Daily Meditation: "I have come to bring fire upon the earth"
Gospel text (Lc 12,49-53):
Jesus said to his disciples, "I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled; but I have a baptism to undergo and what anguish I feel until it is over! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided; three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law".
"I have come to bring fire upon the earth"
Today, the Gospel presents us Jesus as a person of great ambitions: "I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled!" (Lk 12:49). Jesus would like to see the fire of charity and virtue already burning. As if He would be referring to it in passing! He has to undergo a baptism, that is, the trial of the Cross, and He feels anguished until it is all over. It’s only natural, Jesus has plans, and He is in a hurry to see them accomplished. We could say He has a “Divine Impatience”. We also have ideas and projects, and we would also like to see them fulfilled straightaway. Time gets in the way. "What anguish I feel until it is over!" (Lk 12:50).
It is the stress of life. It is the anxiety anyone with great projects feels. On the other hand, having no desires is like remaining at a standstill, dead, restrained; it is being sad, embittered, as being one who derives pleasure from reprehending those who actually work. People who are moving and cause others to move, who are progressing and cause others to progress, are ambitious people.
Have great aspirations! Train your goals onward and upward! Seek your personal perfection, that of your family, that of your work, that of your deeds, that of the assignments you receive. The saints have always aspired to the highest goals. They have not been afraid to face efforts and stress. They have moved. Carry on, move, too! Remember St. Augustine's words: "If you say enough, you are lost. Go further, keep going. Don't stay in the same place, don't go back, don't go off the road. Who does not move forward, stops; who keeps thinking of the starting point, goes backwards; he who reneges goes off the road. It is better to limp along that way than to stride along some other route". And he adds: "If want to be what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have stopped. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing". Are you advancing or have you stopped? Implore the help of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Hope!
Fr. Joan MARQUÉS i Suriñach
(Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)
Audio: Thursday 29th in Ordinary Time