“Do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.”Ephesians 5:17
Ever struggle with trying to figure out what someone is asking you to do? You do what you think they asked and find out it wasn’t? Or you just walk away from the conversation wondering if they were speaking in another language?
How about when you are trying to discern God’s will?
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation. When Gabriel announces to Mary God’s plans, he was pretty clear. When we read the annunciation of the angel to Mary, she questions what the angel is proclaiming to her. It doesn’t make sense in what she knew and understood of procreation. So, she asks how this could be since she had not had relations with a man. The angel goes on to explain God’s divine plan and Mary submits to it in her yes.
Ever been in a situation where you feel God nudging you to something that doesn’t make sense? Maybe you experienced it during the Lenten season.
How do we know what God’s will is?
In Ephesians 5, St. Paul gives us some guidance. He tells us that we are “light in the Lord” and we should “live as children of light.” Another language, perhaps? What does it mean to be light in darkness?
We could all agree that light illuminates a room or a path, and prevents us from stumbling in darkness.
St. Paul tells us that light is goodness, righteousness and truth. In discerning God’s will, he tells us to be the light and not take part in the “fruitless works of darkness,” to do those things that are pleasing to God. You may ask, well, I have a choice and both are good, righteous and truthful, which is God’s will and which is not?
In this case, St. Ignatius may guide you to imagine the outcome of both choices. As you imagine, notice your feelings and emotions you experience in both. Which brings about the most content, loving, joyful, life giving emotions? God’s will would be the most life-giving decisions for you, the one that shines the brightest light. In some cases, it could be something that is difficult but it will bring forth life within you.
What is the invitation today?
Are you faced with a decision? Has something been nudging you and you aren’t certain what to do? Imagine your choices and allow the Holy Spirit to shed light on the best yes for you.
Lord, I am faced with a decision in my life. May you send Your Spirit upon me to shine light upon the path that you are calling me to take. Help me to be aware of the emotions that are invoked in my choices so that I can discern the one that is most life giving. Amen