The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)
Fire is one of the most important elements in the world. It has both positive and negative properties. It is used in cooking; it is a source of heat, and a source of light. But it can also bring forth destruction, burn and leave nothing but ashes.
A fire can be a friend or a foe. Where there is fire, there is a sense of urgency to put it out and every moment is crucial, whether you are cooking or something important is burning. A little delay can cause a lot of damage resulting in either burnt food or a pile of ashes.
In our Gospel today, Jesus uses fire as a way to somehow wake us up and give us a warning of the days to come if we do not listen to Him. Fire is a commonly used symbol of grace in the bible. In the Gospel, fire is a provoking and destructive force.
I remember a part of my vocation story. Two years ago, I decided to enter the seminary in Pampanga. I took the examinations and interviews. I really prayed to God that I will pass and be admitted to the seminary. And by God’s grace, I passed the screening process.
When I was about to enter, I decided to postpone my entrance due to personal matters. After a few months of discerning and reflecting, I felt that I am ready to answer and heed His call. After I underwent the screening process in Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, there was this fear and worry that bothered me. I was worried that God might not answer my prayers anymore. But by God’s grace, I passed and now I am here in the seminary.
The Gospel invites me to have urgency in doing good things. I must live my life to the fullest in doing good and being of service to others. I must not rely on second chances and like fire, I must give a light of inspiration to others, give warmth to the cold, and turn something ordinary to something special.
Our life is like a candle. We have one goal — to make the most out of it before our body is consumed by fire. Let us do good things now for tomorrow might be a little too late.