Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - We should "test" our thoughts and desires to see if something helps us to "abide in the Lord or distances us from Him", if it comes from Christ or the antichrist , "because many false prophets have come into the world . Prophets, prophecies and proposals". This was the warning issued by Pope Francis during morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, the first after the Christmas holidays.
The Pope drew his homily from the exhortation of John: "Abide in the Lord ". "Sound advice" he said , which John "obsessively" repeated. The Apostle indicates "one of the attitudes a Christian who wants to abide in the Lord must have: know what's in your heart". This is why he warns against giving credence to every spirit, instead to "test the spirits" . One must know how to "discern the spirits" to discern whether something makes us "abide in the Lord or distances us from Him." " Our heart always has desires, cravings, thoughts". But "are these the Lord's, or do some of them distance us from the Lord?". This is why the Apostle John exhorts us to "test" what we think and want.
"If this is in the line with the Lord, you are doing well, but if it does not ... test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have come into the world. Prophets or prophecies or propositions: ' I want to do this ! ' . But this does not take you to the Lord, it leads you away from Him. This is why we must be alert. A Christian is a man or a woman who knows how to keep watch over his o her heart . And many times our heart, with so many things that come and go, is more like local market: you can find anything and everything there ... no ! We need to test things - this is the Lord's and this is not - to abide in the Lord".
What, then, is the criterion to see if something comes from Christ or the antichrist? The Pope noted that St. John, has a clear, "simple" idea: Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ, who became Flesh, is God's. Every spirit that does not profess Jesus is not of God: it is the spirit of the antichrist". But what does "recognizing the Word made flesh" mean?. It means "to recognize the way of Jesus Christ, "those who recognize Him" being God, He humbled himself , He humbled himself " to the " death cross".
"That is the way of Jesus Christ: to humble Himself, humility, even humiliation. If a thought, if a desire leads you to follow that road of humility and abasement, of service to others, it is of Jesus, but if it takes you on the road self sufficiency, vanity, pride , on the road of abstract thought , it is not of Jesus. We only have to think of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness: all three propositions that the devil makes to Jesus are propositions that would lead Him away from that path, the path of service, humility , humiliation, charity. But charity done with His life , no? Jesus says no to the three temptations: ' no, this is not my road!'".
The Pope then invited everyone to think about what happens in our own heart. What we think and feel, what we want, to watch over the spirits. "Do I put myself to the test, what I think, what I want, what I desire or do I take it all? " . " So many times , our heart is a road , everything travels upon ... Put to the test. And do I always choose the things that come from God? Do I know which things come from God ? Do I know the true criterion to discern my thoughts, my desires? Let us think of this, and let's not forget that the criterion is the Incarnation of the Word. The Word has become Flesh : this is Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ who became man, God made man, He humbled himself, He humbled himself to love, to serve all of us. And may the Apostle John to grant us this grace to know what's going on in our hearts and have the wisdom to discern what is of God and what is not of God".