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Thursday, December 31, 1998

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Pope St. Sylvester I

1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96
John 1:1-18

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the antichrist

"Children, it is the final hour." —1 John 2:18

Children, in this "final hour" on the last day of the year, the Church reminds us that the Antichrist is coming. The Antichrist is "the man of lawlessness...that son of perdition and adversary who exalts himself above every so-called god proposed for worship, he who seats himself in God's temple and even declares himself to be God" (2 Thes 2:3-4). "This lawless one will appear as part of the workings of Satan, accompanied by all the power and signs and wonders at the disposal of falsehood" (2 Thes 2:9). The Antichrist will be so successful that he will lead a mass apostasy (2 Thes 2:3). "Because of the increase of evil, the love of most will grow cold" (Mt 24:12). "Indeed, had the Lord not shortened the period, not a person would be saved. But for the sake of those He has chosen, He has shortened the days" (Mk 13:20).

Will we reject the seductions of the Antichrist? If we resist the temptations of the antichrists that are already in our midst (1 Jn 2:18), we are more likely to overcome the final, ultimate Antichrist.

"Pray that we may be delivered from confused and evil men. For not every man has faith, but the Lord keeps faith; He it is Who will strengthen you and guard you against the evil one" (2 Thes 3:2-3).

Prayer:  Father, on this last day of the year, complete all that You wanted to do in me in 1998. I repent of all my sins, forgive all offenses against me, obey all Your commands, and receive all Your graces.

Promise:  "Of His fullness we have all had a share — grace upon grace." —Jn 1:16, our transl.

Praise:  Pope St. Sylvester led the Church through one of her greatest trials and greatest triumphs: the persecution before and the freedom after the conversion of Constantine.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998