The phrase "speaking truth unto power," could have been designed for St John Chrysostom. When he became Archbishop of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in the year 398, he wasted no time in reforming the corruption around him, whether that meant the Imperial court, the clergy or the people. His own household budget was slashed and spent on the poor and hospitals. Way before he became bishop, John was famous for his preaching, especially on the Gospels of Matthew and John and the Letters of St Paul. People called him "golden mouth". His sermons lasted two hours sometimes. John never minced his words. He said the reason private property existed was because of Adam's fall from grace. And he told married men that they needed to be just as faithful as their wives. This plain speaking won John enemies. The Empress Eudoxia took some of his remarks on the dress and behaviour of ladies of the court as a personal insult. Accused of treason, John was exiled. He died in 407. Let us pray today for those in authority in the Church to have the courage to speak truth unto power, and act always with integrity, like John.
Prayer St John Chrysostom
Dear Lord, as we reflect on Saint John,
we give thanks for his influence on the Church
and his vocation to holiness.
We pray that we too can live by his example
of generosity this Lent as we help those who are in need.
We ask this through Christ, Your Son, Our Lord.
St John Chrysostom. Pray for us.