The Letter Of Saint Jude The Apostle To All Christians
Saint Jude, who wrote this Letter, was one of the twelve apostles and a brother of Saint James the Less. The time of its composition is uncertain, though it may be inferred from verse 17, that few or none of the apostles were then living except Saint John. It is generally assumed that this Letter was written between AD 79 and 80. According to tradition the apostle Saint John was the last to die. The author of the Letter inveighs (attack vehemently in words) against false teachers and their wicked practices. He exhorts the faithful to stand strong in the faith which has been entrusted to them and to beware of heretics.
From Jude, servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James; to those who are called, to those who are dear to God the Father and kept safe for Jesus Christ, wishing you all mercy and peace and love.
The reason for this letter
My dear friends, at a time when I was eagerly looking forward to writing to you about the salvation that we all share, I have been forced to write to you now and appeal to you to fight hard for the faith which has been once and for all entrusted to the saints. Certain people have infiltrated among you, and they are the ones you had a warning about, in writing, long ago, when they were condemned for denying all religion, turning the grace of our God into immorality, and rejecting our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
The false teachers: the certainty of their punishment
I should like to remind you - though you have already learnt it once and for all - how the Lord rescued the nation from Egypt, but afterwards he still destroyed the men who did not trust him. Next let me remind you of the angels who had supreme authority but did not keep it and left their appointed sphere; he has kept them down in the dark, in spiritual chains, to be judged on the great day. The fornication of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other nearby towns was equally un-natural, and it is a warning to us that they are paying for their crimes in eternal fire.
Their violent language
Nevertheless these people are doing the same: in their delusions they not only defile their bodies and disregard authority, but abuse the glorious angels as well. Not even the archangel Michael. when he engaged in argument with the devil about the corpse of Moses, dared to denounce him in the language of abuse: all he said was, "Let the Lord correct you". But these people abuse anything they do not understand; and the only things they do understand - just by nature like unreasoning animals - will turn out to be fatal to them.
Their vicious behavior
May they get what they deserve, because they have followed Cain; they have rushed to make the same mistake as Balaam and for the same reward; they have rebelled just as Korah did - and share the same fate. The are a dangerous obstacle to your community meals, coming for the food and quite shamelessly only looking after themselves. They are like clouds blown about by the winds and bringing no rain, or like barren trees which are then uprooted in the winter and so are twice dead; like wild sea waves capped with shame as if with foam; or like shooting stars bound for eternity of black darkness. It was with them in mind that Enoch, the seventh patriarch from Adam, made his prophecy when he said, "I tell you, the Lord will come with his saints in their tens of thousands, to pronounce judgement on all mankind and to sentence the wicked for all the wicked things they have done, and for all the defiant things said against him by irreligious sinners." They are mischief-makers, grumblers governed only by their own desires, with mouths full of boastful talk, ready with flattery for other people when they see some advantage in it.
But remember, my dear friends, what the apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ told you to expect. "At the end of time" they told you, "there are going to be people who sneer at religion and follow nothing but their own desires and wickedness." These unspiritual and selfish people are nothing but mischief-makers.
The duties if love
But you, my dear friends, must use your holy faith as your foundation and build on that, praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves within the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life. When there are some who have doubts, reassure them; when there are some to be saved from the fire, pull them out; but there are others to whom you must be kind with great caution, keeping your distance even from outside clothing which is contaminated by vice.
Glory be to him who can keep you from falling, and bring you safe to his glorious presence, innocent and happy. To God, the only God, who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord, be the glory, majesty, authority and power, which he had before time began, now and for ever. Amen.
Source: Society of Saint Paul.