In the Gospel reading on August 14, Jesus says to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk 12:49). It is hard to see the flames of Jesus’ love in today’s world. It is easy to focus on the negativity, which can become a hurricane rather than a blazing fire of faith. Rather than trying to recreate a great fire, we can take things one step at a time and make a singular flame. To do this, we must live life as Jesus intended: not by practicing our faith in hiding or in private. Instead, by showing our Catholic faith through our actions, our flame can spread to others. All these tiny fires can grow to create a community to showcase to the world that we are united in the one Body of Christ.
On the Easter Vigil, the church is dark. This can be symbolic of our faith. Sometimes our life can feel like an ongoing season of Lent, dark and full of challenges. The Easter candle is lit at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass, and a singular flame enters the church. This slowly spreads from person to person, and from the back to the front of the church, a singular flame becomes a whole community’s.
When you feel like you have no fire within you, an excellent way to reignite it is through prayer. One’s prayer life can have many ups and downs. When it is up, one is on cloud nine, and one has no struggle telling God their worries, the things they are grateful for, and sitting in silence to hear God. However, it can be hard to even try to pray when one is down. this is when something more powerful - like lighter fuel - is needed. Talking to others or trying a different type of prayer can help. Instead of praying alone, praying with friends and family can tremendously help. This way, one can share their flame as the church does during the Easter Vigil. Creating a group of people to depend on can create a whole group of people willing to share their flame.
Another way to create an earth full of the flame of our faith is to join a volunteer group that you are passionate about. This can be directly doing something that can be thought of as faith-related—such as reading the Bible, prayer, and going to Mass—these are all ways of living out our faith. Living out Catholic social teaching can also be fruitful because you actively share your life with others. Personally, I am teaching CCD in order not only to teach about God to the future generation but also to interact with them. You never know what is going on in a child’s life, and just talking and being friendly can ignite their passion for the faith. Other easy things to do are to smile at others when passing them on the sidewalk and take time to listen when someone is having a bad day. While not directly praying over the person, being present is a way to share your flame.
Slowly but surely, the Earth will be set ablaze. By sharing Jesus’ love with one another, the whole world can become a community, with all sharing our light.