The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Jhonatan A. Letada, SVD (SVD-PHC Provincialate, Tayuman, Manila)
Thursday 29th Week in Ordinary Time
Fire indicates something revolutionary. Fire in the Bible is associated with God and his actions in our life. It is a manifestation of God’s presence, guidance, and protection – a sign of God’s glory, holiness, protective presence, righteous judgment, and holy wrath against sin. And lastly, it is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus in the gospel stories is consistently portrayed as a man on fire. His word is fire and fiery. He is a man of the Spirit, a bearer of the Spirit. Passionate about the Reign of God, his life and mission are intimately sourced from the Father. His word is revolutionary and transforming. When we encounter and are touched by Jesus’ word and person, we are tremendously changed. His love converts us. We are transformed into a new person.
Bro. Bo Sanchez told a story of the couple Ruby and Ruel. Ruel was a womanizer and an alcoholic for ten years. She tried everything to make him change, but nothing worked. Then one day, she decided to leave him. But four months later, Ruel realized how unhappy he was and wanted to come back. But following the principles of ‘tough love,’ she told him to be very sure of his decision. Whenever he’d get sick from alcoholism, she’d visit and care for him. She ‘killed him with kindness’ until Ruel gave up all his vices, and they finally got reconciled. Ruel and Ruby, afterward, became leaders of five Feast Videos, sharing God’s love to many. (Bo. Sanchez’ Facebook Page)
The fire of one who is deeply in love is to love. To love is to be brave to choose kindness, compassion, and goodness. To love is to be driven by the passion for loyalty and commitment.