Today is the Eastern Orthodox Feast Day of Saint John Chrysostom. It is a grand festival of great rejoicing in many quarters of the Orthodox world--much food, exuberant dancing, and an exultant worship service.
Known as John of Constantinople during his life, he was later named Chrysostom which means "golden-tongued" in reference to his great powers of preaching, rhetoric, and oratory. He died in exile--having offended the emperor and his consort by preaching too frankly on the prevailing sins of the court--on this day in 407.
This Sunday, as I continue to work through the Gospel of John, I will be preaching on the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-12). It was one of Chrysostom's particular favorites--we still have three of his sermons on the passage. Of the story he quipped, "Ubi caritas gaudet, ibi est festivitas," literally, "Where love rejoices, there is festivity."