Ye are My witnesses
THUS saith the Lord: All nations are gathered together, and princes shall be
gathered out of them; who will declare these things among them? or who will declare
to you things from the beginning? Let them bring forth their witnesses, and
be justified; and let them hear, and declare the truth. Be ye My witnesses, and Ι too
am a witness, saith the Lord God, and My servant whom Ι have chosen; that ye may
know, and believe Me, and understand that Ι am. Before Me there was no other God, and after Me there. shall be none. Ι am God, and beside Me there is no saviour.
Ι have declared, and have saved; Ι have reproached, and there was no strange
god among you. Ye are My witnesses, and Ι am a witness, saith the Lord God. Even
from the beginning Ι am; and there is none that can deliver out of My hands. Ι
will work, and who shall turn it back? Thus saith the Lord God that redeemeth
you, the Holy One of Israel.
The Reading is from Great Vespers for the Sunday of All Saints: the Prophecy of Esaias (43:9-14)
On the Sunday of Pentecost, the Disciples were inaugurated into the Divine Mysteries. They the cornerstone of the Witnesses pointing to Christ. They are the prototype of the Saints and are they who went forth to sow the good seed unto all the Earth. Through their labors, the seeds for the future Saints were planted”
“And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” John 4:36
Because of their labors, the Church reaped an abundance and this harvest is the multitude of the Saints.
In our Orthodox Churches, the walls are adorned with icons of Saints from many lands, many times, and from many occupations. They adorn the walls and they abide with us mystically, yet the new saints adorn Nave. We are all called to be Saints, for this is the purpose of the Church – to make Saints! The icons show us that others walked “the narrow way” before us and they invite us to follow them. Our Lord has provided multitudes of Saints to encourage us in our struggles and to remind us that we can aspire to be holy. By God’s grace we are strengthened for the struggles of this world. The Saints are like unto cheerleaders standing on the sidelines – they beckon to us to “fight the good fight”.
Truly “God is glorious in his saints” (Ps. 68:35 Lxx)