“I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God…” –2 Timothy 1:6

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus speaks of flame when He references the burning bush (Mk 12:26). Moses saw an angel of the Lord appear to him “in fire flaming out of a bush” (Ex 3:2). That experience stirred into flame a blazing fire for God in Moses’ heart.

In our Baptism and Confirmation, we have been given gifts of the Spirit (Rm 12:6; Eph 4:8). Hundreds of millions of people on this earth have received incredible gifts from the Holy Spirit. Why then is the world in such a mess when the Spirit has given us so much help? Many have stifled (1 Thes 5:19) and saddened (Eph 4:30) the Spirit by living “at the level of the flesh” (Eph 2:3), and the flesh fights against the Spirit (Gal 5:17). However, the Holy Spirit also fights against the flesh (Gal 5:17), if only we give the Spirit permission.

Jesus came to light a fire on the earth (Lk 12:49), but many are afraid they’ll get burnt. When you’re tempted to douse the fire of the Spirit, God wants you to throw gasoline on it. When you’re tempted to put a damper on the Spirit’s fire burning in your life, God wants you to put a blowtorch on it.

Fr. Al Lauer, founder and longtime author of One Bread, One Body, once said: “The more I say ‘No’ to myself, the more I say ‘Yes’ to the Holy Spirit.” “My point is that you should live in accord with the Spirit and you will not yield to the cravings of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).

PRAYER: Father, may I not be so afraid of getting burnt that I fail to catch fire. Consuming Fire (Heb 12:29), melt my heart in Your love.
PROMISE: “God has saved us and has called us to a holy life.” –2 Tm 1:9
PRAISE: St. Charles Lwanga and his fellow Ugandan martyrs endured cruel and sinister punishment imposed by the vicious King Mwanga. Pope St. Paul VI canonized them in 1964.

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