Within a few short weeks we will be in the peak of our annual holiday buying season. Many people will be scurrying to and fro, frantically looking for the perfect Christmas gift. Sadly, many people this year will purchase, unbeknownst to them, counterfeit products and merchandise. They will believe that they are buying the genuine article only to later discover that they have in fact been deceived and have purchased a counterfeit. Jesus tells us in our Gospel this weekend: “do not let yourselves be deceived”. Although this gospel does have some alarming imagery sprinkled throughout, we have Jesus’ personal promise that He will be with us in the midst of these trials and tribulations. He will infuse us with His wisdom and His righteousness so that we will be able to stand firm even in the midst of adversity. As long as we are in a state of grace, we need not fear anything. We must recognize that the authentic gospel is one that tells us to prepare for the final days and ultimately eternal life. The question is are we honestly working out our salvation with holy fear and trembling?