Mini Episode 6: St. John Chrysostom on Easter
Listen to St. John Chrysostom's Easter homily, read every Easter in Eastern Orthodox churches.
Text of the Homily:
Translated from the Greek by Tylor Standley
If any are devout and love God, let them enjoy this good feast.
If any are wise servants, let them enter the joy of their Lord with praise.
If any are weary from fasting, let them now take their day’s wage.
If any have struggled since the first hour, let them receive their just reward today.
If any came at the third hour, let them celebrate this feast with thanksgiving.
If any arrived in the sixth hour, do not let them be disheartened, for indeed no one will be deprived.
If any are delayed until the ninth hour, let them come without fear.
If any arrive only at the eleventh hour, do not let them be doubtful on account of their lateness.
For in his overwhelming generosity, the Lord receives the last just as he receives the first. He gives rest to those who came at the eleventh hour as he does for those who toiled from the first. He has mercy on the latecomers and gives care to those who came first. To one he lavishes gifts and to another he shows favor. He honors actions and commends intentions. So, all of you, enter into the joy of our Lord! Those who came before and those who came after, take your reward!
Rich and poor, dance together!
Assertive and apathetic, honor the day!
Whether you’ve fasted or not, be glad today!
The table is loaded up; everyone, indulge yourselves! There is much to eat; let no one go away hungry! All of you, enjoy the riches of lovingkindness.
Let no one mourn in poverty, for the Common Kingdom has been revealed. Let no one grieve over iniquities, for mercy has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the death of our Savior has freed us. He who was held captive by death has extinguished it. He rebuked Hell by descending there. The taste of his flesh embittered it.
Foretelling this, Isaiah cried, ‘Hell was embittered! It was embittered when it encountered you from below,’ because it was abolished.
It was embittered, because it was mocked.
It took a corpse and met God.
It took Earth and encountered Heaven.
It took what it could see and fell upon what was unseen.
Where, oh death, is your sting?
Where, oh Hell, is your victory?
Christ is risen and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen and the demons have fallen.
Christ is risen and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being awakened from the dead, has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.