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Liturgical day: September 13th: St. John Chrysostom

Gospel text (Mk 4,1-10.13-20): Jesus began to teach by the lake, but such a large crowd gathered about him that He got into a boat and sat in it on the lake while the crowd stood on the shore. Jesus began to teach by the lake, but such a large crowd gathered about him that He got into a boat and sat in it on the lake while the crowd stood on the shore. He taught them many things through stories or parables. In his teaching he said, «Listen! The sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some of the seed fell along a path and the birds came and ate it up. Some of the seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil; it sprang up immediately because it had no depth; but when the sun rose and burned it, it withered because it had no roots. Other seed fell among thornbushes and the thorns grew and choked it, so it didn't produce any grain. But some seed fell on good soil, grew and increased and yielded grain; some produced thirty times as much, others sixty and others one hundred times as much». And Jesus added, «Listen then, if you have ears».

Jesus said to them, «Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables? What the sower is sowing is the word. Those along the path where the seed fell are people who hear the word, but as soon as they do, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Other people receive the word like rocky ground. As soon as they hear the word, they accept it with joy, but they have no roots so it lasts only a little while. No sooner does trouble or persecution come because of the word, than they fall. Others receive the seed as among thorns. After they hear the word, they are caught up in the worries of this life, false hopes of riches and other desires. All these come in and choke the word so that finally it produces nothing. And there are others who receive the word as good soil. They hear the word, take it to heart and produce: some thirty, some sixty and some one hundred times as much».

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we celebrate the feast of St. John of Antioch, popularly called “Chrysostom”, that is, “Golden Mouth”. He soon became famous for his preaching. He was elected as Bishop of Constantinople (397), the capital of the Roman Empire. The Chrysostom was firm in defending Catholic teaching against the doctrinal errors of his time, fundamentally Arianism (which denied the divinity of Christ).

But, above all, John wrote, preached and ruled thinking about the good of the souls. They called him “beggar” for his great help to the poor. He denounced the excesses of the Empress and the political class (and even a part of the clergy). As it happened to Jesus, for defending the truth, the Chrysostom had many adversaries, to the point that he was twice condemned to exile, that is, living far from his homeland. He died during the trip of the second exile.

—«Not many words would be necessary, if our works gave authentic testimony» (St. John Chrysostom).