Tag Archives: Homily

Homily: Archangel Michael by Peter Menkin

Homily: Archangel Michael by Peter Menkin

Peacemaker blessed, may he banish

From us striving and hatred:

Archangel Michael (Hymn 282)

“The Hymnal 1982,” Episcopal Church USA

 

Homily
Peter Menkin, Obl Cam OSB
Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal)
Mill Valley, CA USA
Wednesday Eucharist, September 30, 2009
Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 1994

Genesis 28: 10-17

Revelation 12: 7-12

John 1: 47-51

Psalm 103

  

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  Let us speak of angels, one in particular with who all are familiar as they are familiar with their Bible: Michael… Holy Archangel Michael: Prince of Angels, Prince of Light, Defeater of Satan, Helper of Mankind, Leader of Armies of Angels.

  One prayer regarding Angels said for evening time reads:

 That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill

…we entreat you, O Lord.

 Angels are higher than man in the order of celestial beings, supernatural these spirits of God fight evil, for it is said Michael defeated Satan himself. Thank God.

 One Episcopal sermon states of Angels: Angel, of course, means messenger, and Archangel means first or highest messenger. The angels deliver messages and do God’s bidding. According to Tradition, Michael is the archangel who battled Lucifer, the fifth archangel who began the first war in Heaven…

 [Grace Church in Providence, 14 September, 2008,

Preached by: The Rev. Rich Bardusch]

This Homily is a list of the wonderful attributes of Michael and angels in general. For example, Pope Leo XII prayed this prayer:

 

Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

 

Those devoted to angels offer to God in Christ a form of Christian life characterized by:

Gratitude to God for having these heavenly spirits of sanctity and dignity aid man; A devotional attitude that lives in the constant presence of God’s Holy Angels; That there is serenity and confidence granted us by this knowledge of angels when facing difficult situations; That the Lord guides and protects the faithful through the ministry of Holy Angels.

 

Who is so brave, noble, and mighty a warrior in heavenly things as Michael?

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

— Revelation 12:7-9 [RSV]

 

In matters celestial, who aids us as does Michael? It is said that at the time of death, Michael helps each of us cross over to the afterlife. He is a minister of God.

 

At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time; but at that time your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

 

–Daniel 12:1-3 [RSV]

 

Just speaking these wonderful words of promise is worthwhile.

 Many people believe there is healing in angels, and when a stressful or negative experience causes pain, either physical or emotional pain, it’s wonderful to call on the Archangel Michael. He is supreme helper in any experience that brings up fear. If you need an additional convincer of his ability to lead and give courage, know he was one of Joan of Arc’s voices.

 Great and heroic is Michael.

 Tradition declares that Michael entered upon his role of defender at the time of the biblical patriarchs. The wonderful historic Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob tells us, it was Michael who rescued Abraham from the furnace into which he had been thrown by Nimrod Michael, the told Abraham that Lot had been taken captive, and Michael protected Sarah from being defiled by Abimelech. He also announced to Sarah that she would bear a son, and he rescued Lot at the destruction of Sodom.

An amazing and mythical angel of power and might, we know that as messenger and helper of mankind, there are forces of good led by God’s goodness. These celestial creatures of spirit have been in places of Biblical history Midrash of Hebrew scholarship says. Angels and Michael in particular are known to the Old Testament, as we see.

It is said that Michael prevented Isaac from being sacrificed by his father by substituting a ram in his place. Later Michael prevented Laban from harming Jacob According to one source, it was Michael who wrestled with Jacob and who afterward blessed him.

The midrash Exodus Rabbah holds that Michael exercised his function of advocate of Israel at the time of the Exodus also, when Satan (as an adversary) accused the Israelites of idolatry and declared that they were consequently deserving of death.

A wonderful statue of Archangel Michael stands at an entrance of England’s Coventry Cathedral. Dramatic and bold, magnificent, this statue proclaims the victory of the Church, the victory of good over evil, the vanquishing of Satan. Coventry Cathedral was ruined in the Second World War, and it is fitting that the Archangel Michael as bold leader of Heaven’s Angels did aid in the defeat of the Axis Powers by the Allies. That he is helpfully responsible for the rebuilding of the Cathedral and instrumental in the preservation of the Church.

