Roc Homily – Twentieth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016
“I have come to cast fire on the earth…”
The passage in Acts 2 serves as the backdrop for understanding this gospel passage – “tongues of fire divided.” It seems to me that the fire of the Spirit purified the disciples (as gold in the fire) and created a union between them, a oneness not there before, manifest in owning all things in common.
Given that, the scriptural use of fire encompasses four aspects of the divine-human encounter: 1) divine presence (Moses meets God at the Burning Bush-Ex.3); 2) divine guidance (pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night to show them where to go’); 3) either “the chaff shall be thrown into the fire,” (John the Baptist, Lk. 3) OR gold tested in the fire; and, most amazingly, 4) the fire is not destructive! (“if you walk amidst the burning flames you shall not be harmed!”)
Thus, Jesus’ drive to bring fire on the earth is the fire of conversion through repentance.
Tomorrow: About division…
Here’s my homily. Blessings! _-roc,sj