In the first reading Paul reminds the early Christian communities that, following Christ’s death and resurrection, we should die with regards to earthly things but live for heavenly things: “Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in Glory.”
In the Gospel reading, a version of the Beatitudes as given in the Gospel of Luke, we are told which attitudes are really for heavenly things: “the poor, those who hunger, those who weep, those who are persecuted.” Their opposites would be happy and blessed in this world but not in the next.
The life, sufferings and exile endured by St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople and Doctor of the Church, are an example of living for the things that are above, rather than for earthly things.
Like St. John, may we be willing to love and to serve God, even if we may be taking risks of failure, hatred and even persecution.