Sunday of All Saints (2013)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”   (Matthew 19:28-29)

St. Nikolai Velimirovic  (d. 1956AD) commenting on the above passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel, writes:

“The Lord uses the number ‘an hundred’ because it expresses the whole fullness of the gifts that the faithful will receive. Not hundreds, but hundreds of thousands, of men and women have left all this and received it all. To these and all such this Sunday – the Sunday of All Saints – is dedicated. Some saints have their special commemoration during the year. These are only the best-known. But there is, apart from them, an enormous number of saints who have remained hidden from human sight but are no less known to God the living and omniscient. They make up the victorious, glorified Church of Christ, and stand in the closest relationship to us who make up, on earth, the militant Church of Christ’s soldiers. Through them, the Lord shines like the sun among the stars, for they are members of His Body (Eph. 5:30).  They are alive and powerful, and close to God. And they are also close to us. They constantly observe the life of God’s Church on earth; they vigilantly accompany us from our birth to our death; they hear our pleas, know our troubles and help us with their strength and their prayers, which, like the smoke from incense, rise through the angelic heights to the throne of God (Rev. 8:3-4). These are Christ’s great martyrs , both men and women, the saints and our God-bearing Fathers, pastors and teachers of the Church, devout kings and queens who defended God’s Church from persecutors; confessors and hermits, ascetics and solitaries, stylites and fools for Christ – in brief, all those for whom Christ’s love overshadows every other love on earth, and who, for Christ’s name, left all and endured right to the end, for which they were themselves saved and brought salvation to others. They help us today to come to salvation, for there is no selfishness or jealousy in them; they rejoice that as great a number as possible of men and women should be saved and come to that glory in which they themselves rejoice. They were all victorious through faith. They all quenched the fiery power that, in the form of the passions, burned up weak human nature. Many of them, to whom the whole world was not worthy, wandered over the face of the earth, in deserts and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth (Heb. 11:38). This life is a test of our works, and the reward is given to the world to come. They passed the test with flying colors, and now give us their aid, that we may not be ashamed but pass the test as they did and be like them in the Kingdom of God. God is indeed wonderful in His saints!” (Homilies, pgs.8-9)


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