MEMORIAL OF ST. MARTIN OF TOURS, BISHOP
2 John 4-9
I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.
Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but may receive a full reward. Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
Psalm 119: 1-2, 10-11, 17-18
Happy are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
who seek him with their whole heart.
With my whole heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.
I treasure your word in my heart,
so that I may not sin against you.
Deal bountifully with your servant,
so that I may live and observe your word.
Open my eyes, so that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
In today’s scriptures we are warned against listening to false prophets and moving away from the clear truth of the gospel. St. John accounts the deceivers who go out and present false teachings as being, “progressive." There is a strong difference, though, between further understanding theology, and contradicting truth. At different points in time the Catholic church has developed her understanding in such areas like Marian theology. As we’ve come to more deeply understand her role, the church has delivered more complete teachings on her, but the truth of the gospel has never changed. Deceivers may present a message as an advancement, or progressive, view of faith, when really the message contradicts the truth. It is our responsibility as believers to be mature in our understanding of the gospel so that we may discern false prophets.
In the gospel, Jesus illustrates the impact of being deceived. Lot’s wife looked back at the ruins of Sodom. Her looking back doesn’t merely indicate curiosity, it represents doubt and being tied to the culture of Sodom. She wasn’t wholeheartedly pursuing God’s commandment, but wavered on it.
Now, our human nature is designed to question, and questioning is good. Questions have answers so when we struggle to comprehend God’s laws, it’s important to ask questions and find clarity. The scripture says, “ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find”. God encourages us to question and to seek. This questioning is actually more likely to also help us decipher between the truth and the lies of the enemy. When we are met with false doctrine, it is important that we ask, “does this align with God’s word?”, and appropriately test the spirits.
In today’s cultural climate, it is crucial that we discern well. Today, root yourself in the scripture and the truth of the gospel. When a new view is brought to you, test it to see if it affirms God’s word. Keep your guard up and your trust be in the Lord. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and His words will always draw you closer in relationship to Him.