Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

The Easter Message

by Fr. Wade Fahnestock +

This message by St. John Chrysostom (AD 347-407) is read at the end of the morning service on the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Holy Pascha). Can you believe that this sermon has been preached around the world, over and over again, since the 5th Century?

St. John was the Archbishop of Constantinople during the fourth century. He was given the name “Chrysostom,” which means “golden-mouthed,” because he had a beautiful way with words. He was a prolific writer, a bold preacher and was fearless when denouncing sin in the pasture and the palace. He was unafraid to tackle the topical issues facing society without “pulling any punches.”

The regular translations of his message can be found by searching the Internet. I wanted to read it to myself in my language. I don't think I will ever be called “golden-mouthed,” and I'm not out to impress anyone. But I thought I would share it with you.

He is Risen!

– Fr. Wade+

Making Hell Sick

A Sermon by St. John Chrysostom

If Anyone...

If anyone is really totally committed and loves God,
let them enjoy this awesome and brilliant Victory Party!
What a feast!

If anyone is a team member and serves,
let them enter the “Winner’s Circle” – the joy of the Lord!

If anyone has worked hard in fasting, let them get paid right here – right now!

If anyone has worked from the first hour – the start of the day,
let them receive their benefits today!
If anyone starts work at the third hour,
let them with thankfulness join the party, too!
If anyone starts work at the sixth hour,
let them not worry at all,
they will not be excluded from this victory celebration.
If anyone has procrastinated and starts work at the ninth hour,
let them “Come on in” to the party without any hesitation!
If anyone has “waited to the last minute” and
starts work at the eleventh hour,
don’t let them “freak out” because they are so late!

For the Lord, defending His honor,
welcomes the last just like the first;
He gives benefits to those who start work at the eleventh hour – closing time –
just like He gives benefits to those who start work at the first hour – who work overtime.

He is merciful to those who haven’t worked very much,
and provides for those who have “carried the load.”
To one the Lord gives, and to the other He gifts.
He accepts both performances and welcomes the thought.
He honors the work and commends their intention.

Therefore, let us all enter our Lord’s celebration – His Victory Party!
Receive the benefits of your participation – whether first or last –
claim your reward!

Rich and poor, come dance with each other!
Hard-workers and “goof-offs,” recognize what the Lord has done!
You who fasted, and you who didn’t: celebrate together today!

Look at the party trays loaded with food!
Everyone eat until you are fully satisfied!
There is more than enough to go around!
Let no one go hungry!

Let everyone join in and partake of this feast of faith!
Let everyone join in and partake of the abundance of His hospitality!

Let no one feel inferior because they’re broke or in poverty –
this “Winner’s Circle” victory is for everyone!
Stop crying about failings, sins, weaknesses and “character flaws” –
forgiveness has “hit us” straight from the grave!
Let no one be afraid of death –
the Savior’s death has set us free:
He that was death’s prisoner has annihilated it!
He descended into Hell and took Hell captive!

He made Hell “sick to its stomach” when Death tasted His flesh!

The prophet Isaiah foretold this:
“Death,” he said, “was embittered when it encountered You in the lower regions.”

It was embittered, for it’s reign has ended.
It was embittered, for it was laughed at with contempt as worthless.
It was embittered, for it was violently neutralized.
It was embittered, for it was forcibly removed from power.
It was embittered, for it was securely restrained.

It took a “human” body, and met Almighty God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, but crumbled before what it had not seen.

Death, where is your sting?
Hell, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are conquered!
Christ is risen, the demons are defeated!
Christ is risen, the angels party!
Christ is risen, and life rules!

Christ is risen: no one is left in the tomb because Christ,
being risen from the dead,
has become the First-fruits – “the initial result –
of those who have fallen asleep (in death).

To Christ Jesus be glory and dominion, now and forever,
and unto ages of ages! Amen!

May you experience the reality of His resurrection 24/7!
He is Risen! Truly He is Risen

Peace be with you!

See Also:

Easter Message
by HG Alexios Mar Eusebius

by HG. Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios

The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
The Papal Message from HH Pope Shenouda III

Easter Greetings
by: H G Yuhanon Mor Meletius


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