So then, as you received Jesus as Lord and Christ, now live your lives in him, be rooted in him and built up on him, held firm by the faith you have been taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.
Make sure that no one captivates you with the empty lure of a ‘philosophy’ of the kind that human beings hand on, based on the principles of this world and not on Christ. In him, in bodily form, lives divinity in all its fullness, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every sovereignty and ruling force. In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision performed, not by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your natural self. This is circumcision according to Christ.You have been buried with him by your baptism; by which, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and uncircumcised in body: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us every one of our sins. He has wiped out the record of our debt to the Law, which stood against us; he has destroyed it by nailing it to the cross; and he has stripped the sovereignties and the ruling forces, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.
The reminder of the Apostle from today’s reading is no less important to us Christians in the present time than when the Apostle Paul felt called to exhort the Christians in Colossae to remain faithful to the Lord and the traditional faith.
Again and again, the faith is endangered by other influences and experiences a relativization or distortion. But St. Paul reminds us that in Jesus Christ alone the whole fullness of God is truly present. These are statements that come from the true knowledge of God and which are entrusted to the Church. They therefore have a very different character and value from human traditions and speculations of all kinds.
False teachings endanger faith, because they come from a “different spirit” and lead people astray.
We have to make a good distinction between people who are still searching for God and who made some spiritual experiences in their search until they find God like St. Augustine who evaded the errors of previous spiritual systems through a true conversion and people who know the faith. The difference ist that Paul speaks to the believers, who may in danger to go away from the true faith.
This situation also asks us who try to follow the Lord faithfully. We must not turn a blind eye to the fact that in our Holy Church false doctrines are common, which are not according to the faith given to us, but convey one’s own ideas.
We should not lend our ears to them, because the poison of the false doctrine can penetrate us if we do not clearly reject it. In fact, such false teachers should be exhorted by the competent ecclesial authority and should in no way be able to continue to spread their errors in the name of the Church. But – God be lamented – this kind of pastoral responsibility is happening less and less for the faithful. The false teachers can continue.
If in Christ alone the full fullness of God truly dwells, then all other religions in different ways still have a considerable deficiency and need the proclamation of faith – and of course especially those people who do not yet have faith. It would be a grave failure of charity to withhold the full message of faith, apart from the fact that the Lord’s mission would not be fulfilled.
God wants people to come to know the true faith and has sent us His Son to do so. That is why God cannot actively want the diversity of religions in the same way, such as the diversity of men and women. It is not conceivable that the Lord would like to leave people in errors or incomplete in the knowledge of God.
The adherence to the traditional faith and the “remaining in Christ” is the true protection against all possible ways of seduction. Remaining in Christ means keeping His commandments, receiving the sacraments in the right way, deeply internalize the word of God, walking upright and persistently the path of sanctification. This means that we learn to listen to the guidance of the Spirit of God and not follow without to proove the inclinations of our human nature.
It is valuable that the Apostle once again reminds us of the value of our faith, so that we do not fall into the general relativization that is customary around us and also penetrates the Church. To hold on to the fullness and beauty of our faith does not mean devaluing other people and their faith.
Instead, it is simply fidelity to Christ that does not allow us to fall back into pagan practices, lends the ear to doctrines that cannot invoke Christ. Nor can we relativize the truth of the Catholic faith in favour of another religion or a corresponding system, as exists, for example, in Masonic conceptions.
The proclamation of faith and staying in Christ is a mission of God, which we fulfill with the grace of God in humility and love. We do not testify ourselves and our philosophy, but Christ, who has wiped out the record of our debt to the Law on the cross and has disarmed the princes and powers.