St. John Chrysostom – “God Desired to Make Thee Immortal”

St. John Chrysostom is commemorated on various days in different liturgical calendars. The Episcopal Church remembers St. John today, January 27. On January 27, 438 his holy relics were returned to Constantinople nearly thirty-ones years after his death in exile. The following passage is from one of his sermons:

If God had not intended to raise us up again; if it was His desire that we should all be dissolved and blotted out in annihilation, He would not have wrought so many things for us. He would not have spread out the heavens above, or stretched out the earth beneath. He would not have fashioned this whole universe, if it were only for the short span of our lives. The heavens and the earth and the seas and the rivers are more enduring than we are; ravens and elephants live longer, and have a longer enjoyment of the present life, and they are more free from griefs and cares. What then? you ask. Has God made the slaves better than the masters? I beseech you, do not reason thus, O man; nor be so ignorant of the riches God spread out before you. From the beginning God desired to make thee immortal. Ah, but thou wert unwilling!


  1. Hmm! The physical body immortal – or our souls immortal? I find it awfully hard to believe, as I watch it age, that my physical body could be created to be immortal. But, I certainly CAN agree that my soul – my spirit – my true SELF is created to be immortal and I find more life in that part of me quite often.


    1. Jan, I think it is both body and soul. Both are essential to our being. Jesus was resurrected in bodily form. His body was somehow different but also the same. I remember reading somewhere that a soul without a body is a ghost and a body without a soul is a corpse. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.


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