chapter  3
20 Pages

SERMONS TO THE PEOPLE

Sometimes Gregory’s teaching, with its resolutely allegorizing tendency and the great interest he displays in the introspective concerns of elite groups, can seem remote from the lives of ordinary people. But in his capacity as bishop, Gregory found it necessary to preach regularly to a congregation of decidedly ordinary believers. In the following two homilies we see him pitching his message to such an audience. The first was delivered following a reading in the liturgy of John 21:1-14, three days after Easter, in the basilica of the martyr Laurence, the church now known as San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, to the south-east of the city. The church had recently been the object of papal interest, for Gregory’s predecessor pope Pelagius II had rebuilt it, and a mosaic still to be seen in the church shows him offering a model of it to Christ.