They said to each other,"Did not
our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?" (Luke 24:32)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Easter Sermon of John Chrysostom

Pastor of Constantinople (~400 AD)
The ancient "prince of preachers"

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
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 poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Sermon - Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom (A.D. 349-407):

I behold a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory.

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding God on earth and man in heaven. He who is above now for our salvation, dwells here below; and we who were lowly are exalted by divine mercy.

Bethlehem today resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in the place of the sun, enfolds within it on every side, the Sun of Justice. Ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed, He had the power, He descended, He redeemed; all things move in obedience to God. Today He-Who-Is, is born; and He-Who-Is becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man-while not relinquishing the Godhead that is His.

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominions, nor powers, nor principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Yet He has not forsaken His angels, nor left them deprived of His care, nor because of His incarnation has He ceased being God.

And behold kings have come, that they might serve the Leader of the Hosts of Heaven;

Women, that they might adore Him Who was born of a woman so that He might change the pains of childbirth into joy;

Virgins, to the Son of the Virgin...

Infants, that they may adore Him who became a little child, so that out of the mouths of infants He might perfect praise;

Children, to the Child who raised up martyrs through the rage of Herod;

Men, to Him who became man that He might heal the miseries of His servants;

Shepherds, to the Good Shepherd who was laid down His life for His sheep;

Priests, to Him who has become a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek;

Servants, to Him who took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He might bless our stewardship with the reward of freedom;

Fishermen, to the Fisher of humanity;

Publicans, to Him who from among them named a chosen evangelist;

Sinful women, to Him who exposed His feet to the tears of the repentant woman;

And that I may embrace them all together, all sinners have come, that they may look upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Since, therefore, all rejoice, I too desire to rejoice! I too wish to share the choral dance, to celebrate the festival! But I take my part, not plucking the harp nor with the music of the pipes nor holding a torch, but holding in my arms the cradle of Christ!

For this is all my hope!
This is my life!
This is my salvation!
This is my pipe, my harp!

And bearing it I come, and having from its power received the gift of speech, I too, with the angels and shepherds, sing:
"Glory to God in the Highest! and on earth peace to men of good will!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

follow me..

Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:19

God has spared my life, given me a family, and every good thing I have. Recently we found out that a year long discussion on the possibility of serving with a particular group in a particular place will not work out. We certainly were excited to have some sense of where the immediate future was moving towards, as I am about to finish college. So this news has been sad for us.

But, I am stirred on by the reality that Jesus has called us first and foremost to follow him. Where he takes us is really secondary. We are called to become like Jesus, make disciples as we move about this world, and seek to glorify God in the opportunities He has given us. We are longing to follow Jesus, and be pleasing to God in west kensington, and in philadelphia.

Kristy and I feel the loud drum beat for overseas missions, we believe we can make the kind of sacrifices required, even enjoy it, we believe He made us to spread his message to the poor and the lost. As we look out at the opportunities there may be, we invite you to pray for us as we seek to follow Jesus, and encourage you to follow Him as well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spirit of the Liturgy

The fact that we find Christ in the symbol of the rising sun is the indication of a Christology defined eschatology. Praying toward the east means going to meet the coming Christ. The liturgy turned toward the east, effects entry, so to speak, into the procession of history towards the future, the New Heaven and the New Earth, which we encounter in Christ. It is a prayer of hope, the prayer of the pilgrim as he walks in the direction shown us by the life, Passion, and Ressurection of Christ. Thus very early on, in parts of Christendom, the eastward direction for prayer was given added emphasis by a reference to the Cross. This may have come from linking Rev. 1:7 with Matt 24:30. In the first of these, the Revelation of St. John, it says: "Behold, he is comming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, ever one who pierced him, and all the trives will wail on account of him, even so Amen." Here the seer of the Apocalypse depends on John 19:37, where, at the end of the account of the Crucifixion, the mysterious text of the prophet Zechariah (12:10) is quoated, a text that suddenly acquires a wholly new meaning: "They shall look on him who they have pierced." Finally, in Matthew 24:30 we are given these words of the Lord; "Then on the Last day will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man comming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." The sign of the Son of Man, of the Pierced One, is the Cross, which has now become the sign of victory of the Risen One.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Faith of Abraham

I want to compile and share previous thoughts of faith of Abraham. They will be in five post's to come.

The faith that hears, the faith that receives, the faith that trusts, the faith that knows, and the faith that acts.

You can read about Abraham from Genesis 11:10-25:11. An incredible amount of space given in scripture, you can also find helpful illumination from the NT writer's in Hebrews 11:8-12, Romans 4:1-4, James 2:20-24 as well as other places.

If you have any insight/resources you want to share with me before I start posting these reflections, hit me up.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


May 27

The world is but a broken toy, Its pleasure hollow - false its joy, Unreal its loveliest hue (W. S. Gilbert)

Our Lord is saying (Matthew 6:19) that worldly treasures do not last; that they are transitory, passing, ephemeral. 'Change and decay in all around I see...... where moth and rust doth corrupt'.

How true it is. There is an element of decay in all these things, whether we like it or not ... These things never fully satisfy. There is always something wrong with them; they always lack something. There is no person on earth who is fully satisfied; and though in a sense some may appear to have everything that they desire, still they want something else ...

There is another way of looking at the effect of moth and rust spiritually. Not only is there an element of decay in these things; it is also true that we always tend to tire of them ... That is why we are always talking about new things and seeking them. Fashions change; and though we are very enthusiastic about certain things for a while, soon they no longer interest us as they did ... The last fact, therefore, about these things is that they inevitably perish. Your most beautiful flower is beginning to die immediately you pluck it. You will soon have to throw it away. That is true of everything in this life and world ... Things develop holes and become useless ... the most perfect physique will eventually give way and break down and die ... However wonderful and beautiful and glorious things may be, they all perish. That is why, perhaps, the saddest of all failures in life is the failure of the philosopher who believes in worshipping goodness, beauty and truth; because there is no such thing as perfect goodness, there is no such thing as unalloyed beauty; there is an element of wrong and of sin and a lie in the highest truths. 'Moth and rust doth corrupt.'

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 88-9

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Friend or Foe?

Been thinking a little about the "world." How are we called to relate to it. Friend or foe? Dying to it or dying for it? How can the two go together.

John 3, God so loves the world / 1 john 2 Anyone who loves the world, God's love is not in him

James 4 friendship with the world is enmity with God / Philippians 2 shine like light's in the world

Perhaps God's love, and our sympathy with God (holiness) looks like loving the world sacrificially with the eye to redeem it, not to make it our ultimate home as it is. The eye of faith looks with love, and see the glory its lost, and the glory that could be returned, even as at the same time, the eyes of faith are not infatuated with the world, but crucified to it, as the world as it is now, is rotting, and passing.

As John says
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."

It's like we live now under a long eclipse, but the moonlit darkness that casts its shadow on us all will pass? Will where we love now correlate to where we will live forever?

The real question I ask is, how does dying to the world, become the greatest 'love of all' for the world? (doesn't that seem odd?) What does the Resurrection have to do with it? And how do we enter ourselves into that sacrifice? I welcome your feedback.