The Name of Jesus and the Resistance to Antichrist

For several years I have been writing meditations on the readings or Gospel of the day according to the Novus Ordo calendar. This has resulted in a collection of meditations covering almost every day of the liturgical year. Now, in the year that is about to begin, I would like to include also the biblical readings of the traditional calendar. In order not to make the meditations too long, I will often not quote the complete readings, but only extracts, so that everyone can read the passages in their entirety for themselves.

According to the traditional calendar, today is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Lk 2:21

At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The name Jesus means “God saves” and expresses in a very simple way what God has done for our salvation through Himself. Through His Son, God rescued man from his desperate situation, who could never have freed himself from the chains of sin and death. For this, man needs the grace of God, who manifested Himself as man in the Messiah of all peoples.

In ancient times, the name of the Redeemer was commemorated with great reverence on the feast of the Circumcision of Jesus. Beginning in 1530, the Franciscans established a special feast in their order to spread devotion to the name of Jesus, before Pope Innocent XIII, at the request of Emperor Charles VI, established this feast for the entire Church.

Indeed, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” says St. Paul (Rom 10:13).

And St. Peter testifies: “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Thus the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, celebrated in the traditional rite, ushers in the New Year with the urgent message that salvation can be found only in Jesus Christ. This is a truth that is even more important to internalize today, because even in our Church it is increasingly obscured. Let us recall the ill-fated Abu Dhabi Declaration, which sought to place all religions on the same level, thus devaluing the most essential statements of Holy Scripture (in the following video I deal with this subject in more detail:

At this point, let us turn to meditate on today’s reading from the Novus Ordo.

1 Jn 2:22-28

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. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also.  Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is what he has promised us, eternal life. I write this to you about those who would deceive you; but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

A basic characteristic of the Antichrist is his denial of Jesus as the Son of God. This does not mean that he will always be immediately recognizable, but, as the Lord says, even the elect can be deceived (Mt 24:24). Relating this reading to the meditation on the Most Holy Name of Jesus, we can say that any relativization of the unique and singular character of Jesus for humanity already indicates that an anti-Christian spirit is at work. Wherever the confession of Jesus as Savior is weakened, even in the slightest way, the anti-Christian spirit can be perceived. This can be very subtle and is therefore not always a direct and open denial of the Lord, but often occurs “between the lines”, hidden and not explicit.

The advice of the apostle John is clear: we must not be deceived, but remain in the anointing, that is, in the Holy Spirit. For us, this means standing firm in Sacred Scripture and in the authentic Magisterium of the Church. This warning is all the more important because confusion has crept into the Church and the spirit of Antichrist is weakening it from within, even at the highest levels of the hierarchy. For this reason, St. John’s warning must not go unheeded. We can only resist the seductions of the Antichrist and his false prophet if we are rooted in the Word of God, if we hold fast to the authentic doctrine of the Church, if we walk seriously on the path of holiness and cultivate an intimate relationship with the Virgin Mary.

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