Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter encouragement

(Jesus, risen from the dead) promised to be not only with these disciples, but also with all who would subsequently believe after them. Jesus speaks to all believers as if to one body. Do not speak to me, he says, of the difficulties you will face, for "I am with you," as the one who makes all things easy. Remember that this is also said repeatedly to the prophets in the Old Testament. Recall Jeremiah objecting that he is too young and Moses and Ezekiel shrinking from the prophetic office. "I am with you" is spoken to all these people.
St. John Chrysostom, The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 90.2


Alice C. Linsley said...

A lovely and encouraging word from a beloved saint!

David Handy+ said...

Amen, Alice!

Naturally you'd think the "Golden-Mouthed" Preacher especially beloved since you now worship in an Orthodox church that uses the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysystom so often. Oh well, we Anglicans frequently use "The Prayer of St. Chrysysom" to close the Daily Office.

But the idea in this quote that the presence of the risen, triumphant Christ with us makes our ministries "easy" reminds me of another text from Matthew's gospel. That is, the familiar, comforting word from the end of Matthew 11. "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden...For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Truly, he comes alongside us in the double yoke, and does most of the heavy pulling. Thanks be to God!