Many Catholics today are desperate to hear words of encouragement and direction from the bishops, the successors to the apostles. But what if I told you that we have such words from an actual apostle?
The Epistle of St. Jude is written by the most obscure of the New Testament writers. The letter itself is also obscure, tucked in the New Testament between the Apostle John’s three letters and his Book of Revelation. It is never included in the Sunday readings in either the Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form calendars, and it is included only once every other year in the weekday readings in the Ordinary Form (the Saturday of the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time in Year II, if you’re wondering). So you’ll be forgiven if you are not familiar with the epistle.
Yet St. Jude’s short letter reads as though it was written by a concerned bishop today addressing our present crisis. And in one sense, we can say it is, for all Scripture is timeless, and the Holy Spirit inspires it in such a way that it is always applicable to our times. We can see that this mystery is abundantly clear in the case of the Epistle of St. Jude.