Troparion Tone 8
We remember today all those who came before us, those who paved the road of faith to follow toward the light of Christ. Let us follow the path of Apostles, Saints, Martyrs, Blessed, and Beautified souls that have walked before us always.
Gospel of Luke
For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.
Book of Second Corinthians
You helping withal in prayer for us. That for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf. For our glory is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom,
~Chapter: Second Corinthians Verses:11-15
but in the grace of God, we have conversed in this world: and more abundantly towards you. For we write no other things to you than what you have read and known. And I hope that you shall know unto the end. As also you have known us in part, that we are your glory: as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. And in this confidence I had a mind to come to you before, that you might have a second grace
Gospel Reading of Ephesians
And might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, killing the enmities in himself. And coming, he preached peace to you that were afar off: and peace to them that were nigh. For by him we have access both in one Spirit to the Father. Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners: but you are fellow citizens with the saints and the domestics of God, Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into an holy temple in the Lord. In whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in the Spirit.
This weekend in the Latin Rite Churches the days of All Souls followed by All Saints is celebrated. In the Orthodox Rite we celebrate similar members of the gospels and early church 5 times a year mostly during the preparation for Pasha and following Pentecost, but there is one, The day of Luke reserved for now. Looking to Luke for examples of how to serve leaves us full of beauty, art, and very close in heart to the Theotokos as his writings in the Gospel of Luke and Acts are full of these moments. As example in these gospels the old covenants are broken and new are formed in the greeting of Mary and Elizabeth. The Forerunner John the Baptist acknowledges Christ all within sacred wombs. Simple small gestures with the most profound consequences are found throughout Luke and it is to him the first icons of the Theotokos are credited.
The life of Luke was far less adventurous than some of the other Apostles but no less profound in what it left for the those that came after to find Christ. In this saint who wrote originally in common Greek we find simple words and art give us the most profound tools of faith. We don’t often think of small graces when Saints come to mind. They live larger than life type epic stories for much of the beginning of the early church. It is important to remember they lived lives as ours with the same purpose and the same message, the word of Christ and his works. As we work, pray, have families and spiritual lives we must remember that our own small simple acts and services to the Great Work of Christ are not always small at all, that they are also cornerstones of the living church and word. We do not know when a simple prayer may move the hearts of one or millions or when the art of our hands and works may become inspiration for renewed faith. Let us remember St.Luke and his contemporaries as the Holy members of the heavenly church that they are, but know we are capable of powerful small acts of faith under their guidance that can lead to hope, and renewed faith for those who follow beyond us.