Beware of false
prophets and false Christs
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, email@example.com
December 14, 2022
WE are reminded of this
warning in that gospel episode where St. John the Baptist told his
disciples to ask Christ if he truly was the “who is to come, or
should we look for another?” (cfr. Lk 7,19)
And the response of Christ
was classic. “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the
blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the
deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news
proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at
me.” (Lk 7,22-23)
Since we are patterned
after Christ, we should expect that we would somehow share the
prophetic, priestly and kingly powers of Christ. This obviously
would be a work in progress in life, requiring a lifelong process
that would involve a lot of things.
While each one of us can
claim to be “another Christ,” if not “Christ himself,” we should not
forget that we cannot yet be definitively, fully and immutably
“another Christ” for as long as we are still living in this vale of
tears, where we are still being tested.
We may manifest our
identification with Christ to a greater or lesser degree. But we
should avoid claiming to be fully Christ already, since we are still
in some drama where we can expect some measure of success as well as
failure in our effort to be “another Christ.”
We should be wary then
when somebody would already claim that he is Christ himself.
Obviously, we should still love and care for him. He is still a
brother of ours. And if we have a chance to talk to him, we should
try to explain things to him calmly and charitably.
In this, Christ himself
warned us: “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets and
shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt 24,24) In another
instance, he said: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in
sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” (Mt 7,15)
We have to be wary of
these characters because the world is now awash with false prophets
and false Christs. It even looks like we have an infestation.
Whether we look at the fields of politics, business, the sciences,
sports and entertainment, and yes, even in religion, we can readily
find dishonest and corrupt leaders, false prophets and lying
In this life, we can only
be disciples of Christ struggling, with God’s grace, to be like him.
We may strive as best that we can to identify ourselves with him to
such an extent that we can say “I am like Christ,” but we can never
replace Christ himself. The fullness of our identification of Christ
which we are expected and empowered to be, can only take place with
and in Christ, but never replacing Christ.
As disciples and
ambassadors of Christ, we can only do things always in reference to
Christ and in the name of Christ, and never just on our own. And
like Christ, we do things with humility, patience, charity and
mercy, compatible with being precise in our teaching. We would know
how to blend the exclusivity of truth with the inclusivity of
We would know how to be
both active and contemplative, bold and yet knowing how to pass
unnoticed, teaching the truth always in charity.