“I Have Come to Set the Earth on Fire, and How I Wish It Were Already Blazing..”


Awhile back, the angels asked me to dedicate Sundays to the Gospels. With love and gratitude, here is the Gospel of Luke LK 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing! 
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! 
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? 
No, I tell you, but rather division. 
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

When Jesus says, “I have come to set the earth on fire:” this has been interpreted to mean the “fire” of the Holy Spirit, which is a purifying fire that ignites our hearts and  sets our hearts “ablaze” in the path of the Spirit and love of righteousness; love of Christ and of God.  Along with wishing that the fire he came to bring were already blazing, Jesus is in anguish over the baptism which he is to be baptized; and is speaking of His Bitter Passion he is to accomplish. The basic meaning of baptism, is to be immersed or to be plunged deeply into something. The baptism Jesus is to go through, is his Passion and death. His passing is what is His Love for us is; that we all be reconciled through Him and through His Spirit, which we share now.  
In biblical times, if you followed Jesus, parents and families would “hand their loved ones over’ to the ‘authorities’; which the end result was casting them out of temples and even worse, to the point of death. Even now, we are called to choose the “Way and the Life” of Christ. Placing our old life behind us, our old ways, and asking God to set our hearts “ablaze” in the “Path of the Spirit.”
(reference below) 

Reference: The Workbook for Lectors. Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word 2019.  

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