Today the Sunday following the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, and the beginning of a new liturgical cycle, highlighted by the scriptural readings taken from the Gospel of Matthew.
This special season which usually coincides with summer, includes numerous feasts including the commemoration of Peter and Paul, the Transfiguration and the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Also during this period the Church prescribes two Fast Periods, including the Fast of the Holy Apostles and that of the Fast before Dormition.
This is a time in our lives when most of us begin our summer vacations and a more relaxing time to reacquaint ourselves with many aspects of our life which, because of work, school etc. we may have neglected in our lives. Summer and this new Liturgical Cycle affords us the opportunity to get our priorities in order. But it is a period of vigilance, for though we are entitled to enjoy a period of rest, relaxation and enjoyment in the warm summer months, we must not allow ourselves to backslide into neglecting our prayer life and worship, remaining vigilant in our battle against sin.
This Feast of All Saints, stands at the beginning of Summer to remind us that we are all called to emulate the lives of the many Saints that have shown us the way to a better Christian life; a more rewarding life which carries us through the many trials and tribulations that confront us. It is a time for us to work on our discipleship in Christ, for though we may belong to a church, this does not by itself make us disciples, for this can only be attained by conviction, commitment and witness.
This is a challenge to each of us to transform our membership into discipleship and this Sunday gives us the best possible examples of what we can become as faithful servants of Jesus Christ. This quest for discipleship makes our lives more purposeful, enlivening not only our personal commitment but our missionary endeavors to the people of God.
So as we begin this new season let us do so constantly bringing to mind the examples of Sainthood that this great feast places before us.