ST. JUDE is known mainly as the author of the New Testament Epistle of Jude. This letter was probably written before the fall of Jerusalem, between the years of 62 and 67 A.D. In his letter Jude denounces the heresies of that early time and warns the Christians against the seduction of false teaching.
Jude urges his readers to defend the deposit of Christ’s doctrine that had been closed by the time he wrote his epistle, and to remember the words of the apostles spoken somewhat before.
He speaks of the judgment to come upon the heretics who are living evil lives and condemns the worldly-minded, the lustful, and ‘those who cultivate people for the sake of gain.” He encourages Christians to remain steadfast in the faith and foretells that false teachers, leading wicked lives and ridiculing religion, will arise, but that they will be punished.
To the pride of the wicked he opposes the humble loyalty of the Archangel Michael. He encourages the Christians to build a spiritual edifice by living lives founded upon faith, love of God, hope, and prayer. He encourages the practice of love of neighbor; he urges Christians to endeavor to convert the heretics by the virtues of their lives. St. Jude concluded the letter with a prayer praising God for the Incarnation, by means of which the eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ, took upon Himself our human nature and redeemed mankind.
After an Introduction (vv. 1-4), the first section (vv. 5-19) may be described as a warning against false teachers. The second section (vv. 20-23 is admonitions for Christians and (vv. 24-25), Conclusion.
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to the called who have been loved in God the Father and preserved for Jesus Christ:
Mercy and peace and charity be given to you in abundance.
Beloved, while I was making every endeavor to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the Faith once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain men have stealthily entered in, who long ago were marked out of this condemnation, ungodly men who turn the grace of God into wantonness and disown our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
WARNING AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS
But I desire to remind you, though once and for all you have come to know all things that Jesus, who saved the people from the land of Egypt, the nest time destroyed those who did not believe.
And the angels also who did not preserve their original state, but forsook their abode, he has kept in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgement of the great day.
Just as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighboring cities which like them committed sins of immorality and practiced unnatural vice, have been made an example, undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
In like manner of these men also defile the flesh; disregard authority, deride majesty.
Yet when Michael the Archangel was fiercely disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, he did not venture to bring against him an accusation of blasphemy, but said, “May the Lord rebuke thee.”
But these men deride whatever they do not know; and the things they know by instinct like the dumb beast, become for them a source of destruction.
Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and have rushed on thoughtlessly into the error of Balaam for the sake of gain, and have perished in the rebellion of Core
These men are stains on their feats, banqueting together without fear, looking after themselves; clouds without water, carried about by the winds; trees in the fall, unfruitful, twice dead, uprooted;
wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom the storm of darkness has been reserved forever.
Now of these also Henoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold the Lord has come with thousands of his holy ones
to execute judgement upon all, and to convict all the impious of all their impious works, and of all the hard things that impious sinners have spoken against him.”
These are grumbling murmurers walking according to their lusts. And haughty in speech, they cultivate people for the sake of gain.
But as for you, beloved, be mindful of the words that have been spoken beforehand by the apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who kept saying to you that at the end of time there will come scoffers, walking impiously according to their desires.
There are they who set themselves apart, sensual men, not having the Spirit.
ADMONITIONS FOR CHRISTIANS
But as for you, Beloved, build up yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto life everlasting.
And some who are judge, reprove;
but others, save, snatching them from the fire. And to others be merciful with fear, hating even the garment which is soiled by the flesh.
Now to Him who is able to preserve you without sin and to set you before the presence of his glory, without blemish, in gladness,
to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, belong glory and majesty, dominion and authority, before all time, and now and forever.
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