‘For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until

the one   who now restrains it is removed’ (2 Thes 2:7). What is

this  mystery of lawlessness? Who is restraining him? Lawless one,

according to St Paul is  another name of Antichrist who is  waiting

to  reveal  himself in the  days preceding the  glorious

second coming of Jesus  Christ. The Scripture says; ’The coming of

the  lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power,

signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are

perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved’ (2 Thess.

2:9-10).  If you are skeptical  about the imminent second coming

of  Jesus Christ and yet  claim to be  a Catholic, we 

would  suggest you  read the  statements of Ss. Pope Paul VI and

Pope John Paul II. They  had given us  warnings in unequivocal 

words that the signs of the   end times are  unfolding before our eyes.

‘The Son of God was  revealed for this purpose, to destroy

the works of the devil’ (1 Jn 3:8). We read that one of the most important

ministries that  Jesus performed was  delivering the people

from  evil forces. He ascended into heaven  after entrusting this

vital ministry of casting away  evil spirits to his disciples. Even today,

the Church continues this ministry using the authority handed over to her 

through the uninterrupted chain of  laying of hands. The devil

cannot  stand before Christ and he should not be able to  stand

before  Christ’s mystical  body too. As long as the Church is active

in this   world, Satan finds it difficult to roam around  as he

wishes. Antichrist, the  human face of  Satan too will face this

challenge  from the Church. As long as the Church is in the field, 

it is difficult for him  to  execute his diabolic plans  to the  extent he  expects.

The devil knows for sure that  Jesus Christ is present in the

Holy Eucharist. Unlike many Christians who  doubt the real presence of

Jesus Christ in the  Blessed Sacrament, Satan has  absolutely no

doubts about it. It is then natural that his first   target  will be

to stop the  celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and the  easiest way to

attack the  Holy Eucharist is to strike the  priests who are  

authorized to celebrate it. When we start  viewing things from this

perspective, it is not difficult to  identify the  forces behind the concerted attacks  against priests and priesthood.

Deliverance services   are special ministries  conducted

by  priests. It is sad that  the number of priests who venture into

this  most essential  ministry  is  coming down gradually.

As a result, deliverance ministries are  becoming inaccessible to many. A time

when  deliverance ministries and even  Holy Mass is difficult

to  find  was a distant possibility  of any Christian till very

recently. Today we are living in a time where this nightmare has become a

reality. We should not be  surprised to see  the discontinuation of

the  regular offering – the celebration  of Holy Eucharist-   in

our days. It is not a mere possibility, but a  foregone conclusion. When

it happens,  the one thing that restrains the  man of lawlessness from revealing himself to the world is  getting removed.

Keep your eyes and ears open, because he is coming  with ‘a powerful delusion leading them to believe what is false’ (2 Thess 2:10). He will use all power, signs, wonders and every kind of wickedness to ensnare  us. As Christians, we are not  expected to look around for miracles, nor are we expected to stand at street corners exclaiming at the  wonders that he performs. We know the reason. Every miracle need not be from God. The Scripture  warns  us to  know the tree from its fruit. Our generation should take this warning  with all its seriousness lest those falsities will lead us to a destination that  God never wanted us to be in. 

John the Apostle has given us an essential clue for distinguishing the trees planted by our Father and those weeds sown by the enemy. ‘Every spirit that does not  confess Jesus is not from God, And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world’ (1 Jn 4:3). 

This is the litmus test; confessing Jesus! Celebrating Jesus as a prophet or virtuous  teacher or revolutionary or social reformer has nothing to  do with confessing Jesus as God. Confessing Jesus means celebrating him as the  Son of God, the one and only Savior and redeemer of  mankind, and believing that he  died on the cross for our sins, and that  he rose from the dead on the third day, and that he sits at the right hand of the Father, and  that he will come again to  judge the living and the dead. To pass the test we should also  proclaim our faith. 

Let us introspect and find out which spirit is leading us. Those who are in Christ remain there firmly. Those who are not in  Christ turn to Christ. Those who are for Christ are assured of a future glory that is beyond our imagination, but as for now they  are earmarked for persecution at the hands of  men controlled by the  spirit of Christ’s arch enemy.

The prophet says; ‘ From that time the regular offering is taken away and the abomination that  desolates is set up, there shall be one  thousand two hundred ninety days. Happy are those who persevere and attain the  thousand three hundred thirty-five days’ (Dan 12:11-12).

Let anyone with ears to hear listen.