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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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St. Wenceslaus
St. Lawrence Ruiz

Zechariah 8:20-23
Psalm 87:1-7
Luke 9:51-56

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let the fire fall

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

This is precisely what the Lord wants us to do as His disciples: to call down the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit from heaven (see Heb 12:29; Acts 2:3-4). When a person truly receives the Holy Spirit, it does “destroy” them, in the sense that they die to their old self and live a new, risen life in the Spirit for the Lord (see Lk 9:23).

Another way we call down fire from heaven on someone is to act in love and kindness toward our enemies. They are so stunned by receiving kindness instead of vengeance from someone they had hurt, that in effect we are heaping the burning coals of unconditional, forgiving love on their heads (see Rm 12:20-21).

Jonah was eager to have a role in vengeance toward his enemies (see Jon 4:1). His heart burned with a desire to see fire fall from heaven to consume the city of Nineveh. Jonah’s vengeful thoughts flowed from the abundance of his heart (see Lk 6:45). We, like Jonah, need God to remove our stony hearts and replace them with the fire of God’s unconditional love (see Ez 36:26).

A priest recommends that we pray this prayer before receiving the Holy Eucharist: “Lord Jesus, take my heart and never give it back. Lord Jesus, give me Your heart and never take it back.” With purified, transformed hearts, let us call down the consuming fire from heaven on everyone we know.

Prayer:  Father, cleanse my heart of all hatred and change me into a person of unconditional love and forgiveness.

Promise:  “Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to implore the favor of the Lord.” —Zec 8:22

Praise:  St. Lawrence, a Filipino, was tortured and burned to death for refusing to compromise the truth of the gospel.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from August 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 12, 2021"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.