|As we still bask in the glow of the Epiphany, let us call to mind a single moment in our life that knocked us off our seat, propelled us forward, or set our inner flame burning in such a way that we could no longer sit still—a revelation, a realization, a disclosure, an illuminating discovery that revealed meaning or purpose. The Gospel said that when Jesus heard what happened to John the Baptist, he made his move, he began his ministry, he went about preaching, teaching, and healing. When we are called and we are woken up from our spiritual slumber, this is how we can know the Spirit of God: even if we are afraid, we know what we must do because the call of God can only be heard by those who belong to him. It is so because we are Children of God.
The first reading cautions us not to trust every spirit and to test the spirits that confront us to see if they belong to God. In the Gospel, Jesus knew that the Spirit that prompted him to begin his ministry was the voice of God, but how about us? How can we know for sure when the prompt is of God? How do I know if the prompt is not false or my ego or my fear or my pride? How can we test? I often take my time to think about every decision I make even the smallest one—except of course the decision on whether to have a piece of chocolate or not—that thought process doesn’t take very long, but when it comes to deeper more spiritual things or life decisions, I spend time hoping I would hear a voice loud and clear telling me what to do, and that I would know right away that it was God giving me the go-ahead. Despite my uncertainty, I usually know when the time is right to get up and start afresh, or let go, or go ahead, mainly because I believe that I truly am a Child of God, and God will not let me down—God will lift me up—God will lift us up. As the first reading tells us, we belong to God and we have already conquered the spirit of the antichrist because the Spirit of God resides in us and the Spirit of God is much greater than the spirit of the worldly. So, when that single moment happens in our life, that moment that knocks us off our seat of false comfort, let us not be afraid to go forth into the unknown and trust that God will provide for us exactly what we need to succeed, make a difference, and fulfill our sacred purpose.