Today we celebrate the 2nd Sunday after the Feast of Pentecost, dedicated to All Saints of North America & Russia, including our own Father among the Saints, Herman of Alaska. Our heavenly patron and protector, America’s first Saint.  Today in our Civil calendar we also celebrate Father’s Day, a special day on which we celebrate our Father’s, those with us and those who have fallen asleep in the Lord!

It is indeed fitting in this season following Pentecost that we celebrate the manifestation of the Holy Trinity in the many saints who have lived and toiled within our American continent.

It is important for us as Orthodox Christians to celebrate the Holy Trinity revealed to us in three distinct persons: God the Father the provider, God the Son the Model and God the Holy Spirit who strengthens and helps us across the finish line!

Icon of the Synaxis of the Saints of North America

We don’t usually state it that way but isn’t that what the Holy Trinity is? God the Father is our Creator, Provider, Sustainer. But God knew we needed to see the life of faith in human flesh, so God the Son came to us in Jesus of Nazareth to be our Teacher, our Model our Savior. After Christ’s Ascension, God the Holy Spirit came to sustain us in our daily work.

Our dads similarly have a special place in our lives as providers for their family, along with our mom’s, as role models in our lives, not as critics but as loving caring parents, and thirdly as supportive and nurturing parents, whose children can always count on no matter what the circumstance, because you see parenting is a life time commitment to always be there with unconditional love.  You see, dads understand that they have a commitment to their children that goes way beyond putting a roof over their head, they understand that they have a spiritual commitment to their children and take it seriously, and likewise; we children have a deep abiding love and appreciation to them for all those sacrifices made in our behalf.

It was once put this way during a Sunday School class, in which the children were asked to choose a character from the Bible that they would most like to be and explain why. A little girl said she wanted to be Mary, the mother of God, another said, Joseph the father of Jesus, still another said David because he was so strong and brave and yet another said Jonah, because he liked whales.  The last boy was then asked and who do you want to be and he quickly answered Lo.  The Sunday School teacher said there was no such person named Lo in the Bible to which the little boy answered brazenly, “Oh yes there is”,  Jesus himself said,  Lo, I will be with you always”. You see the Holy Spirit is God’s way of walking daily with all of us, even the saints who dwelt among us,  as if our name really was Lo.

One God – revealed in three distinct persons just as dads – and moms- can be one person but play three important roles in our lives- as provider, model and source of ongoing love and support!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!