Friday, September 13, 2002

How to properly honor Christ by St. John Chrysostom, whose feast is today. [via Gerard's Blog for Lovers]

Do you want to honor Christ's Body? Then do not scorn him in his rags, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: "This is My Body" and made it so by his words, also said: "You saw me hungry and did not feed me" and "inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did not do it for me." What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; for God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.

Of what use is it to weigh down Christ's table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs?...

You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear to even look at him as he lies chained in prison....

Therefore do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.

(St John Chrysostom, Homily on Matthew, PG 58, 508-509)
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