Day 358: From Rebellion to Faithfulness









(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Jude 1-2 The author of this Epistle is Jude, further identified as the brother of James, leader of the Church in Jerusalem after Peter. Jude's primary purpose was to warn the faithful about false teachers and to assure them that the deceivers would be judged by God. His introduction briefly describes the Christian journey: We are called by God and become his children through our participation in the life of Christ through Baptism. (CCC 460-461, 542, 1309, 1391, 1416, 2014) 


3-4 Jude called for the faithful to put up a vigorous defense of the doctrines of the Faith taught by the Apostles—in essence, the Deposit of Faith. He alluded to false teachers who have infiltrated the Christian community and were corrupting the integrity of the Faith of the Christians with false doctrines. He charged them with two major errors: dispensation from abiding by the moral law and denial of the divinity of Christ. (CCC 78, 84, 89, 91-95, 170-175, 464-467) 


5-7 Using the Old Testament, Jude cited examples of what happens to those who are unfaithful to God's Law and indulge their lustful passions; the latter refers to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose perverse and immoral practices resulted in the destruction of their cities. (CCC 391-395, 1033-1039, 2357-2359) 


8-13 The story Jude cited here is from an apocryphal work called the Assumption of Moses. This neither discredits Jude's letter nor gives credence to the noncanonical document. Rather, Jude simply made use of the story to illustrate the gravity of the sins enumerated in the previous section. 

These blemishes: In addition to other vices, the false teachers were making gluttons of themselves at communal banquets. Their sinful lives presented a danger to the faithful and a scandal to the Christian community. (CCC 29, 1792, 2284-2287) 


14-16 Here, Jude quoted from another apocryphal writing, the Book of Enoch (1:9), to make a point about the harsh judgment that awaits "ungodly sinners." Jude's reference to these apocryphal works led some in the early Church to doubt whether Jude should be included in the canon of Scripture. However, in the fourth and fifth centuries, when the canon of Scripture was finalized, Jude's letter was deemed to have been inspired. (CCC 120, 679-681) 


17-19 The predictions attributed to the Apostles resonate with what Christ said about false messiahs and false prophets (cf. Mt 24:24). 

The last time: This refers to the present messianic age, which began with the Incarnation and will continue until the end of time. 

Worldly people: These people are enslaved to material possessions and self-gratification to the serious detriment of their spiritual lives. A worldly attitude disrupts the unity of Christians with each other and with Christ since charity will have been dismissed. (CCC 681, 1287, 2089, 2544-2547) 


20-21 Belief in the Trinity, adherence to the Faith they have received, and the need to grow in the virtues of faith, hope, and charity comprise Jude's counsel for the Christian community. The theological virtues are necessary to dialogue in a personal way with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (CCC 93, 202, 257-267, 1091) 


22-23 Charity toward sinners and apostates is compatible with keeping the necessary distance to avoid the risk of endangering one's faith and life of holiness. Convince some, who doubt: The Church is One and Apostolic in nature, seeking unity among her members and the evangelization of those who have not yet heard the Gospel message. (CCC 855, 863-865) 


24-25 The Son of God is the sole Mediator for us before the Father since he reconciles the human race to the Father, winning for all the grace of salvation. (CCC 2641)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)









(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

2 Timothy 1:1-7 Paul opened with his customary greeting: an affirmation of his role as an Apostle followed by a brief prayer of thanksgiving. 

Life which is in Christ Jesus: The grace that we receive in the Sacraments is a share in the divine life, which is meant to be perfected into the everlasting life of Heaven. 

Clear conscience: A good, true conscience is enlightened by faith and purifies the heart. Together, these virtues bear fruit in love for God and neighbor. (CCC 2, 1114-1116, 1794) 


Ch 1:5 Those who believe in Christ owe a special gratitude to those who taught them the faith, whether parents, relatives, teachers, pastors, or others. (CCC 2220, 2224-2226) 


Ch 1:6 Paul exhorted Timothy to correspond to the grace that he received through Holy Orders, i.e., the "laying on of hands." This gesture, which comes from Christ, is essential to the Sacrament that ordains men to the Church's ministry. Timothy, perhaps due to his youth, may not have been sufficiently assertive or lacked confidence and needed to be encouraged to trust in the gifts he had received. Bishops have received the fullness of Holy Orders, which includes the power and authority to ordain other men as bishops, priests, and deacons. (CCC 1556, 1558, 1573-1577, 1590) 


