Johannine Hours



Matthew 20:1-16

August 1997
Matthew 20:1-16

John, known as Chrysostom, "golden mouth," lived for a few years as a hermit before becoming a priest, then bishop of Constantinople, at the end of the fourth century. In a meditation for the feast of Easter, he invites everyone to be joyful, taking up the Gospel parable:

Let those who live their faith, those who love the Lord, come to taste the enchantment of this feast! Let the faithful servants enter, full of gladness, into their master's joy. Let those who have borne the weight of fasting come and receive their salary.

Those who began their work at the first hour will receive their just wages today; those who came at the third hour will rejoice with thanksgiving; those who will only arrive at the sixth hour can approach without fear, they will not be deprived; if some have lingered until the ninth hour, they can come without hesitation; the workers of the eleventh hour will not suffer for their delay.

For the Lord is generous: he receives the last just as the first; he grants rest to the workers of the eleventh hour just as to those who began their work at dawn. He shows mercy to the last and fills the first; he gives to the former without forgetting the latter; he does not only consider the work, but already grasps the intention...

Let no one lament their poverty: the Kingdom is open to all; let no one weep over their sins: forgiveness has risen from the tomb; let no one fear death: the Lord's death has freed us; he brought down death when it kept him in chains.

. . .

How can we too enter into that joy, and realize that nothing in our life is excluded from the joy of the Resurrection?

In what situations do I need to remember this forgiveness and this liberation?



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