His people named him “Golden Throat.” “John Golden-Throat” sounds impressive, interesting.
John was eloquent. He spoke from the heart, but he didn’t merely emote. He spoke Christian truths, too. If you read his sermons you experience the depth of his teachings and it becomes clear that John wasn’t only speaking abstractly about Our Lord. He spoke from his own experience. That experience was of the presence of Jesus in his community of Christians.
The words of Jesus Himself come to mind:”Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.” (MT 18, 20)
St. Paul refers to Christ’s presence in the community as a secret. To those outside of the Christian community, to unbelievers and to those who simply don’t understand Catholics, they see us praying, hear us singing, and watch us share bread and wine together. That’s it, nothing more.
They don’t know the secret we share.
Listen to Paul as he delivers his teaching about Christ’s presence to the Colossians: [My task is] “to deliver His message in full; to announce the secret hidden for long ages and through many generations, but now disclosed to God’s people….The secret is this: Christ in you, the hope of a glory to come.” (Colossians 1,26-27)
Great preachers like John Chrysostom shake us up with the power of their Faith. John Chrysostom’s words still live and they are golden.
For we who believe, Jesus Christ lives among us and informs our entire lives. That’s why when we hear preaching and teaching in our church, we believe it to be Jesus Himself speaking to us:
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke [to us] on the way and opened the scriptures for us? (Luke 24, 32)