Let us stand and give attention to the invitation to the Paschal banquet as it was spoken by St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople in the fourth century:
All who are devout and love God,
let them come to this radiant and triumphant feast.All who are wise followers,
let them enter into the joy of their Lord, rejoicing.All who have fasted long,
let them now receive refreshment.All who have labored from the first hour,
let them today receive their just reward.All who have labored from the sixth hour,
let them have no misgivings,All who delayed to the ninth hour,
for they shall not be deprived.
let them draw near fearing nothing.All who have waited even until the eleventh hour,
let them not be alarmed at their tardiness.
For the Lord will accept the last even as the first. He gives rest to the one who comes at the eleventh hour as to those who labored from the first hour. He shows mercy on the last, and he cares for the first. Therefore, all of you enter into the joy of your Lord.
Rich and poor together, hold high festival.
Diligent and heedless, honor this day.
Both you who have fasted and you who did not fast,
rejoice together today.
The table is full;
all of you feast sumptuously.The calf is fatted;
let no one go away hungry.Enjoy the feast of faith;
receive the riches of God’s mercy.
Let none bewail poverty,
for the fullness of the kingdom is revealed.Let none weep for iniquity,
for forgiveness shines forth from the grave.Let none fear death,
for the Savior’s death has set us free.He who was held prisoner by death has annihilated it.
By descending into death, he made death captive.
He angered death when it tasted of his flesh.
The congregation reads the lines in bold type.Isaiah saw this, and he cried:
“Death was angered when it encountered you in the lower regions.”
Death was angered, It was angered!
for it was defeated.Death was angered, It was angered!
for it was mocked.Death was angered, It was angered!
for it was abolished.Death was angered, It was angered!
for it was bound in chains.
Death received a body, and it met God face to face.
Death took that which is seen, and fell upon the unseen.
O Death, where is your sting?
O Grave, where is your victory?
Christ is risen, Christ is risen!
and you are overthrown!Christ is risen, Christ is risen!
and the devils have fallen!Christ is risen, Christ is risen!
and the angels rejoice!Christ is risen, Christ is risen!
and not one dead remains in the grave!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, is become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, and to him be glory and honor, even to eternity.
President________Alleluia! Christ is risen!
People________The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
President________Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People________ Thanks be to God.
Easter blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