Tuesday, September 22, 2009

John Chrysostom: Create a Double Feast and Turn Home to Church by Reading Scripture with One's Meal

Yesterday I urged your good selves to remember what was said and in the evening serve a double meal, adding to the food a feast from the words. Well, then, did you do it - serve a double meal? I know you did, partaking not only of the former but also the latter. In fact, in your concern for the lesser one, you would not have been likely to neglect the better one, the latter being better than the former: while the hands of cooks assembled the former, tongues of inspired authors prepared the latter. One boasts the produce of the earth, the other a crop from the Spirit; food from the former table has a rapid course to corruption, but from the latter to incorruption; the former contributes to the present life, the latter guides us to the future one. Your serving the one with the other, then, I am aware of, not from asking your attendant, not your servant, but the messenger clearer than they. Which one was that? The applause for my words, the commendation for my teaching: when I said yesterday, Let each of you turn your home into a church, you burst into loud applause, indicating satisfaction with what is said. Now, the person who with satisfaction listens to what is said is also ready for demonstration in action. Hence today as well I have girded myself more enthusiastically for teaching.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Sermon 7 on Genesis, in St. John Chrysostom, Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, pp. 107-08 (2004), Robert C. Hill translator.