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8 Saint John Chrysostom

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Perhaps, the greatest sermon ever written of all times, Chrysostom wrote 1400 sermons but there is one that he will always be remembered for, because in every orthodox church anywhere in the world, on easter Sunday, after the anastasi, after the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, the sermon of his on the resurrection will always be recited and read by the people. I personally would love to have been at that sermon, of the easter sermon. Because it's such a powerful sermon and it's of nothing all the other sermons are not powerful but it's such an eloquent powerful sermon. And yet it speaks about everything that we believe in. If there are devout and God-loving people here, let them enjoy this beautiful, radiant festival. If there are prudent servants, enter joyously into the Lord’s joy. Whoever may be spent from fasting, enjoy now your reward. Whoever has toiled from the first hour, receive today your just settlement. If any have came after the third hour, celebrate gratefully. If any of you arrived after the sixth, have no misgivings, you have lost nothing. If some have been late as the ninth, come forward, do not be at a loss. If any of you have arrived only after the eleventh hour, do not be dismayed for being late. The Master is gracious; He accepts the last even as the first, He gives rest to those of the eleventh as well as those who have labored from the first, He is lenient with the last while looking after the first, to the one he gives, to the other he gives freely, He accepts the labors and welcomes the efforts. Honors the deed, but commends the intent. So, all of you, enter into the joy of our Lord, first and second, share the bounty. Rich and poor alike, celebrate together. Sober, heedless, honor the day. Those who fasted, and those who did not, rejoice today. The table is full, everyone fare sumptuously. The calf is fatted no one go away hungry. Everyone, savor the banquet of faith, relish the riches of His goodness. No one need lament poverty, for the kingdom is seen as universal. No one need grieve over sins, forgiveness has dawned from the tomb. No one need fear death, the Savior's death has freed us from it. While its captive He stifled it. He despoiled Hades and he descended into it, It was vexed, when it was tasted his flesh. Foreseeing this, Isaiah proclaimed: "Hades," he said, was angered when he met you below. It was vexed because it was abolished, It was vexed because it was mocked, It was vexed because it was slain. It was vexed because it was shackled. It received a body and encountered God. It took earth and came face to face with heaven. It took what it saw and fell by what it could not see. Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen and demons have fallen. Christ is risen and angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life rules. Christ is risen and not one dead remains in the tomb. For Christ, having risen from the dead, has become the first fruit of those that slept. To him be the glory and dominion, forever, and ever. Amen. St.John Chrysostom was probably was born in year 349 in metropolitan city of Antioch of Syria. His mother was a devout christian, a pure Greek descent. Her name was Anthusa and his father was a Roman general of someone of high rank in the Roman army and his name was Secundus. He was young when his father passed away, his mother never remarried, and she had him educated actually in the Greek language in which reality, that was the only language that he really learned after death after his father's death. Well! Anthusa never remarried after her husband died, her focus was on educating John and that's where her energies went. My mother was a single mother and from a little boy I always used to realise how difficult it was for her to bring up my sister and I in a christian manner, in a loving household with a father not there one hundred percent of the time. I realize this is also so difficult for Anthusa to bring up a young man of the stature of St.John Chrysostom in the same type of household in loving manner. At 18 years of age, Chrysostom was baptized to Christian. And also at that time he was completing his rhetorical studies, his.. his oratory skills, under Libanius, the great Pagan philosopher. When Libanius was dying, his pupils around him asked him, "who would be your successor?" They wanted to know, who is going to take off from him. And he said... John If the Christians haven't stolen him yet. He was studying in in.. the best of non-christian educational centres of the time. St.John Chrysostom really was able to perfect his way to articulate things. Of course, he studied law so he was a lawyer. That helped in his thought processes, in deducing a logic in reality. In from his sermons you will see that the experiences that he had received in the courtroom, how he was impregnated with the human condition and how he understood the hearts and the minds of the people. How they take? How they worked? And he knew how to apply the scriptures which