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2 posted on 11/16/2012 10:05:11 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 3 John 5-8

Praise for Gaius

[3] For I greatly rejoiced when some of the brethren arrived and testified to the
truth of your life, as indeed you do follow the truth. [4] No greater joy can I have
than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.

[5] Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren,
especially to strangers, [6] who have testified to your love before the church. You
will do well to send them on their journey as befits God’s service. [7] For they
have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen. [8] So we
ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth.


With great simplicity St John says why his paternal heart feels so happy — be-
cause Gaius, as his charity shows (vv. 5-8), is such a good-living man (vv. 3-4).

He uses a typically Semitic turn of phrase to describe Gaius’ upright life: ‘you fol-
low the truth.” In the Old Testament the Patriarchs are praised for “walking with
God” (cf., e.g. Gen 5:22, 24; 6:9). This image of the wayfarer took on great impor-
tance after the Exodus: the people of Israel by divine will made their way as pil-
grims to the Promised Land and in the course of that journey the great event of
the Covenant took place (cf. Ex 19:24). “Walking with God” means the same as
“fulfilling what the Covenant requires”, that is, the commandments (cf. 2 Jn 4).
With the coming of Christ, who said of himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and
the life” (Jn 14:6), it has become quite clear that walking in the truth means being
totally attached to the person of Christ: “live in him” (Col 2:6), “walk in the light”
(1 Jn 1:7), “follow the truth” (2 Jn 4), all mean the same sort of thing — living in
communion with Christ, being a genuine Christian in everything one thinks and

Gaius’ charity expressed itself in welcoming and helping the preachers sent by
John (in the early times of the Church itinerant missionaries helped to keep alive
the faith and promote solidarity among the scattered churches). They had set
out “for his sake”, that is, Christ’s (v. 7; cf. Acts 5:41; Phil 2:9-10; Jas 2:7). By
helping (even materially), Christians become “fellow workers in the truth” (v. 8)
and merit the reward promised by our Lord: “He who receives you receives me,
and he who receives me receives him who sent me”(Mt 10:40).

“Fellow workers in the truth”: the Second Vatican Council applies these words
to lay people when explaining how their apostolate and the ministry proper to
pastors complement each other. And it goes on: “Lay people have countless op-
portunities for exercising the apostolate of evangelization and sanctification. The
very witness of a Christian life, and good works done in a supernatural spirit, are
effective in drawing men to the faith and to God; and that is what the Lord has
said: ‘Let your light shine so brightly before men, that they may see your good
works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.’ (Mt 5:16).

“This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true
apostle is on the lookout for opportunities to announce Christ by word, either to
unbelievers to draw them towards the faith, or to the faithful to instruct them,
strengthen them and incite them to a more fervent life” (”Apostolicam Actuosi-
tatem”, 6).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 11/16/2012 10:31:16 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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