Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Romans 6:19-23, Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4-6, & Luke 12:49-53
"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!"
Friends, these are some of the most exciting yet challenging words of our Lord Jesus. Too often, Jesus is perceived as a calming, comforting, gentle person. He asks that we love, but he does it in such a pleasant and undemanding way.
In today's Gospel narrative, we can sense the passion of Jesus. He is restless in His desire to ignite a fire. He is on a mission set inside of Him, coming out of the fire within Him. He desires to draw us in, to enflame our hearts, to have us ablaze with His mission, with our passion.
Jesus knows there are so many arguments against passion—at least this kind of passion. It will be "divisive." People will "be upset." Being "controversial" will turn some people off and anger others. Isn't it better to "keep the peace?"
Our Lord knows that "evil" can reign under this kind of cover. He knows that His baptism is ours. Baptized into Him, we wait, with anticipation, our hearts ablaze with the fullness of the living out of that baptism. So today, we can ask ourselves how we might catch the passion of Jesus and let it ignite our hearts so that we might set our world ablaze.
Today we ask ourselves, "Do I feel the passion of Jesus?" Do I feel loved with the passion of Jesus? What would I have to surrender to be more on fire? How would it change my relationships, my view of my work, my outlook on life, my faith, and my service of others?"
Prayer: "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord." (Psalm 1)