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Sermon by Bishop Mitrofan (Znosko-Borovsky, +2002) of Boston

 

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit:

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you,” said Christ to His disciples before Golgotha.

And so, on the day of the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, descended as power, infusing their entire inner lives, and so they became communicants of the Supreme Knowledge and brought the world to Christ. On that day, beyond the visible world, the depth and greatness of the unseen world was revealed. From that day, those who led by the Holy Spirit—the Apostles and their disciples, hierarchs, martyrs and confessors—fearlessly went out into the world and bent to the feet of Christ the geniuses of science and poetry, of music, and the sculptor, and the paintbrush of the artist. This Sunday is devoted to them. Gathering them together, bounded to each other with one Faith and one Love for Christ, though comprising different races and peoples, different classes, the Church sings a common hymn to them all: “God is glorious in His saints!”

This day is the day of All Saints, the feast day of the universal Family of Christ. For all the saints, in their spiritual unity, truly comprise a single brotherhood, one great family into which Hellene and Jew, the poor and the wealthy, the king and the warrior, the scholar and the fool, all enter.

This universal, global Host bears witness to the fact that despite the claims of the scribes of today’s world, Christianity is no abstract philosophical system, that Christianity is neither a dead theory which kills individuality, as are the theories of socialist Marxism, at whose foundation lie deceit and hypocrisy; but that Christianity is the life-giving Power which pervades all of humanity, brightening his reason, purifying his heart and directing his will to working in cognizance of the brotherhood of all in Christ, in recognizing the value of every single individual and comprehending the responsibility of each for his own works and deeds.

During all times and everywhere, the Saints bore witness with their very lives that the measure of human worth is not one’s heredity, not social standing or property ownership, nor the external differences between people, but the purely moral motives which flow from faith and devotion to Christ, which stem from the acceptance that life is service to higher values—to God and mankind.

This great global family lauded by the Church, or better yet, the global brotherhood of Christ attests to the fact that even in the face of external physical slavery one can achieve inner enlightenment, in other words, that physical slavery completely compatible with inner moral freedom. All we need for this is staunch Christian convictions, firmness of character and inner piety.
So, beloved in Christ brothers and sisters, let us apply all our energies so that wherever life may lead us, we can preserve freedom, be free of sin, of all impurity, so that even through us the Name of the Lord our Jesus Christ, be glorified. Amen.