Prayer – O Jesus, light your fire in my heart.
Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)
This text contains two separate sayings of Jesus. The first shows his greatest desire – to cast the fire of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. The second speaks about the problems which will arise when people embrace Jesus’ Kingdom.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth. How I wish the blaze was ignited! I have a baptism by which I must be baptized. What anguish I feel until it is over.
Do you think that I have come to bring peace to this earth? The contrary is true. I have come for division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. The father will be divided against his son and the son against his father. The daughter against the mother and the mother against the daughter. Mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Jesus suddenly stops his teaching and speaks very personally of his deepest desires.
- He can no longer hold back his great anguish.
- He wants to cast a purifying fire upon the whole earth, making the disciples ready for the Kingdom.
- He will pay a heavy price for this gift. His baptism will be a bath of suffering.
- He admits to his great anguish before it is accomplished.
- He sees the sufferings of his disciples, which they cannot avoid.
- They cannot have peace at any price. The disciples will encounter family opposition.
- The opposition arises from their closest relatives who will not accept Jesus.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, what a deep love you have for me.
- Send your fire. Purify me. Refine me. Prepare me for your Kingdom.
- What a price you paid! You were in anguish about your death on the cross.
- You even worry about my suffering.
- Should I not be eager for your Kingdom? Am I not your disciple?
- Let nothing hold me back from you, Jesus. What is the cost of being your disciple? I will pay it.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- Ask Jesus to place a divine fire in your heart.
- What obstacles hold you back from a total commitment?
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
I have come to cast fire on the earth.