The Christian life is ultimately rewarding but we would be fooling ourselves if we believe that it will be easy. We are surrounded by those who would delight in weakening or even destroying our faith. Where are these dark influences? On television, in the media, on the lips of those who don’t want to live in a sacrificial way we hear the voices of selfishness, greed and sin without regret. It was the same in the early days of the church, as Paul reminds us in today’s reading from Acts.
At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
Paul called them wolves. They are still among us. Do we understand that behind their rejection of objective truth hides sharp teeth ready to devour us?
As in Paul’s day, today men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. Be vigilant my sisters and brothers and be faithful to the gospel of Jesus that brings us life!