Sunday August 14, 2022
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Followers of Jesus,
In Luke 12:49-53, Jesus desires us to live in the fire of his passion for the world. He invites us to know within our hearts the profound love of God. Love sparks hope in people who have lost their way. The fire Jesus describes is the continuation of the prophetic witness of forgiveness, mercy, love and hope for all people. This fire is found in suffering, in anguish, and in change. We are initiated into this fire through our connection to Jesus Christ in our baptism.
In these past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak with friends across our nation. Many of these conversations have stirred my heart. I have heard about recent divorces, ill children, bouts of depression, changes in relationships, questions about faith, disillusionment about church and participating in local parishes. Some people have given up on prayer and seeking a spiritual life. We seem to be at a time of great change, both good and extremely challenging.
The fire Jesus desires is his life within us. When change overwhelms us, we so often squelch the remedy for our unstable hearts. We ignore the relationship with God that can save our souls, restore our perspectives, and give us courage when life is really difficult. We give up because Jesus seems so distant when violence prevails and friends die unexpectedly. We give up seeking the intimacy with God when busyness pushes in on us, when we think we can control our days and relationships.
Jesus desires us to live in the center of his fire. His compassion for us is not diminished by our disappointments or failures. I invite you to rest in the flame of love this day. Open your heart to Jesus’ potential within you. Allow the flame of goodness to take root in your heart. Jesus will heal your perspectives of doubt and failure. Jesus will ignite your ability to live and serve. Justice begins with the flame of Jesus’ love within each of us.
I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!
God give you peace,