My favorite quote from the Bible about Michael is this one:

Once when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you one of us, or one of our adversaries?’ He replied, ‘neither; but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, and he said to him, ‘What do you command your servant, my lord?’ The commander of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so.

 –Joshua 5: 13-15[NRSV]

 

But of course, our Gospel tells us from John there is an angel quality to the Apostles, but more that at the end angels will appear.

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you,” you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

–John 1: 47-51

 

 I believe Angels help us to believe, not because we believe in angels, but because angels believe in us. It is angelic to have faith. It is celestial to hold the heavens and God in Christ in ones heart. It is angelic to turn towards the good, to have mercy, to believe. It is angelic to hold as spirit the awesome magnificence of life and our creator.

 

Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous,

praise him and highly exalt him for ever…

 

Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;

praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord,

praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

 

Amen.

 

Audio of the Homily is here:

http://www.archive.org/details/PeacemakerBlessedMayHeBanishFromUsStrivingAndHatredArchangel

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco).

My blog:
http://www.petermenkin.blogspot.com

Homily: Martin Luther: Reformer, Hymnist

Homily: Martin Luther: Reformer, Hymnist

Friday, February 13, 2009

Martin Luther: Reformer, Hymnist
A Homily
By Peter Menkin
Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal)
Mill Valley, CA USA
Wednesday Eucharist, 10:30 a.m.
February 18, 2009

Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 1994
Isaiah 55: 6-11
John 15: 1-11
Psalm 46

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Our readings today are rich, and so is the life of Martin Luther. This remarkable and great man of history did, as God’s instrument, reform the Christian Church throughout the world. Who does not know the name? Those of the Christian faith, certainly do.
If you come away with any good news from this Homily, let it be that God works in history. That Martin Luther, a man of God, was a man of God in history. That God still speaks. He speaks to us in many ways. As Luther so ardently said 500 years, ago, the Bible speaks to us. As we know, the Holy Spirit is a guide.

Martin Luther, man of history, was a writer of hymns, famous for music that we sing today. He is a reminder of a Christ-inspired, a Christ-filled life, and a Christ-gifted man of faith. His most notable and memorable hymn is, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Here is a part of the hymn played for us. (Some of the hymn is played on a musical instrument, no voice.)

These are some words from the hymn:

“A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe –
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.”

One commentary says: “Luther’s hymn was sung boldly as an affirmation of God’s power over forces that sought to disrupt the truth of God.”

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483, at Eisleben, Germany. He studied at Mansfeld, Magdeburg and Eisenach, Germany. At the age of 18, he entered the University of Erfurt intending a career in law. But dropped out almost immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Almost at the same time he received his Master’s degree, he became a monk. This was 1505. He had entered the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt to prepare for the priesthood.
He was appointed professor at the University of Wittenberg in 1508. After his ordination, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity and attracted large congregations by his preaching.

In 1511 he visited Rome, became critical over the corruptions in the church and agonized over the problem of salvation–that it was not won by indulgences, but was a gift of God’s grace.

On October 31, 1517, Luther posted his 95 theses of denunciation in Wittenberg with a view to begin a public debate. This started a quarrel between Luther and the church.

These are the first three theses:
1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.

During 1521, Luther maintained his stand before the Diet of Worms that led to his excommunication. German princes and followers among churchmen and the people supported him. At this time he began translating the Bible into German. He completed the whole translation in 1531.

The translation of the Bible into German, invention of the printing press, and hymn writing all brought the spirit of God to common men, gave Martin Luther, the great preacher, another venue that moved the Christian world towards the new way–Protestantism.

History of man and of creation, which means our earth and the universe, is God’s field. He acts so greatly. Yet God acts with and in mankind. He as friendly maker brought so much to one man, Martin Luther, who in Christ remarkably added and was an instrument of movement in human life. So we know that Christ acts in man, for in our reading today from John, the reading offers: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit…” Martin Luther did this in accord with his understanding of the Bible. He was a prophet.

Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish Calvinist and Essayist of the 19th Century, says:
As a participant and dispenser of divine influence, he shows himself among human affairs a true connecting medium and visible messenger between heaven and earth, a man, therefore, not only permitted to enter the sphere of poetry, but to dwell in the purest centre thereof, perhaps the most inspired of all teachers since the Apostles.

Martin Luther’s teachings went this way, as Luther the reformer had become Luther the revolutionary:
· The Bible is the only source of faith; it contains the inspiration of God.
· Faith alone can work justification; man is saved by confidently believing that God will pardon him. This faith not only includes a full pardon of sin, but also an unconditional release from its penalties.
· The hierarchy and priesthood are not Divinely instituted or necessary, and ceremonial or exterior worship is not essential or useful. Ecclesiastical vestments, pilgrimages, mortifications, monastic vows, prayers for the dead, intercession of saints, avail the soul nothing.
· All sacraments, with the exception of baptism, Holy Eucharist, and penance, are rejected. A powerful theological concept and attitude, Luther’s influence of reformation remains with Protestants and Catholics today. The Reformation is an ongoing movement, even this more than 500 years later. The Anglican Church, with its middle way of Protestant/catholicism, emphasizes in focus the sacraments of baptism and Holy Eucharist. In the case of Eucharist, since the Anglican of today and since 1979 has emphasized it (in specific, the Protestant Episcopal Church USA)—Holy Eucharist every week! Baptism as a celebration and important emphasis for the “Priesthood of All Believers,” as well! No wonder we have a Feast day celebrating Martin Luther in our Church lives.
· The priesthood is universal; every Christian may assume it. A body of specially trained and ordained men to dispense the mysteries of God is needless and a usurpation.
· There is no visible Church or one specially established by God whereby men may work out their salvation.

Whether you believe all or part of Martin Luther’s statements, his influence and thought, his ideas and faith, his life of believing changed the world.
We remember Martin Luther in hymn. He always wrote the words, sometimes the music itself, and often took the music from popular songs of his day. His most well known hymns:

· Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice
· Saviour of the Nations, Come
· From Heaven Above to Earth I Come
· Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands
· Come, Spirit of God, Holy Lord
· Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word

God in history is enacted by the story of Martin Luther, as are his hymns.

Amen.

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco).


My blog:

http://www.petermenkin.blogspot.com

Homily: Missionary, Evangelist, Herald by Peter Menkin

Homily: Missionary, Evangelist, Herald by Peter Menkin

Missionary: Evangelist and Herald

Channing Moore Williams

A homily,
Peter Menkin, Obl Cam OSB
Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal)
Mill Valley, CA USA
Wednesday Eucharist, December 2, 2009
Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 1994

Acts 1: 1-9

Luke 10: 1-9

Psalm 96: 1-7

 

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 The prayer today offers, “…that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”

 Let us speak of Missionaries today, in specific Channing Moore Williams of the 19th Century. We celebrate this man today. Let us also celebrate missionaries.

 Jesus instructed his apostles to make disciples. The Bishop of China and Japan, based in Yode (Tokyo) wanted just that in his work, to make disciples. Most of his effective work was done in Japan, where he ended with just less than 1,000 adherents. That is as many as were the original Christians in the earliest days of Christendom. That makes sense, for beginnings are often small, and it does not take numbers to build a Church.

Channing wrote this in his report of his activities as a missionary in 1889:

 Our Church must settle what she is to take in the great work of bringing this people of this interesting country to the knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus; and what she determines to do must be done without delay. She cannot think that she has, in any sense, come up to the measure of her responsibility. For the truth is the mission has been sadly undermanned from its commencement to the present; and the fact is especially apparent at this time when, by the new treaties, the whole country is to be thrown open to our missionaries to travel and reside where they may please, without restrictions of any kind.

 

–C.M. Williams, Missionary Bishop of Yedo (now Tokyo), Japan, August 8, 1889

From the book, “Documents of Witness”

 

 

 Here are some biographical notes about Channing Moore Williams:

 

He stayed in Japan for nearly twenty years, assisting his successor and helping to establish new congregations…resigned his jurisdiction in 1889 for health reasons.

