Father Nathan Homily | August 18, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
20th Sunday Ordinary Time (August 18, 2019)
“I have come to ‘set the earth on fire. The FIRE OF LOVE….
The central theme of today’s readings express the love of the Lord in a different tone to His people. That love is expressed to God’s chosen people through different means like fire, water and so on and different people, as Jeremiah, Paul and Jesus. This love sometimes would result in our martyrdom and turn society upside down.
In the first reading Jeremiah, is presented as experiencing the consequences of the burning word of God within him. Jeremiah’s preaching divided the city and incited such opposition that people sought his death. He showed the courage of his prophetic conviction by telling the king that he had to surrender to the mighty army of Babylonian empire to save Israel. The result was that Jeremiah was thrown into a deep, muddy cistern to die for his “treason.”
Standing in this prophetic tradition, Paul, in the second reading, challenges the Judeo-Christians to stand firm in their Faith in Jesus, ignoring the ostracism imposed on them by their own former Jewish community.
The Gospel tells that
“ I came to bring fire to the earth ;and how , I wish it were already kindled”
The fire the Lord is speaking is the fire of God’s love of that love which “ has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us( Rom 5/5) When on the day of Pentecost” the tongues of fire ( Acts 2/3) appeared upon the heads of the apostles, they signified that the spirit brought the gift of participation in the saving love of God.
“I have come to ‘set the earth on fire.'”
In the Bible, fire is sometimes symbolic of purification (for example, Nm 31:23; Ez 22:19-22), and, more often, is associated with God’s judgment (for example, Jdt 16:17; Is 66:16; Am 7:4; 2 Pt 3:7). The image of fire is also used to symbolize God’s glory (Ez 1:4, 13), His protective presence (2 Kgs 6:17), His holiness (Dt 4:24), His righteous judgment (Zec 13:9), and His wrath against sin (Is 66:15-16). The image of fire is also used of the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11 and Acts 2:3). Fire has many characteristics: it warms, purifies, refines, transforms, and burns.
We should have fire in our hearts.
On the day of our Baptism, we received the light of Christ and were instructed to keep that torch burning brightly until the return of Christ Jesus. Further, the Holy Spirit was sent into our hearts at Confirmation to help set us on fire. As Christians, we should have fire to inflame people to care, to serve, and to bless each other with all the gifts of Faith. We should work with the Holy Spirit to allow that fire to burn off the impurities in us and to bring out the purity of the gold and silver within us. We need Divine fire to inflame our hearts with the love of God and love for His children
“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord”. Amen
Have a Blessed Week,
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