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Today we in the Orthodox Church celebrate the Sunday of All Saints, which is always celebrated on the Sunday after the Great Feast of Pentecost. This Sunday marks the beginning of a new Liturgical Cycle. The reading for this Sunday is from the Gospel of St. Matthew which will be read throughout this season up until the Exaltation of the Cross.

The Feast of All Saints, honors and commemorates all those men, women and children of God who lived godly lives, many of whom made the supreme sacrifice as martyrs for their Christian faith. It is not coincidental that this Feast is celebrated immediately after Pentecost for the Holy Spirit unites all believers, into one united Mystical Body: the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

On this day we ask for the intercession of the Saints and acknowledge that each of us, baptized in Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit, is himself or herself a saint striving in their own journey on the way to the Kingdom. During the service of the Matins on this day we hear the words of the Great Commission, where Jesus, the Risen Lord, appears to the Disciples on a hill and commissions them to “go forth”, and spread the Gospel to all nations.

This Sunday highlights and answers the question as to what is a disciple. Simply it states that every saint from the past and those living today are disciples, for every disciple shares in the great commission. All of us are therefore called to be Christ’s witnesses in the world. Every one of us is called to discipleship and thereby missionaries in various manners and ways, not necessarily as of old to far off places but maybe even in our own families, neighborhoods, surroundings. We are called forth as disciples, not replacing the original ones from the Gospels but as their spiritual inheritance, empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the world and enlighten people to the joy of faith in Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

So let us go forth and honor the saints of old by becoming living Saints bringing in the many sheep who have been lost or strayed from Our Lord.

All Saints