Baptism of Fire

“Baptism of Fire”
Luke 12:49-50 “in a snailshell”
Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 Gloria M. Chang

I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!

Luke 12:49-50

Fire of the Holy Spirit

Fire refines gold and silver to perfection (Zechariah 13:9; Revelation 3:18). The earthen treasures of the Creator, rusted by sin and corruption, await the conflagration of the Spirit of God. 

…fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions… Jesus will say of the Spirit: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” In the form of tongues “as of fire,” the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 696

The body of clay assumed by the Son of God will be dipped and submerged (baptizó) in the flames of his passion to release the blazing energy of the Spirit.

Clay kindled by the Spirit’s fire lives forever.

I came to cast fire upon the earth,
To kindle clay and bring it to birth.

Traditional Chinese Translation


5 Replies to “Baptism of Fire”

  1. Fire has both good and bad uses. An arsonist sets a forest fire for the thrill of power over nature. A homeowner enjoys the warmth of a glowing fireplace. Natural forces often cannot be tamed. The volcano on one of the Canary Islands spreads firy lava over populated areas before it reaches the ocean.
    Jesus calmed the storm at sea showing how powerful his Divine nature is.
    Fired by the Holy Spirit I am enabled to act with love. I will respect nature and the One who created our world.

    1. Thank you for your reflection. Water is also a twofold symbol of death and life in Scripture–Flood and baptism, destruction and recreation, chaos and order. Deep mysteries to ponder.

  2. Dear GMC, your reflection brings peace to those who seek truth. Thank you, GMC. Dear Lord, may your fire bring light where there is darkness. May it purify and free us.

  3. I am reminded of time spent with a potter where she formed clay on the wheel. Once shaped she put it into the kiln to fire the object.
    From the fire came a beautiful vase.
    God is the Potter, I am the clay.

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