On Attentiveness When Listening to the Readings

by St. John Chrysostom

From Homily 58 on The Gospel of John.

“If a man should come here with earnestness – even though he does not read the Scriptures at home – and if he pays attention to what is said here, within the space of even one year he will be able to  obtain  a  considerable  acquaintance  with  them. For we do not read these Scriptures today, and tomorrow others that are quite different, but always the same section and consecutively. However, in spite of this, many have such an apathetic attitude that after such reading they do not even know the names of the books. And they are not ashamed, nor do they shudder with dread, because they have come so carelessly to the hearing of the word of God. On the other hand, if a musician, or a dancer, or anyone else connected with the theater should summon them to the city, they all hurry eagerly, and thank the one who invited them, and spend an entire half-day with their attention fixed on the performer exclusively. Yet when God addresses us through the prophets and apostles, we yawn, we are bored, we become drowsy.”

About Fr. John A. Peck

Director of the Preachers Institute, priest in the Orthodox Church in America, award-winning graphic designer and media consultant, and non-profit administrator.
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