Church feasts are an infinite source of comfort, reassurance and hope. There would be far more joy in our lives if we could only give more thought to the meaning of these feasts - the Day of All Saints included. So what does this day mean to us?
It reminds us that the world in which we live does have a meaning and a purpose. It tells us that all events in our history - joyful or tragic - are our waypoints to our destination - the Kingdom of God, where all the saints dwell. Centuries succeed one another, mighty empires rise and fall, and the Church never stops preaching the word of God and continues to send its messengers. God created the universe. Stars shine on us from the skies. What is the meaning and purpose of all this? Was it not to inspire us, humans, to ascend to sainthood and join the synaxis of the saints?
The world exists to raise saints; time flows to let them grow; our mornings and evenings, our very lives were given to us to ascend to sainthood and give birth to saints.
For such is God's providence for our world: He willed to share His gift of eternal life, love and joy with His creations - people and angels. His goal is a glorified and transformed world of heaven in which people and angels form one big family with Jesus Christ at its head.
For centuries, the history of the Church has had one overriding purpose: that people from all the world's nations would enter His home with faith and repentance to settle there forever.
The names of some saints are known to us, but God has many more saints whom we do not know. On this feast day, we commemorate all the saints by addressing them with the prayer: "All the saints, pray to God for us!" As members of the Holy Church, we believe that the saints who now reside in heaven are guiding us in our life journey by the will of God. Like the father of a loving family entrusts the care of his younger children to the older ones, so are the angels and saints fulfilling their duty of care and guidance for us.
They also keep our hope alive. They lived in this world, in the flesh, grappling with at least as many obstacles and difficulties as we face today. They have reached their home in Heaven. Nor should we despair or lose the hope that someday, we will also reach Heaven and join them.
Let us never lose sight of our Jerusalem in Heaven as we wade through the traps, stumps, snags and distractions of our worldly lives. May we always trust that will reach our promised land with God's help and by the prayers of the saints.
Father Sergey Khudiev
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