In St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, the holy Apostle discusses how the Church, the Body of Christ, functions; all the members relate harmoniously, employing the varying gifts given to them by God in a complementary fashion. The weaker members’ gifts are not to be neglected; they are described as essential to the health of the Body. The goal, St. Paul says, is that there be no divisions and that all “may have the same care for one another.” (1 Cor. 12:25)
The members of Christ’s Body are variously strong and weak, rich and poor, abled and disabled. In Holy Scripture and in Patristic literature strong, rich, and abled relate, as do weak, poor, and disabled. Dr. Brian Ephrem Fitzgerald’s Presentation (here in written form) on St. John Chrysostom on Wealth and Poverty therefore relates to ability and disability. He takes as his primary text St. John Chrysostom’s sermons on Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus.
Lazarus is shown as a good example because of his virtue, and the rich man is a bad example because of the misuse of his wealth; wealth and poverty are not the criterion in and of themselves.
The greater part of the presentation is devoted to the question, “How should we use these examples?” according to St. John Chrysostom.
Here is the first sentence of the very last paragraph:
“What truly lasts is that which is internal and intrinsic to a man, namely his character and deeds.” (Page 17)
Dr. Brian Ephrem Fitzgerald’s 2002 Presentation sets before us truths we greatly need to hear and personally digest as we prepare to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
More from Dr. Brian Ephrem Fitzgerald on his own weblog: