October 26, 2017
Thursday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
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. Peter Collin C. Crisostomo)
What does the word fire connote in today’s Gospel? For me that fire means the grace of God. It reminds me of one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit, which is, during Pentecost, the tongues of fire that descended on to the Apostles. “They were set on fire” by God for them to preach His word. By this, each apostle found courage in their heart to proclaim to all nations the Word of God even at the cost of their lives.
Another notion about fire is that it is a symbol of purification. For example, for us to produce a diamond we need to put it in an intense heat for it to come out from mineral deposits. Like this purification process we are invited to look into ourselves. Are our hearts “set on fire” in times of merriment and problems?
I remember, we were asked to purify our intentions before entering the seminary. Was it out of good will or someone just forced me to enter? As I went back to that experience, I really purified my heart; I pondered on all the circumstances. I looked into myself and projected it several years from that moment and asked myself if I still have the same intent. Yes, indeed, it was still the same. It was out of good will and answering God’s call that made my heart inflamed with His love.
That was really a turning point in my life. Following God’s call is not an easy choice if we remain in the notion that we are the one’s controlling our formation. If we let God control and direct us, following His Will, He will set our hearts on fire and it will be easy for us to do what is asked from us.