THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
LIVING IN THE END TIMES – 24
Today’s reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-16
I have written a number of times about the end times, which
I believe we are already living in. Though I stress that it
could be another millennium before Jesus returns, or any time
before that. No one knows, but we need to be prepared. Now.
his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul cites two events that
will precede the second coming. “For unless the apostasy
comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed
to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called
god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple
of God, claiming that he is a god” (v.3b-4).
first one is already upon us. This is apostasy. Apostasy is
the turning away from, falling away, abandonment and rejection
of the faith. 99 of the 100 sheep are lost, outside the sheepfold
(the Church). Christian Western nations are now post-Christian,
not just turning away from the faith but becoming antagonistic
to the faith. We are losing Catholics by the dayto the
world, to sects and even to cults. Many Catholics, especially
in the Western world, are in favor of the culture of deathcontraception,
divorce, abortion and same-sex unions. Many Catholics who
can still be seen in Church are nominal or cultural. There
are many sexual-predator priests and those who violate their
vows, especially in the Western Church.
second event is much more enigmatic. It is not easy to understand,
and through the years there have been many speculations as
to who or what the lawless one, or the man of sin, is. The
NABRE in the footnote says that this depicts “human
self-assertiveness against God in the temple of God itself.
The lawless one represents the climax of such activity in
the account.” We already see in the world today, and
even within the Church, the move towards liberalism, which
basically is a focus on the individualhis rights and
his well-being. Oftentimes, this leads to a loss of focus
on God’s righteousness. Morality becomes subject just
to one’s conscience (often flawed) and not on objective
truths of the faith and the age-old teachings of the Church.
this is “human self-assertiveness against God.”
But now, it is also “in the temple of God itself.”
Many in our Church hierarchy are turning left and liberal.
Many priests have become sexual predators, with their victims
including seminarians, and doing their evil acts in Church
facilities. Pro-LGBT Masses are being held in parishes, with
the LGBT banner in the front of the Eucharistic table. Drag
queens pose with priests in the sanctuary.
not only are Catholics leaving the Church, but Catholics are
bringing the evil of Satan into the Church. Apostasy has come,
and the lawless one is more and more being revealed.
Why has apostasy come, and why are there many Catholics who
believe in the lawless one? Such is “the mystery of
lawlessness (that) is already at work.” (v.7a). The
coming of the lawless one “springs from the power of
Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie”
(v.9). The father of lies has been deceiving very many, causing
them to perish. How are they, including ministers of God,
deceived? Satan uses “every wicked deceit for those
who are perishing because they have not accepted the love
of truth so that they may be saved.” (v.10). Catholics
today have turned from the truth of the gospel. They accept
the lie and reject the truth. Bad has become good, and good
has become bad. What had always been bad and not accepted,
like abortion, divorce and same-sex unions, have now not only
been accepted but are being promoted. Even abortion is being
celebrated as a sacrament.
are Catholics perishing rather than being saved. “Therefore,
God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe
the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have
approved wrongdoing may be condemned.” (v.11-12). Such
Catholics believe the lie and thus stand condemned.
What are we to do? First, we must be thankful for what God
has done for us. “But we ought to give thanks to God
for you always, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose
you as the firstfruits for salvation through sanctification
by the Spirit and belief in truth.” (v.13). Because
of God’s great love, we are chosen, we are saved, we
are sanctified, we see and believe in what is true.
we are called to do His work, and in doing His work, we are
destined for greatness. “To this end he has also called
you through our gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus
Christ.” (v.14). We are to live the gospel and to share
the gospel. This is a glorious calling, as we do divine work,
the very work of Jesus.
“stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you
were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of
ours.” (v.15). In our Church, we have the age-old teachings
and the Magisterium. In our community, we have our formation
programs and many teachings, given orally or in writing. We
ought to know what is right and true. Live them out. We must
be able to recognize modernist and secular humanist ways,
including those promoted by ministers of the Church. Reject
them. And to help us grow in holiness, be faithful to the
Much is wrong in the world today and even within our Church.
But we always have our Lord Jesus. We have been saved in him.
We are to bring that salvation to the ends of the earth. We
do so in the strength of the Holy Spirit as God’s holy
our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has
loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope
through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them
in every good deed and word.” (v.16).