Tuesday, August 11, 2009

John Chrysostom: What's More Important than God's Business?

This is what friends do, too: when they do not find the guilty ones, they meet up with their friends so that they may go off and report their words. God did this, too: leaving aside those who had sinned against him, he accosted Jeremiah, who had done nothing wrong, and said, "Did you see what the foolish daughter, Judah, did to me?" This is the very reason that we, too, are taking up the matter in their regard with you, so that you may go off and correct them. After all, who would put up with such a slight? We gather here only once a week, and they cannot manage to set aside their worldly concerns even on that day. If you offer a reproof, they at once pretend neediness, daily necessities, pressing occupations, thus proposing an excuse worse than any accusation: what could be more damning than this accusation, that something seems more urgent and pressing to you than God's affairs?

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on Hannah, Homily 4, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, p. 108 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.