Today we celebrate the Holy Fathers-All Saints of the Old Testament, the patriarchs, judges, prophets and all holy men and women of the Old Testament who in their righteousness waited for their salvation on the cross to be accomplished in time so they could enter heaven. They in the past received grace from the future like the Theotokos at her All-Pure Conception in the womb of St. Anne. Christ comes to die for all through all time to make salvation available to them. But since God forces Himself on no one, sinners must reach out for that salvation and will to leave their sins, or else Christ's death-in their case-was for nothing. Pray that those who have willingly exiled themselves from Divine Love, that their will be softened that Christ's mercy be able to enter them and return them to their virginal purity. Pray to the Theotokos that they may share in her purity.
One of the stichera at Lord, I have cried at Vespers for this Sunday:
The Never-setting Sun is coming from the Virginal womb
to enlighten everyone under the sun.
Let us meet Him with pure hearts and with good works.
Let us prepare ourselves now through the Holy Spirit
to greet Him who is coming to His own people
as He Himself had willed.
He is being born in Bethlehem
so that through His compassion
He might bring back all of those
who were exiled from life in Paradise.