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Sermon of Bishop Mitrophan (Znosko-Borovsky) of Boston on the Sunday of All Saints

“I will depart from you, but you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you,”
said Christ to His Apostles.

And so, on the day of the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, entered them as power, suffusing their entire inner life, and they became communicants of the Higher Knowledge and brought the world to Christ. On this day, in reality, beyond the visible world, the depths and grandeur of the invisible world are revealed. From this day, those who were led by the Holy Spirit—the Apostles and their disciples, hierarchs, martyrs, confessors—fearlessly went into the world and bent to the feet of Christ the genius of science and poetry, of music and sculpture and the artist’s brush. This Sunday is dedicated to them all. Gathering them all together, who are bound together with one Faith and one Love for Christ, though they belong to different races and peoples, to various classes, the Church sings their praises to them, “Glorious is God in His saints.”

Today is the day of All Saints who illuminated the world, this is the feast day of the worldwide Family of Christ. For all the saints—in their spiritual unity—form a true, united brotherhood, one great family, combining in Christ both Greek and Jew, poor and rich, king and warrior, scholar and commoner.

This universal, global host bears witness that despite what today’s academics say, Christianity is not an abstract philosophical system, that Christianity is not a dead theory which crushes individuality, as do the Socialist-Marxist theories, the foundation of which are deceit and hypocrisy, no, Christianity is life-creating power which suffuses the entire nature of mankind, illuminating his mind, purifying his heart and directing his will to action in cognizance of the brotherhood of everyone in Christ, in the recognition of the value of every human individual and in the acceptance of responsibility of each person for his actions.

At all times in the entire world, the illuminated saints have borne witness through their lives that the measure of a person’s dignity is not his birth, not social or financial standing, not any other external difference, but his purely moral motives which flow from faith and dedication to Christ, from accepting life as a means of service to higher values—to God and mankind.

This great global family, glorified by the Church, this worldwide brotherhood of Christ, attests to the fact that even under physical enslavement one can attain inner light, in other words, that external enslavement is still fully compatible with inner moral freedom. For this one needs only firmness in Christian conviction, staunchness of character and internal piety.

So dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us apply all our efforts, all our strength that in all the paths of our lives we preserve freedom, freedom from sin, from all that is unclean, so that through us also the name of our Lord Jesus Christ would be glorified, our Savior and the Savior of the whole world. Amen.