Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In Saturday's Gospel we hear our Lord, in the Holy Gospel-reading, telling his disciples that "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” The Holy Apostles became such prominent lights, glorious cities on a hill, giving their light to all who look upon their glory. After the passing of the Holy Apostles from this world, our Lord gave us more such glorious lights, such cities on a hill; brilliant lights which illumine the whole world. Such lights as the three holy Hierarchs which we celebrate on Saturday. Saint Basil the Great, Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom. These three Saints are known in the Orthodox Christian world as ecumenical teachers. They received spiritual illumination from the Lord and they shared their God given wisdom with the whole world. They have been praised and they will continue to be praised forever but our Lord’s admonition to be a light before men it does not only befall to the great teachers of our Holy Church. This admonition is given to all of us. We, with as much or as little wisdom we have received from our Lord we are told to share it with our families, our friends, our acquaintances. But to share with others our knowledge of the faith with words is not complete. There are some things which cannot be taught with words. There is knowledge which is imparted through words and there is knowledge which has to be demonstrated by example.
Dancing, as an example, cannot be explained with words, it has to be demonstrated. Walking, cannot be explained with words, it has to be demonstrated. Learning Violin or Piano or any musical instrument must be taught through the example of a teacher. Anything that we can think of, must be taught thought example.
Our Holy Orthodox faith also has knowledge which can be shared through words and also has other aspects which are shared through living a life of example. It is written in the life of Saint Anthony that three Monks used to go and visit him every year but only the two of them discussed their thoughts and spiritual struggles with him; the third one remained always silent - never ask Saint Anthony anything. After a long time, Saint Anthony said to him, ‘You often come here to see me, but you never ask me anything,’ then the other replied, ‘It is enough for me to see you, Father.’ Just seeing the good Christian example of St. Anthony the Great was sufficient for the third monk.
May the Holy Apostles, the Three Holy Hierarchs and St. Anthony the Great, who are great examples of Christian Saints to imitate, pray that we all become such luminous small cities on a hill; illumined with the glory of our Lord!