 

He believed in a slow and careful approach, waiting nine years before baptizing his first convert.

 

That same year, Williams who began his missionary work in 1829, was consecrated Bishop for the church’s mission in China and Japan.

 

He founded the divinity school which became Saint Paul’s (Rikkyo) University, still one of Japan’s best known colleges.

 

In 1887, Williams helped bring together the English and American missions to form the Nippon Seikokai, the Holy Catholic Church in Japan.

 

This neat amount of information comes from a wonderful book I highly recommend—“Celebrating the Saints,” by Christopher L. Webber. It has a devotional reading for every Saints’ Days.

  

Let us pray a moment and take some silence for Channing Moore Williams on this the day we celebrate him:

Almighty and everliving God we thank you for your servant Channing Moore Williams.

 

(Moment of silence here.)

 

 Missionary work has changed in 150 years in our Church. No longer is it colonialist, no longer does it attempt to change people to the supposed better ways of our own culture. The missionary takes the people who they are, where they are, and settles with them in their indigenous culture.

 Yet much is unchanging in missionary work, for it is based in tradition and in the Bible.

 Bishops and clergy today agree: “The challenge this church faces today is like that of the last 150 years – how to be faithful, poor in spirit, and righteous in a culture that doesn’t always share those values.

 “[The missionary’s] ability to transform the society around [him] toward that vision of the heavenly kingdom lies in [his] ability to speak to this context, to live into those three selves of the 19th century missionaries (who learned them from the apostle Paul). This indigenizing church needs to speak good news in pachinko parlors, in anime, in the anonymity of crowded cities.

 “This church has the ability to do that in this generation, as it has in generations past. [His] witness can teach others as well — particularly the churches of Western Europe and North America who also labor in secular and consumerist cultures. What will [he] teach us? How will [he] help to propagate the gospel from seeds grown in the good earth of Nippon?”

 So says Presiding Bishop The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Shori of

the Episcopal Church.

 

  Bishops and lay people, clergy bring fresh water, schools, medical help, and hope as they bring the message of Jesus Christ. They do this work because they believe as Christians it is an obligation of their faith and work to bring the Kingdom of God. As is said in Acts:

 …when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…

 Remember how in Luke 10 the Lord sends out disciples. The words of the Bible read:

 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest…”

 

 Channing Moore Williams did as Jesus Christ charged. He went out into the towns and places ahead of the Lord, into a foreign land where he followed the rest of the dictates.

 Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace be on this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person, but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

 As Christians, we believe in the good news of Jesus Christ. We believe in offering and spreading this good news to all the world. We believe in the good works of the missionary. We work with people in foreign lands, we bring them the good news of Jesus Christ. In so doing, we “…make a joyful noise to the Lord, all/the earth; / break forth into joyous song and sing praises…”

 Each act of mission is a new act.

 O sing to the Lord a new song,

For he has done marvelous things.

His right hand and his holy arm

Have gotten him the victory.

The Lord has made known his victory;

He has revealed his vindications in

The sight of the nations.

 

 His servant Channing Moore Williams who we remember on this day met the world, and today we meet the world still. Perhaps in different ways, more to the bringing to indigenous peoples a gift than a change in their culture. We think this new way of approach brings the kingdom of God more effectively to the greater world, for the era of colonialism is gone.

  In review as support of our modern vision of missionary work: A definition is this: “one who is sent to witness across cultures.” to form a viable indigenous church-planting movement.” Recognizing justice as being at the heart of the Gospels.

 He has remember his steadfast love

And faithfulness

To the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen

The victory of our God.

 Amen.

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco).

