None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ Jesus which are the beginning and the end of life. For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two, being inseparably connected together, are of God, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them. No man [truly] making a profession of faith sinneth; nor does he that possesses love hate any one. The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognised by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end.
– Ignatius to the Ephesians 14
Many are the commentaries on faith and works. This will not be one. Let us instead ponder the connection drawn between faith and love in both 1st John and Ignatius’ letter to the Ephesians.
In his letter Ignatius unifies faith and love in Christ. Faith is the beginning of life love is the end – the purpose. Ignatius ends the chapter exhorting the reader to continue in the of the “power of faith”. We find something like this in 2Tim 3:5 where the author warns against those who hold the form of religion but deny the power of it. This power of faith is manifest in love. Faith leads us to love. John writes “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God… God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God.” This is the heart of Christian life – to abide in God and God in us.
Brothers and sisters let us emulate St. Ignatius and be bearers of God.