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THE BANQUET OF FAITH, THE WEALTH OF GOD’S MERCY

31 Mar

“Let everyone who loves God rejoice in this festival of light. Let the faithful servant enter the joy of the Lord. Let those who have borne the burden of fasting come now to reap their reward. Let those who have worked since the first hour, receive now their just wage. Let those who came after the third hour, keep this festival with gratitude. Let those who arrived only at the sixth hour, approach with no fear: they will not be defrauded. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him come in without hesitation. And let not the worker of the eleventh hour be ashamed: the Lord is generous.

He welcomes the last to come no less than the first. He welcomes into His presence the worker of the eleventh hour as kindly as the one who has worked since dawn. The first He fills to overflowing; on the last He has compassion. To the one He grants His favour; to the other pardon. He does not look only at the work; He sees into the intention of the heart.

Enter then all of you into the joy of your Lord. First and last receive your reward; abstinent and slothful celebrate this feast. You who have fasted, rejoice today. The table is laid: come all of you without misgivings. The fattened calf is saved, let all take their fill. All of you share in the Banquet of faith; all of you draw on the wealth of God’s mercy.”
– St John Chrysostom, 4th century

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