We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly,
or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.
Let no one deceive you in any way. (2 Thes 2:1-3a)
There are many people in the world who practice the art of deception.
We have heard about the disreputable people in sales who promise potential customers all sorts of things and, when the people purchase their products, do not stand by anything said.
We have heard about cult figures who gather a large following around themselves. In the process, they often claimed to be following the Lord who would speak to them personally. Oftentimes, these communities ended in disaster, sometimes in death.
We have heard about the elderly being bilked out of their entire savings because someone promised to have the ideal way of securing their financial future, only to run off with their finances.
We have heard many examples about what happens when people are deceived.
I would like to say that deception was a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, I cannot. Deception is as old as our recorded history.
In our faith, deception is as old as the story of Adam and Eve when the serpent deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus causing original sin to enter the world.
The great deceiver wants to lead us all astray. He would be quite pleased to see the entire world reject Jesus.
Knowing that deception is rife in our world, let us heed the words of St. Paul and do all that we can to keep from being deceived.
FAITH ACTION: While in prayer today, ask the Lord to give you the gift of discernment, so that you are not deceived by those who attempt to mislead the faithful.