Today we celebrate the beginning of Christ’s Passion- moving through Holy Week. We celebrate Christ Jesus entering Jerusalem, entering the crucible, the crucible of Holy Fire that will burn away everything not essential. For even Christ’s closest disciples had to fall away, even His own body, His own life had to burn away on the cross.
And human souls who would follow Him, we too are called to burn, to burn in a sacred fire. This is why we hear in our epistle this week, ‘Oh Man, Burning is the place of your heart…’ This purifying fire allows us to follow Him. And we are called to burn away our blame towards others, our self-centerdness, to burn away our worldly fears, our self-doubts. We are called to burn away everything that keeps us separated from Christ.
And yet, when everything is burned away, what will remain in us? What is the only thing that cannot be burned. Only flame cannot be burned away by flame. And this is why we pray in our offering, ‘in our souls be born the fire of love…’ for our hearts are meant to become a flame. We were born to be on fire. To flame with enthusiasm when all around us there is indifference. To flame with love for God when all around us there is only empty strip malls. To flame with love for human beings when hate and fear abound; To carry the flame out into the world, into politics and activism, into each and everything we encounter, work, home and grocery store. For the fire of God’s love is the only reality. Everything else is shadow.
May the flame of love burn away what is not needed in our souls. May the flame of love be the only thing left in our hearts.