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The Wonder of it All!

I have come to bring fire to the earth
Jeremiah 38:4-6,8-10; Psalm 40:2-4,18; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53

Sermon Week Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 12:49

On the fireplace mantle of a beautiful stone mansion, the following words are inscribed:

IF YOUR HEART IS COLD
MY FIRE CAN NOT WARM IT

How true! Fireplaces cannot warm our hearts, nor can a fast car or a fancy meal -- a day at the beach or a year in Provence – a dream house, dream job – not even the freedom to dream the day away. Only the fire of the Living God -- the fire of God's Love can truly warm our hearts.

Elie Wiesel, a great humanitarian and distinguished author, makes a powerful statement on human growth in his book, "Souls on Fire." In it, he suggests that when we die and go to meet our Maker, we're not going to be asked why we didn't become a great religious leader or why we didn't find a cure for cancer. Instead, we will be asked, "Why didn't you become you?" Why didn't you accept the fire of God's Love into your heart to become the person God intended for you to be?

In a small midwestern town, members of the City Council were sharply divided on whether to plant a high hedge or an iron fence around the local cemetery. Amid a heated debate on the subject, one of the town's citizens rose and said, "What is all this argument about a hedge or a fence around the cemetery? What difference does it make? Nobody in there will get out, and nobody out here wants to get in. So, let's spend the money on a playground for the children!"

Indeed. If we want to be part of the movement of all creation toward unifying wholeness, we must consider the children. Amid our fiery debates, whether family disputes, neighborhood disputes, or disputes between nations, we have got to rise and speak on their behalf: "What is this division doing to our children? What kind of example are we giving them? What kind of world are we leaving them? To what degree are we teaching them to identify with the transforming power of the Christ Spirit in them? Are they learning from us [...]


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