Be More Like Christ, Not ‘Anti-Christ’

Jesus Christ PrayingI remember when I was growing up I used to be fascinated, yet afraid of the end times. I used to watch those shows about Nostradamus and his prophesies regarding various apocalyptic events he said would occur, and I remember his predictions of the three antichrists – those individuals who would rise to power and be beloved by their people, and then lead to catastrophic death and destruction.

He is said to have predicted Napolean Bonaparte as the first antichrist, leading to the rise of the French empire and widespread wars and destruction. The second antichrist he is said to have predicted was Adolf Hitler, who again, left a path of widespread death and destruction culminating in World War II. And the third antichrist is supposedly among us yet to be exposed. I remember being scared, wondering who this third antichrist would be and when they would expose themselves. Would that mean the end of the world? What would it be like? Where would it occur?

I was in my teens, and unfortunately back then, my faith had not really yet evolved, and on top of that, I was very curious. As world events would unfold over the years, I would think to myself, is this the time? And then I would think, would Jesus really come and save us? Would He come down from Heaven and fight and overcome this third antichrist, ending all evil? Lots of good things for a high school kid to contemplate.

Today, I look at this from a different angle. So many people online and in media continue to be enamored with things like this – Nostradamus, the Bible code, and other “prophets” simply in order to gain viewers and sell books or get attention. So many people waste time wondering and worrying about what the future will hold and searching for signs as to what will happen, that they lose sight of the present day and what it right in front of them. People have become so infatuated with trying to identify who these antichrists are and when this third one may identify his/her self, that they lose sight of the fact that it may have already been exposed in a quieter way.

In the first reading, John speaks of antichrists, saying:

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour.”

Perhaps its not one antichrist, or two, or even three, but many. They are everywhere. Look at the world. Sure, Napolean and Hitler both lead to unfathomable amounts of death and destruction, and there is no shortage of candidates in todays world who could be this third antichrist. But when looking at what St. John is saying in his first letter, he is saying the antichrists are numerous, and they came from us. They are among us.

“They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.”

Take one look at the world and read the front page of any newspaper or online news website – the world is filled with antichrists. There is so much death, hate, pride, anger, greed, destruction, and sexual perverseness in this world that is all “anti-to-Christ”. And we are all a part of it. So while we may focus on the TV shows and books that try to predict who these people are in this world, who the antichrists are and who will lead to massive destruction, perhaps we’re looking in the wrong direction. Perhaps we’re looking in the wrong place. Perhaps we need to look in the mirror, and look all around us.

You see, this is the goal of Satan that we focus so much on identifying and eliminating one evil that we overlook those evils that may be all around us, and within us, that might be a little more subtle. What Napolean did was destructive. What Hitler did was horrifying, and what ISIS, or what countless other terrorist regimes around the world are doing today is downright brutal.

But what we tolerate in our so-called advanced, free and democratic societies in the name of freedom and tolerance is just as horrifying, especially because it has happened so quietly. Abortion, Contraception, Pornography – All contributing to the degradation of the dignity of women, and what it means to be a woman. Giving into greed, and our selfish pride all at the expense of our youth – All contributing to the degradation of fathers and our sons. This is all just as horrifying. It may not be as immediate and shocking, but it is devastating to a society nonetheless.

The antichrists are among us. We are them. We are all sinners and we do things and say things in this world that are truly anti-to-Christ. We know the way, and we’ve been taught the way, either from birth, or more recently for some of us. As John said in his gospel today:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

And then God came in the form of His son, which we still celebrate during this Christmas season, but we still sometimes choose to go against Him. We still choose to move away from Him.

As you read this it is New Years Eve, and we are facing the end of another year. It is the last hour. What has this year been for you? Have you been Christ-like this year and chosen to do His will and be like Him amidst all your trials? Against what may be more popular? Or have you given in to the world around you and chose to do things that were anti-to-Christ? Did you make choices that you knew were wrong and regret?

The good news is, it’s a new year! It’s a new day! We are still celebrating Christmas and the new beginning that God presented for us.

“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”

God sent us His son to show us the truth and to be our light. We can start anew and seek to be more like Him. We can continue to embrace the Sacraments to receive His grace and become more like Christ. We can choose to ask forgiveness and to make a fresh start. And this isn’t just with January 1st and the start of a new year, but we as Catholics have the opportunity to do this any time we need through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We can receive His Body and Blood any day we want to, and come more in communion with Him. Again, this is our gift.

I think back to those days when I was younger and those people today who wonder about the end times and try to predict the future. Are there evils in this world? Of course. Major evils.

But I now think back to what a wise Man once said – “beware of false prophets…”, and “don’t worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for day is its own evil.” Some day, the end times may come. But if we seek God’s truth and seek to be more like Jesus as opposed to not-like Him, well, that’s all the God asks of us, and all that we need to worry about. Lets pray that 2015 is a blessing filled year for each of us and that we all choose to be more like Christ.

About the Author

My name is Joe LaCombe, and I am a writer in Indianapolis, Indiana in the USA. My amazing wife Kristy and I have been married for 15 years and we have an awesome little boy, Joseph, who is in 1st Grade! We are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carmel, Indiana where we volunteer with Adult Faith Formation, most recently with the marriage enrichment ministries. To see adults, and married couples embrace the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is a beautiful thing, and being able to tap into my experiences and bring the message of God to people through the written word is a passion of mine. I am an avid runner! I love to run and be out in the nature that God created, so you will find me running not only on sunny days, but rainy days, and even snow! I love to train for and compete in distance races, and find a deep spirituality in running, and I see distinct parallels between running and spirituality and life. I am excited and extremely blessed to be able to contribute to this website and look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences!

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  1. Lord help me to be more Christ-like than anti-christ. Help us to know the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Amen

  2. I enjoyed your reflection on today’s readings. Last year I completed the RCIA program in my Parish and feel blessed to be called to a new way of life. I had to give up running for the bicycle, but find a comparable joy and spirituality in exercise – a focused time to contemplate the The Word and the gifts provided to me by God and how to use them most effectively in service of others. Thanks for taking time to explain things so clearly. It is hard to look at myself as an antichrist as compared to Hilter or Bonaparte – but after reading this, I can see clearly their is no need for distinction. It is what it is. I have the option to choose!

  3. Thank you for the comment Brad. I know, when I was writing it I was thinking, wow, this is a pretty bold statement! But when digging deeper into it, well, I think we all need to pause for self reflection regularly and really think about the choices we make and stay close to Christ. I know I sure do… Anyway, hope you have a blessed New Year, and stay the course – both in life and on the bike! :)

  4. I would like to thank you Joe and everyone there at A Catholic Moment
    for taking the time to write and sharing these beautiful reflections with us.
    You are all truly allowing the Light of Christ shine through you , which is what
    the world needs now . May The Lord bless all of you and your families and may
    his Holy Spirit continue to guide and inspire you when writing these reflections. Have a blessed New Year!!

  5. Thank you Rick, and everyone who has commented on this thread, for your sentiments! It is truly a blessing to be able to write for all of you, and it is so nice to hear from people who enjoy our reflections and get something out of them. I think I truly speak for everyone here at A Catholic Moment that this is truly a calling of ours, and we are very passionate about sharing the message of Christ in a relatable way, every day. I think we get just as much out of this as well. Comments such as this just confirm what we already knew – that we are doing the right thing and that we are following God will and trying to restore a little light to this world. Thank you and God Bless!

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