1:7. As Sodom and Gomorrha and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
1:8. In like manner, these men also defile the flesh and despise dominion and blaspheme majesty.
Blaspheme majesty... Speak evil of them that are in dignity; and even utter blasphemies against the divine majesty.
1:9. When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee.
Contended about the body, etc... This contention, which is no where else mentioned in holy writ, was originally known by revelation, and transmitted by tradition. It is thought the occasion of it was, that the devil would have had the body buried in such a place and manner, as to be worshipped by the Jews with divine honours. Command thee... or rebuke thee.
1:10. But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not: and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted.
1:11. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain: and after the error of Balaam they have for reward poured out themselves and have perished in the contradiction of Core.
Gone in the way, etc... Heretics follow the way of Cain, by murdering the souls of their brethren; the way of Balaam, by putting a scantal before the people of God, for their own private ends; and the way of Core or Korah, by their opposition to the church governors of divine appointment.
1:12. These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves: clouds without water, which are carried about by winds: trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots:
1:13. Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion: wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever.
1:14. Now of these Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints:
Prophesied... This prophecy was either known by tradition, or from some book that is since lost.
1:15. To execute judgment upon all and to reprove all the ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly: and for all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God.
1:16. These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking according to their own desires: and their mouth speaketh proud things, admiring persons, for gain's sake.
1:17. But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:
But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful, etc... He now exhorts the faithful to remain steadfast in the belief and practice of what they had heard from the apostles, who had also foretold that in aftertimes (lit.
in the last time) there should be false teachers, scoffing and ridiculing all revealed truths, abandoning themselves to their passions and lusts; who separate themselves from the Catholic communion by heresies and schisms. Sensual men... carried away and enslaved by the pleasures of the senses.
1:18. Who told you that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses.
1:19. These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.
1:20. But you, my beloved, building yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
1:21. Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting.
Building yourselves upon your most holy faith... Raising by your actions, a spiritual building, founded, 1st, upon faith; 2d, on the love of God; 3d, upon hope, whilst you are waiting for the mercies of God, and the reward of eternal life; 4th, joined with the great duty of prayer.
1:22. And some indeed reprove, being judged:
1:23. But others save, pulling them out of the fire. And on others have mercy, in fear, hating also the spotted garment which is carnal.
And some indeed repove being judged... He gives them another instruction to practice charity in endeavouring to convert their neighbour, where they will meet with three sorts of persons: 1st, With persons obstinate in their errors and sins; these may be said to be already judged and condemned; they are to be sharply reprehended, reproved, and if possible convinced of their error. 2d, As to others you must endeavour to save them, by pulling them, as it were, out of the fire, from the ruin they stand in great danger of. 3d, You must have mercy on others in fear, when you see them through ignorance of frailty, in danger of being drawn into the snares of these heretics; with these you must deal more gently and mildly, with a charitable compassion, hating always, and teaching others to hate the carnal garment which is spotted, their sensual and corrupt manners, that defile both the soul and body.
1:24. Now to him who is able to preserve you without sin and to present you spotless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1:25. To the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and magnificence, empire and power, before all ages, and now, and for all ages of ages. Amen.
Now to him, etc... St. Jude concludes his epistle with this doxology of praising God, and praying to the only God our Saviour, which may either signify God the Father, or God as equally agreeing to all the three persons, who are equally the cause of Christ's incarnation, and man's salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who, being God from eternity, took upon him our human nature, that he might become our Redeemer.
THE APOCALYPSE OF ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
In the first, second, and third chapters of this Book are contained instructions and admonitions which St. John was commanded to write to the seven bishops of the churches in Asia. And in the following chapters, to the end, are contained prophecies of things that are to come to pass in the Church of Christ, particularly towards the end of the world, in the time of Antichrist. It was written in Greek, in the island of Patmos, where St. John was in banishment by order of the cruel emperor Domitian, about sixty-four years after our Lord's Ascension.
Apocalypse Chapter 1
St. John is ordered to write to the seven churches in Asia. The manner of Christ's appearing to him.
1:1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John,
The things which must shortly come... and again it is said, ver. 3, The time is at hand... This can not be meant of all the things prophesied in the Apocalypse, where mention is made also of the day of judgment, and of the glory of heaven at the end of the world. That some things were to come to pass shortly, is evident, by what is said to the Seven Churches, chap. 2 and 3, Or that the persecutions foretold should begin shortly.
Or that these words signified, that all time is short, and that from the coming of Christ, we are now in the last age or last hour. See 1 John 2.18.
1:2. Who hath given testimony to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen.
1:3. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand.
1:4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace, from him that is and that was and that is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before his throne:
1:5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
1:6. And hath made us a kingdom, and priests to God and his Father. To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
1:7. Behold, he cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see him: and they also that pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth shall bewail themselves because of him. Even so. Amen.
1:8. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
I am Alpha and Omega... These are the names of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and signify the same as what follows: The beginning and the end: the first cause and last end of all beings: who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty... These words signify the true God only, and are here applied to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is to come again to judge the living and the dead.
1:9. I, John, your brother and your partner in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience in Christ Jesus, was in the island which is called Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus.
1:10. I was in the spirit on the Lord's day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
1:11. Saying: What thou seest, write in a book and send to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamus and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.
1:12. And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks:
1:13. And in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.