Friday, September 4, 2009

John Chrysostom: Every Lord's Day is a Feast Day

It would therefore have been up to you - you who are always with us - to bring them back and convince them to share the feast-day with us at each assembly. Even if Pentecost has gone by, you see, still the feast-day has not gone by: every gathering is a feast-day. What is the evidence for this? The very words of Christ, in which he says, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Now, when Christ is in the midst of those assembled together, what further proof of this feast do you look for that is more convincing? Where there is instruction and prayers, blessings of the fathers and attention to divine laws, meeting of brethren and binding together in true love, converse with God and God's speaking to human beings, how could it be the assembly, after all, that normally makes feast-days but the virtue of those assembled, not the riches of the garments but the charm of piety, not the extravagance of the banquet but the care of the soul; the most important thing to celebrate, you see, is a good conscience.

- John Chrysostom (around A.D. 347 to around A.D. 407), Homilies on Hannah, Homily 4, in St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume 1, p. 122 (2003), Robert C. Hill translator.