January 4, 2021 – Monday, Weekday of Christmas Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/010421.cfm)
The First Letter of John tells us the way to test the spirit working in us. John puts it simply. If the spirit working in us acknowledges Jesus Christ, then, the spirit belongs to God. However, if the spirit working in us denies or rejects Jesus Christ, then, it does not belong to God but to the antichrist, the evil one.
Why is it very important? John warns us. He said, “Beloved, do not trust every spirit.” There are indeed spirits that deceive us. The evil one is a master of deceit and lies. When we are lonely and depressed, in need of help, the evil spirit may tempt to believe that it is much better to be alone and bury ourselves in fear and loneliness. This action leads us to hopelessness and death and does not acknowledge the comfort of friendship that Jesus offers us through the Church, our friends and family. This surely does not belong to God.
When we have achieved so much, gained success and victories, gathered influence and wealth, the evil one may also tempt us to gather more and collect more. This may lead us further to insecurity and corruption. It does not acknowledge the generosity of Jesus.
When we exercise power or authority over others whether at home, in our community or at our workplace, and we are not discerning enough of the spirit behind us, we might be tempted to also exercise control, dominance and manipulation. This will also certainly lead us to violence in our words and actions towards people around us. It does not also acknowledge the authority of Jesus and the power of his love for us.
Hence, for us to remain in the Spirit of God, let us remember these and be always mindful of the spirit working in us, in our families and communities.
- The Spirit of God gives us peace, confidence and serenity. The evil spirit makes us doubtful, fearful, anxious and having a low self-esteem.
- The Spirit of God encourages us, lifts our spirit but the evil spirit makes us down and depressed. It discourages and upsets us.
- The Spirit of God brings us comfort and joy, humor and laughter but the evil spirit makes us angry and irritable.
- The Spirit of God makes us appreciate things and others, makes us grateful to God. But the evil spirit makes us unsatisfied, ungrateful, complaining, makes us see only the defects/negatives in everything and everyone including yourself.
- The Spirit of God makes us feel loved, accepted and forgiven. But the evil one makes us feel bad, terrible, horrible, disgustful, unloved and accuses us of our wrongdoings making us guilty always (because the evil’s name is Accuser).
By being able to discern the spirit working in us, may we always choose God’s spirit, the spirit of truth rather than the spirit of deceit that only bring us to sadness and death. Hinaut pa.