We are all gathered together according to Ephesians 4:2-3, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”
The clothing suggests 1st century vintage or even earlier, and some may link the forms of the people with certain religions. But those aspects are not the point. The focus is on my personal community of saints. When I read Acts or look at art works on the community of saints, my imagination takes over. I like to think of the millions in heaven and earth who pray for me and with me. I do have some favorites though.
The first community is those with whom I sing “Glory to God in the Highest,” and partake of the Eucharist on Sundays. There may be hundreds, thousands of us singing or praying these same words all over the world at that same moment. We are listening to the same Gospel passage. All around the clock thousands of priests are praying the same words for mankind simultaneously.
My second community of saints includes those I co labor with to save the lives of unborn babies and spread the good news of God’s love in the earth. I think about what we have in common with the first century church- salvation of mankind, utter ungodliness, love of family, secular profanations of the holy, fears of the future. We pray for guidance from Jesus our strength and stay; we strive to serve Him wholeheartedly. We hold nothing back from Him.
My third community of saints includes family, friends and loved ones who have died in the faith. My prayers for their perpetual rest and peace continue. Maccabees 12:45, “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead..”
My fourth community of saints includes all the rest of the saints in heaven I do not know, and many others here I will not know, until of course when we get to heaven. These saints were not canonized and are not listed in religious history books. No one wrote books or made videos about these saints. They were just faithful folk who persevered in love and charity for God and men. Even though I do not know them, they know me and you. Revelation 5:8,11 “..Each of the elders held a harp and a gold bowl filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones.” “I looked again and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number.”
My fifth community are my patron saints- Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi and Mary, the Blessed Mother. I call them my “trio of saints.” Aquinas assists me in writing and disseminating facts from falsehood. Francis keeps me balanced by staying engaged with and serving humanity and not use all of my spare time reading a book or sitting at the keyboard. And Mary? “Behold your son” Jesus said to her from the Cross. She just loves me and you, like mothers do.
be blessed in community,