Love of the Saints…
St. Paul wished blessings on the Ephesians for their faith in Christ and love of the saints:
Therefore, I, too, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love for all the holy ones, do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. –Ephesians 1:15-17, NAB
Often, we speak on the importance of our faith and our relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, but we cannot forget how important our love of the saints, our fellow Catholics and Christians, both past and present, is to our faith, as well.
In the NAB translation, this verse refers to the “holy ones,” but in other translations, such as the RSV, it is translated as “saints.” Both, obviously, are correct, for the saints are truly holy ones.
When we think of saints, we usually think of those faithful Christians that came before us who have been officially canonized as saints by the Church, but in this verse, St. Paul probably refers to the whole communion of saints, which includes all saints, both living and dead, who are members of Christ’s Church.
Our love of the saints, then, is important in two ways. First, we must honor those canonized saints that came before us (as many of us already do), and second, we must love our fellow Christians as our brothers and sisters. This, along with our faith in Christ, should define our faith and give it purpose.
St. Paul wished many blessings on the Ephesians for their faith in God and love of the saints, and I wish those same blessings on you. May following Christ and the saints bring you ever closer to God through wisdom and grace.