the kingdom of God.  Though they have departed from this world, their words are still proclaimed.  And we still benefit from their words, as the Church (the commonwealth) gathers around them Sunday after Sunday to receive the blessings proclaimed in them.

“And as a place for this their commonwealth they have assigned Heaven, and God they have brought in as the framer thereof, and as lawgiver of the statues there set; as indeed was their duty.  And the rewards in their commonwealth are not leaves of bay nor olive, not an allowance of meat in the public hall, nor estates of brass, these cold and ordinary things, but a life which hath no end, and to become children of God, to join the angels' choir, and to stand by the royal throne, and to be always with Christ.  And the popular guides of this commonwealth are publicans, and fishermen, and tent-makers, not such as have lived for a short time, but such as are now living for ever.  Therefore even after their death they may possibly do the greatest good to the governed.” (St. John Chrysostom, p 6, Homilies on the Gospel according to St. Matthew; Homily 1, part 12)