John Chrysostom (c.349-407) was the greatest preacher of the early church and one of the greatest of all time; his name, in fact, means "Golden Mouth." But perhaps no sermon he preached is as well known as his Easter homily (c. A.D. 400), reprinted here. Eastern Orthodox churches recite it each year as part of their Easter liturgy.
Are there any who are devout lovers of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!Are there any who are grateful servants? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages!If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast! And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too. And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay. For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first. He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first.To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows. He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor. The deed He honors and the intention He commends. Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together! Sober and slothful, celebrate the day! You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one. Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith. Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!Let no one grieve at his ...1