he called the best medicine that could be applied to any wound. John decided to train in his lawyer robes, in his law books, for a classic in a Bible and he entered the theological school of Antioch. After his education, he was convinced of the truth of the christian faith and he became a monk. And he withdrew into a monastic celi. Before St.John Chrysostom embraced a monastic life, his mother came to him saying, pleading to him of piercing, "do not make me widow for the second time." and St.John Chrysostom understood and loved his mother and said that he would not leave for the monastery or the monastic life, before the death of his mother. During the 3 year period before the passing of his mother St.John Chrysostom took this opportunity to read the scriptures, study them thoroughly and prepare himself for his future monastic life. At this point, Anthusa passes away and St.John Chrysostom sells all of his earthy belongings to the poor and embraces the monastic tradition. In mountains, he escaped in order to able to study the way, he really wanted to study without any distractions, without the world telling him what directions to go in, where and how to use his talents he looked inward, and what he found inward was a tremendous yearning and thirst to learn about scriptures. He lived a life, a very severe life of monasticism, and eventually he had to give it up because in the mountains, he developed a very serious condition with his kidneys and they were failing. When St.John Chrysostom was in his monastic life, he was visited by St.Charlie, the evangelist and St.Peter and St.John brought to say Chrysostom the squals said that your monastery is not just the monastic life to your monastery is in the church. And to preach to the people and to offer them Christ. Once again it shows, that god perhaps has other plans for us, because by coming out of the monastery what John Chrysostom offer to early Christianity into the church today is great. And then he went back in to the city of Antioch. He resumed his health. And then at 31 years of age, Meletius, the reigning bishop at the time ordained him a deacon. And then when he was 36 years old, Flavian of Antioch, ordained him a presbyter were priest. It may seem like a he was a little older than what we are used to in this day in age and even the canons of the church at that time were written to, specifically have a priest ordained only after 30. It even exists today, but with economy of the church bending the rules, we allowing younger people to be ordained because we are educated at much younger age. At this age because our resources are there opportunities are there, they weren't at that time. Finally, when he became a priest he became famous for his sermons He had a tremendous mind, He had memorized vast amount of scriptures, whether or not he preached from prepared texts so extemporaneously he hypnotized, captivated the people who listen. Everything through his education even from his non-christian teachers and his christian teachers is finely put together and he is able to expand ensure the beauty and the eloquence of who he is. By his sermons, by his speaking, by his teachings, by his love to his people. When St.John Chrysostom preached he never used notes and it was important that the people who were listening to his sermons were gathered, wrote down his notes on paper and were able to save it for us in the church to use today. John Chrysostom often preached long sermons that were not for long time but instead of boring people, he was energizing people. He could have gone on for 2 hours, his sermons were not the 10 minutes that we are so impatient to have today. But people were actually glued in the absorbed, every word that is that he said. They applauded, he had homilies against people, applauding and acting so for the church because of his homilies. He also wrote a number of treatises, and a number of his sermons have been preserved in writing. At one point in his life, St.John Chrysostom wrote on the priesthood. The six books on the priesthood, and in there he wrote about his unworthiness, of being a priest because of the immense.. immense authority and the immense value and.. and.. divine power given to him, to do what he had to do. He wrote many sermons and talks on marriage and family life with tremendous insight. From man who have celibate and in senate among he gave tremendous advice to husbands and wives and fathers and mothers. For example, he tells the a husband anytime you want to correct your wife first tell her how much you love her. And then correct her. This is great wisdom. One of the most important things St.John Chrysostom did and is remembered for is the editing of the Divine Liturgy that now bears his name. He did not write very much of this Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy of St.John Chrysostom took on the name of Chrysostom because he edited the existing liturgy which was in Constantinople at the time. Which was the liturgy of St.Basil the great. And we know that, probably Gregory, the theologian in Cappadocia introduced that liturgy into Constantinople and therefore, Chrysostom