My blog:
http://www.petermenkin.blogspot.com

Homily: A Great Preacher Of The Church, John Chrysostom By Peter Menkin

Homily: A Great Preacher Of The Church, John Chrysostom By Peter Menkin

“The Golden Mouth Chrysostom”

A great preacher of the Church
John Chrysostom

Peter Menkin, Obl Cam OSB

Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal)
Mill Valley, CA USA
January 27, 2010

Wednesday morning Eucharist

Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 1994

Jeremiah 1: 4-10
Luke 21: 12-15

Psalm 49: 1-8

In the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The priestly office was defined in John Chrysostom’s “classic manual” as one of awesome demands. The priest, he wrote in his treatise, “Six Books on the Priesthood,” must be “dignified, but not haughty; awe-inspiring, but kind; affable in his authority; impartial, but courteous; humble, but not servile; strong but gentle…” Ordained a priest in a time when one needed to be at least 30 years old, John Chrysostom was a great saint of the Eastern Church.

In the year 407 he was Archbishop of Constantinople. He was born about 354 in Antioch, Syria and studied under the pagan Libanius who said of him on his deathbed, that John would have been his successor “if the Christians had not taken him from us.” Libanius was a great teacher of his time, and John a great student of Libanius’.

Chrysostom is English for the Greek expression, “Golden Mouth.” As a preacher, John is noted as one of history’s great ones.

One encyclopedia text says of him:

Over the course of twelve years, he gained popularity because of the eloquence of his public speaking, especially his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching. The most valuable of his works from this period are his Homilies on various books of the Bible. He emphasized charitable giving and was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He also spoke out against abuse of wealth and personal property. He said:

Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said: “This is my body” is the same who said: “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food”, and “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me”… What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.

His Homilies were straightforwardly given. He was not given to allegory. As an Archbishop he founded hospitals for the poor in Constantinople and said in this famous quote:

“In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet, when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all.”

 

As a Homilist, the Archbishop believed the classic advantages of the homily were as the form of promised preaching used from the very beginning of Christianity. Simple and easily understood, the homily gives better opportunity for interweaving sacred scripture. So it is said. The early Mass is the best time for the homily, called the appropriate time, and it affords a less formal sermon than that of the principal Mass.

Not of a speculative mind, yet a fine theologian, John Chrysostom spoke the higher form of homily known as the fourth kind. The fourth kind is that which first paraphrases and explains the entire Gospel, and then makes an application of it.

Our reading from Jeremiah tells of the great orator the prophet Jeremiah was, and we attribute similarly to John Chrysostom:

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth…

And in our Gospel it reads:

For I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.

 

This homilist likes this quote from John Chrysostom’s homily “In Praise of Saint Paul:”

The most important thing of all to Paul, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than be without that love and be among the great and honored.

John Chrysostom could almost be speaking of himself. And note, how straightforward the preacher John Chrysostom is in his remarks on Saint Paul.

Eloquent, yes. Here he gives the homily preached in Constantinople before he went into exile:

The waves have risen and the surging sea is dangerous, but we do not fear drowning for we stand upon the rock. Let the sea surge! It cannot destroy the rock. Let the waves rise! They cannot sink the boat of Jesus. Tell me, what are we to fear? Is it death? But “for me life is Christ, and death is gain.” So tell me, is it exile? “The earth is the Lord’s and all that it contains.” Is it the confiscation of property? “We brought nothing into the world and it is certain we can take nothing out of it.” I have nothing but contempt for the threats of this world; its treasures I ridicule. I am not afraid of poverty. I do not crave after wealth, I am not afraid of death, and I do not seek to live except to be of help to you. So I simply mention my present circumstances and call on you, my dear people, to remain steadfast in your love.

Eloquent, yes. Straightforward, yes.

Let us remember that John Chrysostom set about reforming the church and exposing corruption among the clergy and in the Imperial Administration. “Mules bear fortunes and Christ dies of hunger at your gate,” he is reputed to have cried out. His dying words were, when dying of exhaustion and starvation in September 407, “Glory be to God for everything.”

So we pray with John Chrysostom, and this Homily is a form of prayerful statement for it is “Glory be to God for everything.”

As our prayer book offers, let us end with “A Prayer of Saint Chrysostom:”

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.

 

  

Audio of Homily (live recording) as given in Church:

 

Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA (north of San Francisco). My blog: http://www.petermenkin.blogspot.com