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Tuesday, September 30, 1997

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St. Jerome

Zechariah 8:20-23
Psalm 87
Luke 9:51-56

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the fire department

"Lord, would You not have us call down fire from heaven to destroy them?" —Luke 9:54

Elijah called down fire from heaven on three occasions (see Sir 48:3). The apostles thought it would be good if they did the same. They were right. They needed fire. But they were wrong. They needed fire not to destroy the Samaritans but to destroy the sin in their hearts.

On the first Christian Pentecost, fire came down from heaven (Acts 2:3). This fire purified Jesus' disciples, who went forth not to destroy the nations but to make disciples of them (Mt 28:19).

Fire is both destructive and attractive. We tell our children not to play with fire because they are naturally attracted to fire yet can be hurt by it. We need to call down God's fire to destroy our sins. Then this destructive fire will become attractive. Because of God's fire in us, "ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold" of us "and say: 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you' " (Zec 8:23).

God will send a final fire to destroy the heavens and earth (2 Pt 3:7, 10). Before this, let God's fire burn in you and His light shine from you. Get fired up.

Prayer:  Father, may a fire burn in my bones (Jer 20:9) and in my heart (Lk 24:32) because of Your word.

Promise:  "As the time approached when He was to be taken from this world, He firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem." —Lk 9:51

Praise:  Jerome had a fiery temper but channeled it into destroying falsehood and spreading the truth by God's word.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997