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The Power of a Preacher
Everyone who's ever sat through the Mass knows the difference a great preacher makes. The readings come alive; the Word of God is proclaimed with power; the people in the congregation sit up, lean forward, listen, because they can understand, because he's making them hear, because he's keeping their interest and focusing their attention on something that matters.
One of the greatest preachers Christianity has ever seen was also one of the early Fathers of the Church: the Patriarch of Constantinople and Doctor of the Church Saint John Chrysostom, whose feast we celebrate on Sept. 13.
St. John is known as the Golden-tongued because of his eloquence as a preacher, modeling what happens when a Christian faithfully turns their talents over to the purposes of God: great and unexpected fruit can grow up.
He suffered a great deal at the hands of the powerful and the wealthy of this world. He persevered in faith, hope, and charity to the end, offering a powerful consolation to the Heart of Jesus. In his teaching and his example, he has led many Christians down through the centuries to the fullness of truth, guiding us as a holy priest, bishop, patriarch, and doctor of the Church again and again to Jesus.
In his fidelity and perseverance in spite of every hardship; in his life-long love of the Lord; in his wise teaching and extraordinary preaching, St. John Chrysostom leads us to bring joy to Jesus through our love and trust, through patiently bearing our crosses in good times and bad, and to spread the Gospel of God's mercy to all the world in ways suited to the talents God has given to us.
Let us ask St. John Chrysostom to pray for us that we may follow in his footsteps along the way home to God. Let us ask his intercession for everyone who suffers during their service to Jesus, that they be blessed with the strength to carry their cross to the end and find their reward in Jesus.