When swallows run short of food and the cold weather is coming, they set off to warm climes, where there is plenty of sun and food. One swallow flies ahead, testing the air and showing the way, and the rest of the flock follow after.
When our souls run short of food in the material world, and when the cold of death draws near - oh, is there a swallow like that one, to take us to a warm place? Is there, oh, is there such a swallow?
Outside the Christian Church, there is no-one who could give any sort of reliable answer to this. The Church alone knows, and knows with certainty. It has seen that part of Paradise for which our souls yearn in the frozen twilight of this earthly existance. It has also seen this blessed swallow, the first to fly to that yearned-for place, dispersing the darkness and cutting through the heavy atmosphere between earth and heaven with its powerful wings, opening the way to the flock behind it. Apart from this, the Church on earth can tell you of innumerable flocks of swallows that have followed the first Swallow and flown off with it to the blessed land, the land abounding with all good things - the land of eternal spring.
You will see from this that, by this saving Swallow, I am thinking of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ.
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic
"Homily on the Ascension of the Lord"