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Wednesday, June 14, 2000

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1 Kings 18:20-39
Psalm 16
Matthew 5:17-19

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let the fire fall

"How long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord is God, follow Him; if Baal, follow him." —1 Kings 18:21

The Lord died on the cross for love of us. He is Love (1 Jn 4:16), and He wants us to love Him with all our hearts (Dt 6:5). Jesus calls us to committed covenant-love. Any halfheartedness or lukewarmness nauseates Him (Rv 3:16). He calls us to total love.

The Lord sends fire (see 1 Kgs 18:38) to burn away the sinfulness, selfishness, idolatry, and spiritual adultery which contradicts the pure love for Him to which He has called us. This fire burns in our hearts through the proclamation of God's word (Lk 24:32). It comes in the fiery tongues from the Holy Spirit at new Pentecosts (see Acts 2:3). God's fire of love burns especially in sufferings and persecutions (see 1 Pt 1:6-7). Jesus continues to cry out: "I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!" (Lk 12:49) "Our God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:29).

Let the fire fall. Stir into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit (2 Tm 1:6-7). Live for the Lord alone in pure and total love. Let the Lord pour out His love into your heart through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). Let the fire fall.

Prayer:  Father, consume me in the fire of Your love.

Promise:  "Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God." —Mt 5:19

Praise:  God gave life to Patricia forty-eight years ago today, but it wasn't until she allowed the Holy Spirit to be stirred into flame that she experienced Jesus' promise of true life in abundance (Jn 10:10).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999