13 September – 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 exiled from his diocese. He was proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 451.
– Patron Saints Index
1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27-31
Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts. Now you together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it. In the Church, God has given the first place to apostles, the second to prophets, the third to teachers; after them, miracles, and after them the gift of healing; helpers, good leaders, those with many languages. Are all of them apostles, or all of them prophets, or all of them teachers? Do they all have the gift of miracles, or all have the gift of healing? Do all speak strange languages, and all interpret them? Be ambitious for the higher gifts.
Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.
God has visited his people
How do we really see God’s existence in our lives? Is preaching, writing blogs and getting thousands on a Christian social media channel the way to proving that God exists? Sometimes, even by going regularly to mass still bring doubts to parishioners that God exist and some might even say ‘because my parents want me to go to church..’ What will it take to trigger our believe in a God, in our faith, 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 a prove that His powers are for us. Most times, we have that hope and good things shall happen to us as we prayed for it. It could take years or even a decade to see something hopeful. Better still, we are able to see a raising of the dead like the people of Nain and began praising that God has come to them.
We live in a community. The world is made up of different societies and groups of people in our surroundings. As in today’s reading, we are reminded of how God has existed among the differences but ultimately in one spirit. When I was young, we always hear people saying ‘God is Everywhere’. Indeed, he is among us existing in spirit in our teachers, our leaders, in helpers, in carers and all those with a loving spirit in working for the love of our Lord. Everyday solutions are miracles as well, times when we are down only to rely on a good news to make our day a little better.
We are only human that sometimes, during moments of difficulty and feeling of hopelessness, we doubt the existence of God. Be reminded that, we shall not let such feelings drag us down. We will keep up the faith through constant prayers and Eucharistic celebrations, an adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will calm down our anxiety and God will speak to us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)
Prayer: May the Lord 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 those non-believers, that the spirit of God work in each one of them