LIGHTING THE FIRE
Bernard - Publisher
'I came to bring fire to the earth,
and how I wish it were already kindled' (Luke 12:49).
Have you ever attended a pep rally?
Most of us know it is designed to stir emotions
and bring all our energies to the forefront, making a tunnel vision focus on an event or
happening. The fever starts slow to capture a
unified interest then builds up to a crescendo that rouses and revives the audience. It is surprising to see even the most conservative
people tearing off their mental safety restraints to unite in a spirit of great joy and
But where are the pep rallies for the
Christian? Shouldn't we want and experience
that same excitement and happiness when we enter the house of the Lord? Like those pep rallies, we need to be uplifted,
feel the unique and infinite power of the Holy Spirit, and have the teachings of Christ
reinforced and acknowledged. And we should
get that by going to our churches each Sunday. Hebrews 10:25 tells us Let us not give up meeting together, as some
are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see
the Day approaching. We need to
hear about others in the bible proclaiming Christian triumphs and hear our contemporaries
tell of their own victories over this earths tribulations. It is vital that we
share this. As Christians, we are a family growing strong within ourselves but
knowing the supreme joy that we are together in Christ each time we gather in His Name.
Lighting the fire means to live joyfully for
Christ, confidently following His teachings as best as we know how, loving Him above all
and never forgetting to put Him first in everything we do.
We are steadfast in obedience to Him, asking the Holy Spirit to kindle our fervor
and keeping our eyes fixed ahead on Jesus. In
everything we do, we continue to be focused and spiritually aware, living as we were
taught by the scriptures. Becoming instruments of truth to others, we remember always to
renew and refuel through the Holy Eucharist each Sunday.
Some of us have allowed our faith fire to grow so dim we have
grown alienated from Jesus Christ. We are
slowly losing our Christ relationship. But no
matter how small our flame, no matter how feeble the light, there is always a way to
ignite it to its full potential through prayer and dedication. When we give full attention to our Sunday
homilies, it should motivate us to Christian action, moving us to share our beliefs and
our faith with others who, in turn, can inspire. Together we can re-stoke the
joyousness of being a Christian.
It is my belief that being on fire for the Lord
can keep us powerfully and spiritually wired in a God kinship that moves ahead with
energy. It is my belief that though we may
know the bible and all it teaches, it is important to hear and see others stand strong in
the faith of being a Christian, professing how the Lord has intervened in their lives. It moves us to excel for Him, keeps our internal
flame alive, and pushes us forward in Christ.
Imagine a marriage that has been allowed to grow stale over time
because the excitement of that relationship has stopped growing and maturing. One might say to a spouse, There is no passion or vitality between us
and we are not on the same page anymore. You
dont tell me you love me and you dont make me feel attracted to you. The
spark we used to have is gone and life has become boring and drab.
As Christian Catholics, we must not allow
ourselves to be fed with tasteless baby food. If
we are impassive we will never get to the grown up food.
We will never get beyond the baby pablum to the excitement and the high of the
good stuff. There will be times when we just dont want to go
to church. We may feel there is nothing to get excited about so we would rather curl
up in bed and let the weekend take its course in the blissful solitude of mundane sleep. We are too tired and spiritually exhausted to drag
ourselves out to church where we will feel weighted with the things we have been doing
wrong or the things we do right turn out wrong. The
very fact of going calls up all the sadness and gloom for there we face the reality and
fragility of our lives and the sibilant whispers of guilt that come alive when we hear
things we have not worked on as Christians. But
Rev 3:16 says, So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am
about to spit you out of my mouth.
Listen to what Matthew 11:28-30 tells us:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find
rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." These are words that comfort and inspire,
lighting our ray of hope. Jesus says where
there are two or more gathered in My Name, there I will be also. This is clearly something to get excited about.
It makes us lift up our heads in gratitude for we have a Mighty Warrior running
ahead, lighting our way with a torch of fire.
Think about how far the Lord has brought you through a trial in
your life and allow the fire of victory to burn within you.
Think about how God has brought your family home safely day after day so express
your gratitude by stoking your fire. Think
about the times you left the doctors office and you were blessed with a clean bill
of health. Keep your fire strong and praise Him for His mighty blessings. Mark 9: 49-50 says, For every one will be
salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you
season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.
Have you felt the magnificent presence of our Lord
and felt warm in the deep recesses of your soul? Have
you been motivated enough lately to press on courageously for the Lord? If your faith is flickering and you seem to be
running on empty like a car out of gas, it is time to fill yourselves up with God's
everlasting fuel. For a spiritual
activation ask God to recharge your soul. Go
to church, share in the Holy Eucharist and bask in Gods eternal pep rally, for when
we gather in truth, there the embers will burn strong for Christ.
I baptize you with water for repentance, but He
who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; He will
baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Please use the link at the top left
side of this page
to comment or be added to the mailing list.