had something to edit and he edited, basically the mystical prayers more penitential in nature he edited them and it became shorter because people as it is the case today, they would not want to go to church, it was services were too long. And they they they.. would not go. At that time there was the Arian controversy, which left the city with no bishops hardly any catholic bishops orthodox bishops, few priests and hardly any any pressures. So.. so reform had to be made to attract the people back to the church. And it is that liturgy which probably has evolved from that time until now somewhat, but as a liturgy of Chrysostom that is the liturgy that we are seeing now. At the time when he was the prince of Antioch, the emperor to be able to pay off some debts or whatever raises the taxes in his empire. And he really hits hard, some of the major cities of Antioch is taxed very heavily. And with taxation, there is a major uproar in the city where, the people go after the statue of the emperor start tearing it down. Destroying anything that has it have a public identity to the emperor. to show their disgust, to show their hatefulness, to show their total rejection of what the emperor did. For hem there was act of treason He came in with the soldiers you seem, it was threatening to wipe them all out to kill people to.. to.. to subdue the insurrection and so forth and to enforce the tax. And Chrysostom seeing this and he knows he has to do something so he himself steps in becomes a mediator between the people and the emperor and calms everything down. This is one the power Chrysostom had from the pulpit, the power that he had with people, really began to take root he stood at the pulpit of many churches in Antioch homing the masses and convincing the masses that they have to coexist with the emperors and with authorities at the time. Paralleling the authority of God in his tremendous orations to the.. to the authority of the emperor give Caesar what is Caesar's given to Caesar what is Caesar given to God what is God's. At that time Chrysostom wrote the 21 homilies on the statues. The significance of this 21 homilies on the statue was to try to show people how to live and what the relationship is to the church, the relationship is to the government. This period of his ministry ended rather unexpectedly when the Archbishop of Constantinople died. This point in his life, 49 years old St.John Chrysostom was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Constantinople. There was a bishop in Alexandria, very powerful bishop a known bishop, popular, Theo-Philus who covered that role, covered that position that St.John Chrysostom was now going to assume. He was asked even to come in throne, the person he was very jealous of Chrysostom. Theo-Philus was very jealous and thought St.John Chrysostom was not worthy of becoming the archbishop of Constantinople. Theo-Philus did everything he could to bring down the reign of St.John Chrysostom. What Chrysostom inherited was an absolute mess this is what he was given to clean up basically,when he became the patriarch. He saw how his predecessors let things slide and things were relaxed. Specially, amongst the.. amongst the bishops and the priests. Bishops were openly living with other women. The priest that the priesthood was for gaining and holding money They abused their power. They the faithful. The laity, they were living a lifestyle of moral decadence. The way that he counteracted, the.. the.. the looseness of the city and so forth was to.. to care for the sake of suffering. And he built hospitals and he encouraged the priest to preach well prepared sermons because they were not prepared. Priests became priests simply for the money they saw the glory and the power. And they not become priests for, while they should be to be pastures for the people. And because of these things Chrysostom was looked down upon and he challenged a lot of people. All of sudden we see another force come in and that is the empress Eudoxia and she has distaste for Chrysostom. In the end of the day, Arcadius was the emperor and Eudoxia his wife was running the show. She had the control and he was weak so he did whatever the empress said. The Empress Eudoxia was threatened by St.John Chrysostom and felt that he was being blessed and offering incorrect teachings to the people in the church. Therefore, together with Theo-Philus of Alexandria, he called a senate there to condemn Chrysostom on several charges. On 29 charges. And actually when you look at somebody charges today they are very laughable. But at that time they were very serious some of the charges against him were the misappropriation of funds, the selling of church relics, church properties,blasphemy bishops and priests and he also be the man after the man who received the whole community from him. They also said that he performed his.. his priestly ministry, his liturgical functions outside jurisdictions like ordaining priests that he had, that he wasn't supposed to and so forth. Archbishop Theo-Philus and the empress Eudoxia were working together to essentially put St.John Chrysostom