THE SERVANT GENERAL
2 John 4-9
“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking
in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father.”
(2 Jn 4). The early Church, just as today, was plagued by
false teaching, which made Christians go astray. John rejoiced
that some were still walking along the path of truth and obedience
to God. Today, only a small minority of Catholics still adhere
to truth and obedience. Many more are lapsed and non-practicing.
deceivers have gone out into the world” (2 Jn 7a). They
have deceived many in the Church and led them astray. Unfortunately,
these are not just the cults, not just the Christian sects,
but also teachers, theologians, seminary formators, clerics,
religious and bishops in the Catholic Church. Who are those
and what is their teaching?
major issue today is the whole area of human sexuality. The
world has already accepted contraception, divorce, abortion
and same-sex marriage. The Protestant Churches have done likewise.
Only the Catholic Church stands fast on orthodoxy. But the
pressures are there, and inside the Church, even at high levels,
are those who would go the way of so-called liberals, progressives
here is the truth: “Anyone who is so ‘progressive’
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have
God” (2 Jn 9a). “Progressive” here refers
to “one who goes ahead.” There were some gnostic
groups that held that the doctrine of the Christ come in the
flesh just to be a first step in belief, but which the more
advanced and spiritual believer now surpassed and abandoned
in his knowledge of the spiritual Christ. So John condemned
“those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming
in the flesh” (2 Jn 7b). The rejection of such a basic
doctrine resulted in a false faith, and thus one who teaches
such “is the deceitful one and the antichrist.”
(2 Jn 7c).
we have progressives too. They are rejecting two millennia
of Church teaching. While Catholics have always held as serious
wrongdoing such situations as cohabitation, divorce and sodomy,
progressives are accepting these, in varying degrees. Now
while bishops at the synod all profess orthodoxy and fidelity
to Church Magisterium, there are those who, in the name of
mercy and compassion, seek to “loosen” Church
discipline. They distinguish between Church teaching and pastoral
approaches, or between doctrine and practice. There are those
who would look to just appreciating the love between two people
living in without benefit of marriage, hoping that somehow
that would lead to sacramental marriage. There are those who
would give holy Communion to the divorced and remarried, even
as they remain in a state of objective wrongdoing. There are
those who would see good in and accept and even value the
focus has turned to man rather than God. All the talk is about
love, how if two persons, even unmarried, even of the same
sex, love each other, then everything is OK. Indeed God is
love, and the greatest Christian virtue is love. But “this
is love, that we walk according to his commandments”
(2 Jn 6a).
important, nay crucial, is observing the commandments of God?
In doing so, we are blessed. “Blessed those whose way
is blameless, who walk by the law of the Lord.” (Ps
In doing so, we are able to refrain from sin. “They
do no wrong; they walk in his ways.” (Ps 119:3).
doing so, we are assured of being on the right path. “May
my ways be firm in the observance of your statutes!”
doing so, we are assured of God’s abiding presence.
“I will observe your statutes; do not leave me all
alone.” (Ps 119:8).
doing so, we can see clearly to raising our children in
the Lord. “How can the young keep his way without
fault? Only by observing your words.” (Ps 119:9).
doing so, we are assured of joy. “I will find joy
in the way of your testimonies more than in all riches.”
Thus, in our quest for holiness, we should desire with all
our heart and strength to adhere to God’s commandments.
“With all my heart I seek you; do not let me stray from
your commandments.” (Ps 119:10). And so, with the liberal
and progressive trend in the world today, and this also infecting
our Church, we must strive to know the truth, as expressed
in our age-old teachings. “Open my eyes to see clearly
the wonders of your law.” (Ps 119:18).
Luke has an intriguing statement in today’s gospel reading:
“Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”
(Lk 17:36b). The counterpart passage in Matthew is as follows:
“Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
(Mt 24:28). Both are in the context of the end of time. Among
the many things happening then, “false messiahs and
false prophets will arise .... to deceive, if that were possible,
even the elect.” (Mt 24:24). Today many of the elect
are being deceived.
the name of false mercy and misplaced compassion, there are
some who want to alleviate the situation of Catholics who
are outside the mainstream, due to their own sinful condition.
Sin, repentance, salvation and hell are no longer spoken of,
but only “reaching out” and being “non-judgmental.”
But Jesus’ teaching is this: “Whoever seeks to
preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will
save it.” (Lk 17:33). Those who seek relief for those
Catholics who are in cohabitation, who have divorced and remarried
outside the Church, who are into same-sex relationships, are
just going to cater to their human existence, but in the end
will endanger their souls. Those however who adhere to God’s
commands, even in very difficult situations of suffering,
are those who lose their lives on earth but will save their
souls for all eternity.
will happen “in the days of the Son of Man” (Lk
17:26b)? Of two people, “one will be taken, the other
left.” (Lk 17:34b). One will be taken to meet the Lord
in the air, while the other, given relief from a sinful situation
in life on earth but missing the upward gaze, will remain.
If we look to Jesus’ commandment that “we have
had from the beginning: let us love one another” (2
Jn 5b), then how indeed do we love those in difficult pastoral
situations? By telling them it is all right for them to remain
where they are, hoping that some day they might change? Or
by telling them plainly that they are in sin (in a loving
manner of course), that they need to repent, and that the
mercy of God is precisely an invitation for them to repentance
and to renewed faith in Him? Indeed, it should be the Church
telling them: “this is the commandment, as you heard
from the beginning, in which you should walk.” (2 Jn
“progressive” might have the human person at heart,
but “does not have God.” Here is the only truth:
“whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and
the Son.” (2 Jn 9b).