“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfection of our faith.”  –Hebrews 12:1

One week following the Celebration of Holy Pentecost, every year, we celebrate the Sunday of All Saints.  It is such a special day found within the “moveable” cycle of the entire Liturgical Year. A great majority of the well-known Saints’ Feast Days are celebrated on the “immoveable” set dates on the calendar.  The number of Saints is so vast, that we cannot even begin to fathom their numbers, because there are so many! Like you and me, they all are unique and unrepeatable. We each can attest to this fact, with every person we have ever known and encountered.

Like God is a Mystery in the sense that we can never fully understand the fact that God is Trinity, One God yet Three Persons, the human person is also a mystery. Every human being is made in the “image and likeness of God”. We can never completely understand the dynamics that make up the human person, even if we have such a close relationship with our spouses, parents, children, family, friends, and kinsmen. Getting know God and every human being is an inexhaustible experience. We can know neither God nor our fellow human being fully, even if we grew closer to both for eternity!

On All Saints Sunday, we celebrate the whole spectrum of the Saints, the well-known, all the way to the unknown, every “righteous spirit made perfect in faith” as we say in the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. O the vastness, greatness and magnificence of our God, Who knows every living and departed soul, most intimately and completely, that has ever inhabited this earth and all the generations to come!

”Ever feel alone, isolated or forgotten? No need to! God never abandons us! The Saints do not as well!  During this Coronavirus pandemic we are in, we have been forced to be away from loved ones throughout the world. But this does not mean that we cannot still have a meaningful relationship with them, even though we are being physically distanced from them. The myriads of Saints remain our fervent intercessors. We can turn to them, even though we cannot see them with our physical eyes, and ask them to pray for us! They are always praying for us. We, too, as human beings, made in God’s image and likeness, especially as baptized Christians, are the living Saints (Αγοι), the Body of Christ, who have been set apart with the ability to bring the Presence of Christ to all around us, through our love for one another. As members of Christ’s Body, as the Church (not the church building, but we the people) are conduits to do His works and carry and spread His Light to those around us. We can do simple deeds and acts of kindness by picking up our phones, go on our computers, phones and devices and reach those who are feeling down and uplift them.

God knows every fabric of our souls and beings. I am reminded of Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I sanctified you.” When I was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, Archbishop Demetrios had quoted these very words. I never forgot these words, as they remind us that God knows us, never forgets us and has special plans for every one of us!

The Sunday of All Saints is not just about Christ, the Theotokos, the Heavenly Hosts, Prophets, Saints and Martyrs, but is inclusive of us Christians living in the world today as truly having “put on Christ” and heeding the sacred and holy call of sharing Him in the world we live in.

My words to you: Be comforted in the fact that God is with us, cares for us, and never abandons us.  He knows, intimately, every soul that has ever inhabited this earth. And this includes you!