The sermons of St. John Chrysostom are noted as classical commentaries on the Christian life. Knowing well the realities of life in the world, the temptations of rich and poor alike, this great orator—“the golden-mouthed”—addresses the questions of wealth and poverty in the lives of people of his day. And yet, as the modern reader is confronted with his words, it becomes apparent that he too is being addressed; Chrysostom’s words are words proclaiming the truth of the gospel to all people of all times. The message of the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31) is brought home to every person in these six sermons of Chrysostom with clarity, insight into the human dilemma, compassion, and judgment.
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John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, meaning “golden mouthed,” rendered in English as Chrysostom.
Catherine P. Roth is an adjunct instructor in philosophy at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College.