“I have come to set the earth on fire!…Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth? No I tell you, but rather division!” In case there was any doubt, Jesus makes it clear that he is here to create a new direction for humanity and it won’t be a comfortable ride. St. Paul indicates in the second reading that we look to the great cloud of witnesses – the prophets, the martyrs and all the saints – as examples and support in our endeavor to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, embracing the change to come and allowing our hearts to be set on fire. Jesus invites each of us to join in his mission of passion, love and mercy, rooting out sin and darkness, to replace them with hope and joy.
Saint Vincent is our model as Vincentians. He invites us to embrace the mission of Christ by embracing those in need, helping them to find hope in the future by making Christ present and visible to them today. St. Vincent said, “So, our vocation is to go … to set people’s hearts on fire, to do what the Son of God did. He came to set the world on fire in order to inflame it with His love.” We are both the carriers and the recipients of the flame of Christ. When we become infected by His love, we grow in holiness and share that love out broadly. Do I allow myself to embrace the passion of Christ in humility? Do I carry that fire into the world, fighting for those who are in need with zeal? Is truth and justice more important to me than being comfortable and not rocking the boat? Will I stand up for Christ as Christ stood up for me?
Lord Jesus, help me to embrace the fire of your love. Help me to be an instrument of your disruption of discrimination, prejudice and injustice in the world. Allow me to be a Voice of the Poor acting with zeal and passion. Give me the grace to submit humbly to all that you ask of me that I might be a light shining forth with your goodness and love. We pray all of this in your name. Amen