Sep 13 – Memorial for St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor
John’s (347-407) father died when he was young, and he was raised by a very pious mother. It was for his sermons that John earned the title ‘Chrysostom’ (golden-mouthed). They were always on point, they explained the scriptures with clarity, and they sometimes went on for hours.
As bishop, he criticised the rich for not sharing their wealth, fought to reform the clergy, prevented the sale of ecclesiastical offices, called for fidelity in marriage, and encouraged practices of justice and charity. St. John’s sermons caused nobles and bishops to work to remove him from his diocese; twice, he was exiled from his diocese. He was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 451.
- Patron Saint Index
1 Cor 12:12-14,27-31
…God has visited his people.
How do we really view God’s existence in our lives? Is preaching, writing blogs and getting thousands of ‘likes’ on a Christian social media channel the way to prove that God exists? Sometimes, even going regularly to mass still brings doubts to parishioners. So what would it take to trigger our belief in a God, in our faith, in Jesus Christ? For many of us, we still would like to see a miracle in our lives to believe that God is with us, or as proof that His powers are for us. Most times, we harbour a hope that good things shall happen to us because we prayed for it. It could take years, or even a decade, to see something hopeful. Imagine if we were able to see someone rise from the dead like the people of Nain, so that we could praise God fervently.
We live in a community. The world is made up of different societies and groups of people. As in today’s reading, we are reminded of how God has existed among the differences but ultimately, united us in one spirit. When I was young, we would always hear people saying “God is everywhere”. Indeed, he is among us existing in spirit in our teachers, our leaders, in helpers, in caregivers and all those with a loving spirit, who are working for the love of our Lord. Everyday solutions are miracles as well, times when we are down only to rely on a piece of good news to make our day a little better.
Brothers and sisters, we are only human. Sometimes, during moments of difficulty we feel hopeless, and we doubt the existence of God. Be reminded that we should not let such feelings drag us down. Instead, let us keep up the faith through constant prayer, attending Eucharistic celebrations, and adoring the Blessed Sacrament so that we will calm our anxiety and allow God to speak to us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may you not give up on us when we doubt, but make us stronger in spirit and open our hearts for Jesus’ visit.
Thanksgiving: O loving God, we pray for the leaders, the Church and all non-believers, that the spirit of God will work in each one of them.