Ch 1:8 Those called to preach the Gospel must remain steadfast in the truth, faithfully handing on the Deposit of Faith received from the Apostles. Catholic teaching is based on this Deposit of Faith found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Even in the midst of suffering, we can count on the work of the Holy Spirit to grant us the courage and strength needed to carry out God's will. Paul, chained in prison, knew this very well. The perfect example is that of Christ in the different aspects of his Passion. Mary, too, maintained her faith throughout the Passion and Death of her Son, Jesus Christ. (CCC 84, 149, 857, 1202) 


Ch 1:9-10 Salvation, which is accomplished through Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross, is the fruit of his love for us. This work of salvation continues through the teaching and sacramental ministry of the Church. (CCC 256-257, 1021) 


Ch 1:15-18 The good and faithful example of Onesiphorus, who eagerly visited Paul in prison, did much to alleviate the suffering and confusion caused by the apostasy of others who were once part of the Ephesus community. Visiting the imprisoned is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy and is among the good works mentioned in Christ's Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (cf. Mt 25:36). 

May the Lord grant... on that day: "That day" refers to the Last Judgment. 

Asia: In this context, it refers to an eastern Roman province, roughly modern-day Asia Minor. (CCC 2447) 


Ch 2:1-7 One of the primary responsibilities of a bishop is teaching the faith in its entirety, hence his role as chief catechist for the people in his diocese. Paul's analogy of the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer illustrate how commitment, discipline, and hard work are a vital component of living out our vocation. (CCC 77-83, 1264) 


Ch 2:1 Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy. 


Ch 2:2 Entrust to faithful men: Timothy, ordained a bishop by an Apostle, was in turn to ordain men to carry on the priestly ministry in Ephesus beyond his own lifetime. In like manner, future bishops were ordained bishops in a direct line that traces back to the original Apostles. This is called Apostolic Succession. (CCC 77, 860-862, 1087, 1209, 1576) 


Ch 2:8-13 Paul offered up his imprisonment as a kind of intercessory prayer for the faithful. Likewise, we must be willing to suffer for the sake of our faith. Suffering accepted in union with Christ's Cross immerses us more profoundly into his life and at the same time extends this life to others. Paul made use of every occasion to proclaim Jesus Christ. Even his chains were no obstacle as the Word of God could not be chained. 

Remember Jesus Christ, risen: The Person of Christ was at the heart of Paul's preaching and faithful perseverance. His Birth, Death, and Resurrection offer compelling proof that he is the promised Messiah, the Son of God. (CCC 436-437) 


Ch 2:11 If we have died with him: This type of death occurs in three contexts. In Baptism, we die to our sins and rise to new life in Christ. Through our assiduous practice of the Faith, we die to different forms of selfishness as we begin to conform our lives to Christ's. In actual physical death, we obtain eternal life as a reward for our fidelity. (CCC 1010, 1263-1264, 1499-1500) 


Ch 2:14-26 Apostates and false teachers are fond of speculations that shake the faith of some, but the Church will always remain on a solid foundation. Church leaders must teach clearly and courageously to oppose error and strengthen the faithful against deception. Paul called for gentle persuasion to steer a person away from error, thus offering a loving admonishment in the form of a fraternal correction. This loving disposition calls for patience and refinement; anger, threats, and bitter zeal are not the ways of the Lord, nor do these means win people over to the truth. (CCC 931-934, 944-945, 2518)

Proverbs 31:1-9 The sayings of Lemuel comprise the final verses that depict a mother speaking to her son. The tribe of Massa was of the line of Ishmael, which was ethnically Arab rather than Jewish. The Arabs of that era had long been credited with the gift of wisdom. (CCC 1930)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you so much for this opportunity to hear your Word, to be shaped by your Will, and to find ourselves in your plan, find ourselves in the palm of your hand. Lord God, we just thank you. Help us to walk as faithful people, not as faithless people. You are faithful even when we are not. Help us to cast our cares upon you because you care for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”