Aflamed with Jesus

In her book, Setting the World on Fire,American journalist Shelley Emling narrates the fascinating story of St. Catherine of Siena, who transformed her times armed with her faith. In a time of social unrest, plague and corruption in Church and society, this mystic and headstrong daughter of a wool dyer became a theological giant offering moral guidance and inspiration to kings and popes. She worked as a peacemaker during Siena’s revolution and became a guiding light even to ordinary people. Having visions of Jesus as a young age, she took a vow of celibacy dedicating her whole life in following Jesus. Though illiterate, she grew to become a great writer and approached each crisis of her time with fierce and radical conviction by seeking God’s will. She once said: “be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” 
 
Today’s gospel, Jesus suggests that he came to be a catalyst of change: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing.” In Jewish thought, fire was a symbol of judgment to destroy evil but purifies the just. Here Jesus reveals that his purpose is to test men’s hearts. His presence becomes a contradiction. To become his disciple is to come to a decision of surrendering one’s life to Jesus on top of family, career, likes and dislikes. This decision is what faith is all about in daily walking with God. It is this faith that transforms hearts and attitudes by giving birth to strong principles that pave a way for a new beginning in individuals and communities.
 
As Christians, we are challenged by our vocation to be salt and light of the world. On the day of our baptism, our parents carried a burning candle for us. Christ gave us this light as a torch to bring light to our darkness. In addition, the Holy Spirit was sent into our hearts at Confirmation to set us on fire. We now need to carry this burning torch forward courageously. Today, let us allow Jesus to touch us because everything he touches becomes new. Let us allow him to inspire us with new fervor, new energy and new enthusiasm. Let him enflame us with new vitality and vigor to cast away our doubts and fears. Let his presence in our life set the world on fire.
 
Prayer:Lord, touch my whole being and give me a new spirit, new energy so that so that I can be your living presence to set the world on fire. 

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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