Saturday of the Eight Week of Ordinary Time

To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you unblemished and exultant,
in the presence of his glory,
to the only God, our savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord
be glory, majesty, power, and authority

from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.

The very brief letter of Saint Jude, which was meant to herald a longer epistle about our common salvation, appears only once in our Lectionary. Perhaps the saint dashed it off in a hurry – perhaps the currier was leaving immediately – and had time only to warn those who are called beloved in God the Father to avoid certain blemishes on your love feasts.

Apparently, even during the closing days of the first century, this church had won enough respectability to attract undesirables. The enemy was no longer outside the church.

I have seen that happen to Alcoholics Anonymous. Though members strive for anonymity and integrity, some people come straight from the tavern, attend the meeting stinking of booze, and return to the tavern. Why they do this no one knows, but they seem incapable of respecting either the principles or the goals of AA. They’re the first to tell the town who attended the meeting, though they were consistently reminded, “What you hear here, who you see here, stays here!”

As you well know, hideous characters like that have also penetrated every nook and cranny of the Church. They live in rectories, presbyteries, friaries and convents. Sometimes we are rid of these pedophiles and thieves only by calling the police and sending them off to prison.

Saint Jude urges his people
On those who waver, have mercy; save others by snatching them out of the  fire; on others have mercy with fear, abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.

In other words, when you see such unsavory types in the Church, be civil ("have mercy") but do not associate with them, and don't let your children near them. Nothing good can come of it. 

The saint has a clear understanding of those who belong to Christ. They Keep (themselves) in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Because they are faithful, he assures them God will…
keep you from stumbling
and… present you unblemished and exultant,

in the presence of his glory,

Perhaps Saint Jude's letter is placed at this point in the New Testament because his closing doxology sounds so much like the songs in the next book, Revelation:

to the only God, our savior,through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.