The Sunday following the Great Feast of Pentecost is dedicated to All Saints. This Sunday usually coincides with the beginning of the summer when people are beginning to allow for some relaxation and personal time whether with family on vacations or just enjoying a slower pace in their lives. This season with its regular responsibilities affords the faithful to enhance their spiritual lives with increased reading, prayer and contemplation.
The Sunday of All Saints ushers us into a new liturgical cycle of readings, following the Feast of Pentecost, which carries us through to the time of the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross and the Nativity Fast. This cycle of readings come to us from the Gospel of the Evangelist Matthew. Throughout this period numerous Saints are remembered and commemorated affording us the examples by which to emulate their saintly lives in ourselves.
We are called by the Church to balance our Christian life with that of our earthly lives so that this special time may increase our own individual spiritual needs and bring us closer to Him. The Feast of All Saints honors those who came before us, men and women, like us, who devoted themselves to God as part of His earthly family.
With the celebration of this Feast we are called upon to become one with them, the communion of saints, remembering that the Holy Spirit unites all believers, Glorified and militant, into one mystical body, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
On this day and throughout the year we call upon the saints to intercede before the throne of Almighty God on our behalf seeking to follow in their footsteps. We acknowledge that each of us, baptized in Christ Jesus and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, is himself or herself a Saint, striving on the way to the Kingdom of God.
We learn on this day that a Saint has faith in God, is a witness of God, sets aside everything that gets in the way of our relationship with God, keeps focused on Christ and with determination runs the present course of life until the coming of the Kingdom.
One of the Gospels associated with this feastday comes from Matthew 28:16-20 which speaks of the Great Commission, when the Risen Christ appears to His disciples on a hill in Galilee, commissioning them to “go forth”, and spread the Gospel to all nations. This Great Commission is the tenets for the missionary work of the Holy Church for all the ages and the opportunity to transform our membership into Discipleship. That is the essence of this Great Feast of All Saints: to renew the spiritual effort of the “living saints”, lest we become complacent in our task commissioned by Christ Himself.
Let us utilize this time of summer to reinforce our own efforts to come closer to our Lord, thereby, heeding His call and sharing it with those whom we may come in contact with.
May the Holy Saints intercede on our behalf.