Homily on the Nativity of Christ by St. John Chrysostem





Homily on the Nativity of Christ


If any man be devout and love God,

Let him enjoy this fair and radiant natal feast!

If any man be a wise servant,

Let him rejoicing behold the birth of his Lord!

If any has labored long in preparing,

Let him draw near, “for all is now ready”!

If any “has bought a field”,

Let him today approach the Sower.

If any has “bought five yoke of oxen”,

Let him with thankfulness flee to his Master’s crib.

If any has “married a spouse”,

Let him have no misgivings

And make haste to the Bridegroom.

Come “poor and maimed”!

Come “blind and lame”!

For the Lord, who prepares the banquet

Compels you to draw near!


He displays his glory to him who comes at the last hour

Even as unto him who has drawn near since the first hour.

And he welcomes the last, and serves the first.

And from the one he accepts honor, and from the other he accepts gifts.


And he both commands the deeds,

And welcomes the worship, And honors the adoration,

And praises the offering.


Wherefore, enter you all into the Nativity of your Lord;

And receive your King,

Both the Gentile and likewise the Jew.

You rich and you poor together, hold high festival.

You sober and you heedless, honor the day!

Rejoice today, both you who have prepared,

And you who have ignored.

The Cave is made paradise; adore you all with joy!

The fatted calf is born; let all draw near and behold!


Enjoy you all the feast of faith;

Receive you all the riches of loving-kindness.


Let no one bewail his low estate,

For the Universal King has been revealed.

Let no one weep for his iniquities,

For pardon is born in the manger!

Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s birth begets our liberty.

The Uncircumscribed Word is bound in swaddling clothes to set us free!

By condescending to be born, Divine Radiance illumines the earth.

Light comes to shine in the darkness, which shall not overcome it!


And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry:

A virgin, said he, would bear a Son,

And call His name Immanuel.

The universe rejoices for the Lord has sent Word!

It rejoices for to us a Child is born!

It rejoices for to us a Son is given!

It rejoices for the government shall be upon His shoulders!

It rejoices for of His peace there shall be no end!


The earth received a baby, and met God face to face.

The Virgin’s womb became more spacious than the heavens.

It received He who is, who came to be that which he was not.


O Herod, behold your King! O World, behold your Lord!


Christ is Born; darkness retreat!

Christ is Born; ox and ass keep watch!  Magi come to worship!

Christ is Born, choirs of angels rejoice!

Christ is Born, all of creation is renewed!

Christ is Born, and not one creature remains untouched!


For Christ, being born in the flesh,

Is become the first-born of all creation!

To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.




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