out of the seas of Constantinople. And it was only the empress who was doing this but was also clergy to the priest because they were jealous of what was going on with him being popular with the people in a popular with them. She politicized this.. these issues trumped up charges and soon was able to solidify the exile. The first exile in 403 of the archbishop of Constantinople, St.John Chrysostom. Chrysostom was exiled, something profound happened, an earthquake happened. Eudoxia, being superstitious like any of the royalty of the time indeed began to fear what was going to happen to her and to her power. And even with those realities in the revolt of the people because the people began to be in sense that she had done also realized that she should bring back. A year later, she brought back St.John Chrysostom, put him back on throne. She bring him back at 403 A.D in a year. trans things forgotten. Just do what you are supposed to do as a good shepherd. and don't make attacks. When St.John Chrysostom returned from exile, Empress Eudoxia had erected a statue of herself, right in front of the church. Not off to the side, not in an area, not in mueseum right in front of the church. St.John Chrysostom compared Eudoxia to Herodias, who was King Herod's wife. In which she convinced Salome, her daughter asking Herod to held St.John baptist as we know in the story of The New Testament. In June 404, he was permanently exiled from Constantinople. And the Emperor ordered person to be taken in very remote place, Where no one could see him. When he was exiled from Constantinople He traveled, through churches, inclement climate, for 3 years that he was assigned a group of soldiers, to.. to murder him, he traveled through by travelling and he walked on foot through snow, sleet, ice, wind tremendous hard weather which would normally kill a normal human being and that was the purpose. The soldiers were told, that was their job to.. to to kill him through slow and torturous method, this very painful method. Slow death through the elements of nature. How could we do this to a human being? How could we do this to such a loving man, somebody who offered his entire life to the ministry of Christ, to the ministry of the world. How can we treat a human being in this way? The night before his death, He stopped at the church of the Martyr Basiliscus, someone who, he wrote a great paenger of homily on. And at there, in the evening, at night during his dream, the Martyr Basiliscus came to him and said, John my brother! Be of good cheer, be courageous, for tomorrow we shall be together. And in the morning, the soldiers woke up and wanted to push him even more and he was about to die so they figured he couldn't go anymore so they brought him back to the church of Martyr Basiliscus, They dressed him in the white garments of death according to an ancient Roman custom. And the priest of the church there gave him the body and blood of Christ that which he preached and he lived in breathed all his life. And then he laid down before the holy altar, and said the famous statement that he can be remembered of, 'Glory to God, for all things. Amen.' And he fell asleep in the arms of the lord, 56 58 years old. In the traditional orthodox church, There is feast called - movable feast. What movable feast are is that just practically what it says its a feast day at the church that you can move, why would one move it because September 14, is the exaltation of the cross. So, St.John died on September 14th we very well could have two great feast of the church on the same day, so that is moved to November 13th. Its interesting to know that the orthodox church celebrates the transition of moving of the relics St.John Chrysostom on January 27th. We know that the children of the Empress Eudoxia went and brought the relics of St.John Chrysostom to the case where her mother was buried and the legend is or the story the tradition is that her bones were rattling, they could not find peace and rest until.. the.. the bones of John .. bishop John the golden mouth were brought back into Constantinople. By bringing the relics of St.John and placing them next to her, casket her coffin where she's suffering Until the relics were brought she was in a state of uneasiness, but then as the relics were there, the rattling ceases. And she is finally out of torment. There's an interesting story about St.John Chrysostom on the last time that he was in exile, he stayed the night in the home of Arab bishop named Adealtius. And had the opportunity to teach. And after Chrysostom died Adealtius in his prior life had an experience with he will taken up into heaven. And he looked around and he saw the great teachers and pastors. who have already preceded him going to heaven. But he did not see St.John Chrysostom And he asked the angel, Where is my teacher? and the angel answered him No man still in the flesh can see him because he stands along the throne of God with the set of

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Posted by: schoogle on Nov 24, 2015

8 Saint John Chrysostom

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