Monday, November 21, 2016

St John Chrysostom on Apostle Paul

What do other believe about us? This is a question, I think, we constantly ask, when meeting others. How do they perceive us? Do they know what and who we are? There is an additional interest when we see how a famous person sees another famous person. In this case we will understand how St John Chrysostom describes Apostle Paul. There are many ways of describing someone we admire. And we should have true and important people as our role models…not just ephemeral idols who do not show us a way of bettering ourselves. St John expresses his admiration and respect in the following way, showing St Paul’s significance for Christianity, not only for his time but for all ages:

‘Paul the apostle, the chosen vessel, the temple of God, the mouth of Christ, the lyre of the Spirit, the teacher of the world, he who crossed land and sea, who drew out the thorns of sin, who sowed the seeds of piety, he who was richer than kings, mightier than the wealthy, stronger than a soldier, wiser than the philosophers, more eloquent than the orators, he who possessed nothing and yet had gained everything, who loosed death by his shadow, who put disease to flight by his garments, who won a victory on the sea, who was snatched up to the third heaven, who entered paradise, who proclaimed Christ as God…’ [1]

[1] Behr, John (ed.), St John Chrysostom – On Wealth and Poverty, (New York, SVSP, 1981), p.120.

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