“Just about the worst thing we can do with Jesus is to domesticate him, to turn him into a nice, harmless figure, simply a teller of tales and wise spiritual teacher. He announces himself as an arsonist: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing.” ~ Fr. Robert Barron
Why do we humans settle for “lukewarm” when it comes to faith?
I see people on game days dressing up in jerseys and sporting team colors, spending countless hours and dollars on following a team and when it comes to faith or participation at mass can barely utter an audible AMEN.
I see people spending millions of dollars on the latest clothing trends and for church they look like they have barely given more than a seconds attention to what they wear to God’s house.
What was Christ talking about when he stated His desire that we were already blazing? Do we possess a single heart for Him? Do our hearts burn with love? Do they have the ability to set the world afire?
What images arise in your mind when you hear these words of Christ?
Regret? Anger? Disappointment? Passion? Energy?
For myself; all of the above.
Regret, that it isn’t happening already and it is 2000+ years later.
Anger, that we let temporal things get in the way of the eternal realities, and are easily distracted, defeated, and discouraged.
Disappointment, because we lack focused discipline and determination for the things of God.
Passion and Energy, for all the wrong things; diets, politics, sports, material things, excessive exercise, gastronomy, celebrities, clothing, shoes; need I go on?
So what will it take to transform our hearts, refocus our lives, and realign our priorities? God knows a little secret that has worked for as long as humans have walked the planet; suffering.
Nothing gets our attention like pain. It seems to cut through all the BS and get right to the heart of the matter. We tend to look up when there is no relief in sight. We tend to bend the knee when answers are not forth coming. We tend to bow our heads and surrender our wills when we have no one else to turn to.
Yes, God knows what it takes to get our attention. What we have to remember is that it is not out of spite or malice but out of love. Suffering can purify and cleanse away impurities. It can help us detach from harmful habits and unhealthy attachments to earthly things and more importantly it can assist us making the necessary adjustments to fire up the furnace of love.
Let us beg for the fire of the Holy Spirit to fall on humanity and set our hearts on fire for Christ– a transforming fire, a fire of love… a cleansing fire that purifies hearts and souls!! Come Holy Spirit come, set us a blaze!