St. John Chrysostom Paschal Homily

6a00d8347f341069e20133ec9e0d7c970b If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and
radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him
rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in
fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from
the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come
at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any
have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he
shall in nowise be deprived therefor. If any have delayed until the
ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried
even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his
tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the
last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the
eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the
one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts
the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises
the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and
receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich
and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless,
honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have
disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all
sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of
loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal
kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for
pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the
Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has
annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He
embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this,
did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in
the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was
embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It
was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was
fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took
earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell
upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ
is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are
fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and
life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For
Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those
who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of
ages. Amen.


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