Who are we listening to? I mean who is our shepherd.
3 John 9-10 (NAB) “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to dominate, does not acknowledge us. Therefore, if I come, I will draw attention to what he is doing, spreading evil nonsense about us. And not content with that, he will not receive the brothers, hindering those who wish to do so and expelling then from the church.”
In John’s third letter we have an account were he details how one local church authority does not acknowledge the Apostle or others but prefers to dominate the situation himself.
In our own times, do we follow the successor of the apostles and most especially the successor of Peter? Or do we chose to follow personal favorites? (not that we cant have a favorite preacher but I mean at a more deeper theological and pastoral approach level) Do we choose a shepherd that suits our own interest and likes or the one given to us by God?
Diotrephes wanted to assume more authority than his local level position would allow. He even ignored an Apostles.
I think this happens today and even confess that I have much to improve as well.
For example, when Pope Francis sent out his encyclical Laudato Si’, did we mock it or accept it as a new way to serve Christ? Did we change our ways to follow Peter’s successor or did we find a Diotrephes who told us to ignore Francis and that all that environmental stuff.
Here is an example of what I mean. https://bustedhalo.com/life-culture/why-pro-lifers-should-love-pope-francis-new-encyclical
In this article we see how the pro-life movement is given a totally new avenue to serve Christ by Francis powerful reflections on nature. Unfortunate that this article was not the only opinion out there. Others saw that Francis’ emphasis on the environment would hurt the focus of the pro-life movement and that environmental protection was just a social secular justice issue with not much to do with Christ or his Church. Who do we listen to – The shepherd given by Christ or the Diotrephes of our own choosing?
If you have misgivings about Francis, step back but down the negative material and find some positive articles. You will be surprised at all the great things that he has/is done/doing.