Baptism of the Lord
Luke 3:15-16; 21-22 – https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/010922.cfm
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE.
The people of California and recently Colorado are enduring the tragedy of fire. It grips my heart when I see people going back to their homes and finding nothing but ashes. I remember driving through Washington, Illinois, after a tornado. People were walking up to a slab, seeing if there was anything to salvage. Tears filled my eyes, and I had a lump in my throat.
Isn’t it interesting that John the Baptist said that we will be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire? Why equate the Holy Spirit with fire? It is so destructive. Precisely, and that is the point. The word “purification” comes to mind.
Notice what the apostles saw on their heads at Pentecost, tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit “burned to ashes” how the disciples saw and related to Jesus and each other. He was no longer ‘a’ Teacher, ‘a’ prophet, even God’s Son. He became ‘their’ Teacher, ‘their’ Son of God and LORD.
Do you relate to Jesus in a personal way in prayer? Do you often think about Jesus present in your family and people you meet every day? What needs to be purified in your meaningful relationships? Take to heart the words of absolution in the Sacrament of Confession, “God the Father…has sent His Holy among us for the forgiveness of sin.” Go to Jesus in the Sacrament and let Him IGNITE THE FIRE in you.
IGNITE THE FIRE Fr. Rick Pilger, IC