Chrysostom On The Blood Of Christ Received In Holy Communion1
St. John Chrysostom is one of the greatest teachers the church has ever known. The following homily is one example of why he was given the title Chrysostom, which means golden-mouth.
Writing On The Blood Typology
Let us then return from the [Communion] table like lions breathing fire, having become terrible to the devil; thinking on our Head [Christ] and on the love that He has shown for us.… Our Lord says: “I feed you with My own flesh, desiring that you all be nobly born, and holding forth good hopes for your future.… I have willed to become your Brother. For your sake, I shared in flesh and blood, and, in turn, I give you the flesh and the blood by which I became your kinsman.” This blood causes the image of our King to be fresh within us. It produces beauty unspeakable and prevents the nobleness of our souls from wasting away.… It nourishes our souls and works in them a mighty power. This blood, if rightly taken, drives away devils, and keeps them far from us, while it calls the angels and the Lord of angels to us. For wherever they see the Lord’s blood, devils flee, and angels run together.
This blood poured forth and washed all the world clean. St. Paul uttered many wise sayings concerning it in the Epistle to the Hebrews. This blood cleansed the secret place and the Holy of Holies. And if the type of this blood had such great power in the temple of the Hebrews, and in the midst of Egypt, when smeared on the doorposts, much more the reality! The type sanctified the golden altar. Without it [the blood of the sacrifices], the high priest dared not enter into the secret place. It even consecrated priests. It cleansed sins [in the Old Testament].
But if the blood [of the sacrifices] was but a type and had such power, if death so shuddered at the shadow, tell me how would it not have dreaded the very reality? The blood [of Christ] is the salvation of our souls. By it, the soul is washed, is beautiful, and is inflamed! This blood causes our understanding to be more bright than fire and our soul more beaming than gold. This blood was poured forth and opened heaven.
—John Chrysostom , Homilies On the Gospel of St. John, Homily XLVI.3
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