We have to be on fire

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

“I HAVE come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” (Lk 12,49-50)

Words of Christ that clearly show how driven he was in carrying out his mission, which is the salvation of all men. If we have to be like Christ as we should, since we are actually patterned after him, then we should also develop the same zeal in pursuing the real and ultimate purpose of our life—the salvation of our soul and those of the others.

This obviously will take a long process, let alone, a truly arduous one. But we should set our mind and heart to achieve that ideal.  This is the ideal condition for us. Even if we are endowed only with the most phlegmatic and melancholic temperaments, something must be burning inside our heart that cannot help but burst into a flame, a flame of love, of self-giving, of serving without expecting any return. If it is not yet there, then let’s enkindle it.

The secret again is always that vital identification with Christ. If we are truly in love, with the love of God who is the source, pattern and end of love, we cannot help but, like Christ, be always energized, driven and zealous, no matter what the cost. Of course, this condition, this requirement is quite tough to meet, but if we would just try, and try again as often as necessary, certainly the ideal effect would just come about.

What can always help is that we avoid getting imprisoned in our own world and allow ourselves to simply be at the mercy of the state of our physical, emotional and mental condition. With our spiritual faculties of intelligence and will, plus of course God’s grace that will always be made abundantly available, we can transcend beyond these constraining elements.

So, we just have to use everything within our power to attain that ideal state of being always on the go, dynamic, eager to serve and to do things for everyone. We may have our limitations, and we can commit mistakes, yet we cannot deny that everything is already given for us to be how we should be in our earthly life. And that is to be like Christ, whose only desire is to love all of us all the way to even offering his life for us.

For this, we have to continually fight against our tendency to be trapped by the many conditionings in our life. Yes, they exist, we cannot avoid them, and we are affected by them. But we need not be forever limited by them. With our effort, plus God’s grace, we know that we can go beyond them.

We should be ready to detach ourselves from things and persons who can stand in the way of pursuing that goal. Thus, Christ said: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father…(Lk 12, 51-53)

Let’s be convinced that that is the formula to follow, and to identify ourselves with Christ.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com