The Gospel of the 4th Sunday of Saint Luke is from Luke 8:5-15 entitled the Parable of the Sower, in which we hear of the good seed who were not only receptive to God’s Word but were also Sowers of the Word for others.
Today, October 18th, is also the Feast of the Evangelist St. Luke with a special Gospel from Luke 10:16-21 where it says, “He who hears you hears me. He who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects Him who sent me”.
The month of October is filled with Saints, both men and women, not only from the history of the Orthodox Church but also those who lived in the times of the Bible. There are at least 13 saints who are mentioned in the Bible both the Old and the New Testament, whose feast days fall in October; St. Luke the Evangelist, St. James the Brother of the Lord, St. Phillip the Deacon, St. Ananias, who was sent by the Lord to help St. Paul after the Damascus vision. There is also St. Cleopas who along with another disciple saw the risen Christ as they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus and St. Longinus, the Roman centurion who was in charge of Jesus’ crucifixion and the one who confessed in front of the cross, “This man was really the Son of God”. Other October Saints include St. Anastasia, St. Great Martyr Demetrius, St. Dominica, St. Paraskevia and St. Taisia of Alexandria.
You see the Orthodox Church calendar daily holds up before us Saints as examples to be remembered and honored. The primary reason for this, is that the people of God are a family of Saints in which the tradition of spiritual fatherhood is powerful. In a very meaningful meditation, it says in reference to those saints who came before us, “Remember your former leaders, who spoke God’s message to you. Think back on how they lived and died and imitate their faith”. (Hebrews 13:7)
Saints do not take the place of Christ, our true God, rather, having themselves found the way to the Father through the Son, they guide us on the same way which is narrow and difficult, being enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us be especially thankful for the witness of these revered great men and women of our Church.