The first Sunday after the Feast of Holy Pentecost is observed as the Sunday of All Saints. This day has been designated as a commemoration of all of the Saints, all the Righteous, the Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Shepherds, Teachers, and Holy Monastics, both men and women alike, known and unknown, who have been added to the choirs of the Saints and shall be added, from the time of Adam until the end of the world, who have been perfected in piety and have glorified God by their holy lives. The icon of the Sunday of All Saints depicts our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ seated above the throne of heaven surrounded by the Saints.
The Gospel reading for today is from Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38, 19:27-30, focuses on how we can become holy. We are all called to be Saints. This is the purpose of Christianity and the church – to guide people towards sanctity and holiness – to become Saints. The scriptures today are instructions about how to become a Saint. We must have true, living faith – not merely belief in something. We must demonstrate this not just by what we say, but by what we do and who we are. We, therefore, must “take up our cross” and “run with patience the race that is set before us”.
On June 9th we commemorate Bartholomew & Barnabas – Apostles. Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, and had Galilee as his homeland. It’s been said that he preached in Arabia and Persia, and India about the Gospel written by Saint Matthew. Saint Barnabas, leader of the Seventy Apostles, was from Cyprus, of the tribe of Levi, and a fellow disciple with Paul. He was called Joses, but was renamed Barnabas, which means “son of consolation.” He helped Saul, converted to Paul, the chief spokesman, to join the Apostles, Saul prior to this was a feared reputed persecutor of the Church, still feared him. Saint Barnabas preached the Gospel in many places and traveled together with Paul.