1 Corinthians 10:14-22
In the liturgy of the hours, the leader starts with the phrase: "O Lord open my lips", and the people respond: "And my mouth shall declare your praise." In today’s gospel, Jesus says: "A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good…for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks." In this election year, we pay particular attention to how the candidates for public office speak, because this gives us some insight into their character. The gospels are full of stories about how the people responded to Jesus’ words, e.g.: "the majority of the crowd heard this with delight." (Mark 12:37)
What a gift it is for the followers of Jesus to echo his words to their brothers and sisters, and to apply them to the challenges of today! One of those who did this is St. John Chrysostom, who lived in the 4th century. As bishop of Constantinople, he encouraged his flock to love as Jesus did. He also gave us a reason for praising God.
He wrote: "Why does God wish to be praised and glorified if not to make our love for him more fervent? His desire is not to receive service or glory or anything else from us, but only for our salvation, and for this he made the whole world. Being filled with praise and wonder because of the grace bestowed on us will make us more diligent and zealous."
Little wonder that St. John Chrysostom received the nickname of "Golden Mouth."
May our words and deed be like gold also in praising God.
Fr. Bob Bovenzi, C.P. is stationed in Chicago, Illinois.