Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Easter season

I was happy to find a copy of St. John Chrysostom's Invitation to Easter sermon posted by John Bell at his Notes from a Hillside Farm website (see Sunday, April 27, 2003, entry). It is such a hopeful, forgiving sermon. Even those who haven't quite managed to observe fully the rigors of Lent are invited to the Easter celebration:
If any [one] be devout and loveth God,
Let [her] enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast!
If any [one] be a wise servant,
Let [her] rejoicing enter into the joy of [her] Lord.

If any have laboured long in fasting,
Let [her] now receive [her] recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour,
Let [her] today receive [her] just reward....

And if any have tarried even until the eleventh hour,
Let [her], also, be not alarmed at [her] tardiness.

For the Lord, who is jealous of his honour,
Will accept the last even as the first.
He giveth rest unto [her] who cometh at the eleventh hour,
Even as unto [her] who hath wrought from the first hour.
And He showeth mercy upon the last,
And careth for the first....
And this grace is not just for the season of Lent. We try to live up to what we ought—and want—to do and be, but too often we fail. However, as Chrysostom's sermon reminds us, failure is not a reason for giving up or turning away.

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