“We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the world’s been turning.
We didn’t start the fire, but when we are gone it will still burn on and on and
on and on and on and on and on and on…” ~ Billy Joel
Fire. Some people see it as a destructive force as, indeed, it is when a home or business burns down. Some see it as a renewing force as it can be in meadow or forest fires. The old growth, burned away, makes way for new growth to appear. Some see it as a sign of warmth and comfort. There is nothing quite like snuggling up to a fireplace or a campfire.
The say that fire changed the course of human history. With the help of fire, we became able to live in harsher climates, to prepare foods that may otherwise have been left behind, and to manufacture both weapons as well as utensils. In many ways, we could easily say, “Fire is our friend.”
Liturgically, we use fire to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. We also remind ourselves of the tongues of flame that came upon Mary and the Apostles in the Upper Room on Pentecost. The flames that we use in our liturgies are signs of a renewing force as well. Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit into our lives in order to ignite us. Jesus even said once how He had come to set the world on fire and how He wished it were already ablaze.
The Holy Spirit renews us if we allow. The fire of God’s love can purge anything from our lives if we are willing to let it go. Not only does it rid us of the things that hinder us from getting closer to God, it also prepares a richer soil for the seed of God to take root in our hearts.
We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the world’s been turning. God was the one who started that fire. God is the one who maintains that fire. God is the one who sets the world ablaze.
We, for our part, have been called by God to help spread the fire. We do so every time we live the faith as completely as we can. When we help the poor, when we comfort the afflicted, when we pray with one another, we fan the flame of God’s love in such a way as to allow it to ignite others.
Tend the fire in yourself by prayer and doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy. When you do, you will not only be tending the fire in yourself, you will be offering it to others.
FAITH ACTION: Burn with the fire of God’s divine love today and spread that fire to at least one other person by word or by deed.