“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)
St. John tell us today that anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ is not only a liar but an antichrist as well. How do we deny Jesus Christ? A married man was asking a lady out in church while the service was still ongoing and his wife was sitting just right beside him. In shock, the lady asked him, “Don’t you fear God?” He responded by saying: “Forget that thing.” Even though he had just recited the creed and participated actively in the singing and dancing, God was just a “thing” to him.
We deny Christ by refusing to allow Christ’s words to govern our thoughts and actions. We deny Christ when we behave as if Jesus is not real. We deny Christ when we refuse to use our position, wealth and political influence in the society advance the cause of Christ. I wonder why a Christian would be in power wouldn’t attempt to use his pollical office to evangelize but as soon as a non-Christian gets into the same position, it would be clear how much passion he devotes to advancing his religion.
John the Baptist rose to a certain position of social influence. He had become popular attracting crowds to himself. When you have influence, you also have power, you can easily attract whatever you desire; be it money, fame or glory. But at the height of his glory, John the Baptist said: “I am not the Christ…. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said. … I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1:20-27).
Most of our celebrities (musicians, actors, social media influencers, successful business icons etc.) are Christians but how many of them use their position of influence to promote Christ? How many of them would speak like John the Baptist? Many of them started out in the church, but have now turned their backs on Christ. They have become antichrists for the sake of the fame and glory promoting immorality by their work. Failure to live out the Gospel values amounts to denying Christ and being antichrist.
When those of us who claim to be men and women of God, (ordained or not) do not practice what we preach, we are also antichrists. Today we celebrate two great saints, Basil and Gregory. Born in Caesarea, Cappadocia (Turkey) in 329, St. Basil followed the monastic way of life. As a powerful preacher, he vigorously fought the Arian heresy. Born in the same year (329), St. Gregory of Nazianzen was a friend of Basil, and also followed the monastic way of life for many years. He became Patriarch of Constantinople and was a great theologian, defending the Catholic faith. These two saints, bishops, outstanding theologians and doctors of the Church, like John the Baptist prepared the way for Lord.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may my life acknowledge you this year. Amen.
. Bible Study: 1st John 2:22-28, Psalm 98, and John 1:19-28).