Read 1 John 2:22-28, Ps. 98:1-4, John 1:19-28

“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)

We have just concluded our celebration of the Incarnation – God taking our human flesh. This celebration is the greatest event humanity has ever witnessed. If we take our time to think of it, it feels too good to be true. Indeed, many still do not believe that God took our flesh. There are many people (even today) who doubt that Jesus Christ is God. St. John refers to such persons as antichrists.

Apart from denying the truth about Christ, we are also antichrist when we disobey His commandments and show bad examples to others. For instance, a married man asked a lady out in church while the mass was ongoing, and his wife sat beside him. In shock, the lady asked him, “Don’t you fear God?” He responded: “Forget that thing.” In other words, God was just a “thing” to him.

We are against Jesus (anti-Christ) when we refuse to allow Christ’s words to govern our thoughts and actions. We are antichrists when, as men of God, we mislead our flock or fail to practice what we preach. We deny Christ when we refuse to use our position to advance the Gospel. John the Baptist rose to a certain position of social influence. He had become popular, attracting large crowds.

When you have influence, you also have power. 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 … I baptise 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). He diverted his followers’ attention to Jesus Christ.

Are you a content creator with thousands (or millions) of followers worldwide? Why not use that platform to promote the Gospel of Christ? And if you are scared of losing followers by doing so, it means you are yet to know Jesus, or perhaps you, too, are anti-Christ.

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 followed the monastic way of life for many years. He became the Patriarch of Constantinople and was a great theologian, defending the Catholic faith.

Like John the Baptist, these two saints, bishops, outstanding theologians, and doctors of the Church prepared the way for the Lord.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, may my life acknowledge you this year. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Doctors. Bible Study: 1 John 2:22-28, Ps. 98:1-4, John 1:19-28).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu