Recognizing the Antichrist

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella

When a group of Temple Guards and Roman soldiers were led by Judas to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus, recall that the Apostles fled, leaving Jesus in the hands of those out to destroy Him.

The fear of the Apostles, manifested by their running away, turned out to be providential, since, if all of them had been captured, the three years of Jesus preparing Peter and the rest of them to carry out the beginning of His Mission to establish the Mystical Body of Christ -- the Church, would not have taken place. Nothing is impossible with God, Who can even use our weaknesses for ultimate good!

The Lenten liturgy teaches us that the redemption of all  mankind was to be attained by the sacrifice and obedience of Christ -- the Son of God -- Incarnate through His passion, death and resurrection.

This incident at the Garden of Gethsemane teaches us an important lesson: we must remove ourselves from any occasion or environment that would seek to destroy the life of Jesus within us.

Such would be found among those in our lives who have already lost their own religious faith (if they ever had any at all), and so now identified as any person, place, thing or idea that is other than Christ, which is found in those hostile to what Christ teaches and represents. In essence, when you actually see such people, you are witnessing what people look like when the Image of God is no longer viable within them who have become instruments of Satan -- the symbol of the spirit of the antichrist which is mentioned by Saint Paul: “I write to you…because you (know the truth)…Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ; whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist” (1 John 2:22); “…and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist (who)…is in the world…” (1 John 4:3). “Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist… If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works” (2 John 1:7f).

If we become ingrained with this deadly spiritual virus which is of the antichrist, and do not repent, and utilize the Sacrament of Penance, there will be eternal consequences when we enter before the judgment seat of God, as God reveals in Scripture: “…Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27).

Examples of those who have exchanged the image of God in their souls for the image of “other than God,” and thus exposing the spirit of the antichrist in themselves -- can be found throughout the gamut of sinful lifestyles, such as militant LBGT advocates; embryonic stem cell promoters -- corollaries of the culture of death, (as seen in those who champion abortion and euthanasia); but worst of all is the “other-than-God syndrome” found in those peudo-christians who replace their calling of being made in God’s Image, by making God “in their image!!”

This Lenten Season gives us the opportunity to look into ourselves and by acts of personal penance, almsgiving and prayer (especially when at Mass) -- by praying with the priest and being fully reverential and attentive of the sacredness of the prayers of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass -- (and thus refraining from one’s personal prayers of devotion during this ultimate prayer of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior).

Lent can become for us a grace-filled opportunity to make an assessment as to where we spiritually are before God, in preparation for that defining moment when we find ourselves before the judgment seat of God. Remember, not time but eternity is the destiny God has placed before us, as evidenced in the   Resurrection of the eternally glorified Body of Christ from the tomb -- teaching us that not time and not the tomb but  eternity is our destiny -- unlike time that has an end; eternity is forever -- where we will forever experience the reality of that judgment -- being one of eternal joy or eternal sorrow: eternal joy, where the heavenly Father sees and loves in us what He sees and loves in his Son; or eternal sorrow, when that beautiful image of God has been exchanged for the image of other than God -- the antichrist.

Tags: Clergy Corner, Fr. Robert
 

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