“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished.”
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle 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.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Fire burns. Fire consumes. Fire destroys. Fire spreads.
Jesus came to set the earth on fire. A passion burned in Jesus’ heart that cried out for justice. He knew the Father’s love and saw the capacity of each person. He also saw, more clearly than anyone else, what opposed that vision. The forces of evil and injustice, selfishness and greed were working to oppose the Father’s love. The Holy Spirit burning within Him compelled Jesus to oppose everything that promoted injustice. With the passion of a prophet Jesus words flashed out against all individuals and powers that prevented human flourishing. How he longed to unleash that fire!
But he knew it couldn’t be unleashed without sacrificial love for the fire was love itself. Jesus’ baptism on the cross unleashed that great fire of love on the earth. His great sacrifice kindled the fire of love in the world. It revealed the love and mercy of God and his passionate desire to heal all creation.
That same fire of love burns in each of us. The Holy Spirit of love burns within our hearts and calls us to the same sacrificial love of Jesus. Through prayer and sacrifice may we spread that fire of love through our lives this week.
Lincoln A. Wood