Blazing Love!


“I have come to set the earth on fire,” Jesus proclaims, “and how I wish it were already blazing!”

(Luke 12:49).

We might find these words unsettling, hitting a bit close to home. Is Jesus condoning the fires raging across our state? Is Jesus predicting violence, calling for more death and destruction?

Quiet the opposite. In this context, fire is not destructive but cleansing. Jesus is taking a prophetic stance, crying out for a  new world order that will begin with an ultimate judgment, one not to be feared but yearned for, a blazing love that sets right and heals the world.  He is crying out not in anger, but anguish(12:50) giving us a glimpse of his own inner turmoil. For this fire can only be unleashed through his death–“the baptism with which I must be baptized”-which will set in motion the cleansing and renewal of those who follow him, and set them on fire.    

His call is for each human being to be loved as a child of God. A call to see through the evil present in people, and see the broken face of Christ. It is an invitation to bring this blazing fire to others.

My friend Mike, in the photo above, last week as we were on the street, walked over to the elderly gentleman. He gave “Jim” some food, knelt down, and with tears in his eyes, looked at Jim’s feet, the skin broken from walking, with sores, from not having fresh socks. He held the feet in his hands and placed a fresh sock on each foot with loving care!

This is the “blazing fire of love”, to individually help someone, putting oneself in another’s place, and without worrying about personal harm assisting that person.

This is the “blazing fire of love”, to see each person as precious in God’s sight! To take risks to serve!

This morning at 5:30 a.m. as I prayed the “Vigil” in the “Daily Office,” awaiting the dawning of the day, signifying trusting God to bring another dawn, my mind centered on the recent slayings in Raleigh, North Carolina, and I cry for all who are suffering; I cry for those murdered, for their families, and for the local community. All are broken, and all are in need now, and in the days ahead of the blazing fire of the love of God in individuals to take them into their arms, to hold and, to bring hope and love, and finally  I cry for Austin, a young man so overcome with the evil of mental illness he hurt so many.

May the blazing fire of love push our society to have mental health for all, and each of us to brings the blazing fire of love in caring for adolescents. In helping them find care and meaning in their lives.

And may we remember the words of Father Ronald Rothlheiser:

“Whenever we are discouraged in our faith, whenever our hopes seem to be crucified, we need to go back to Galilee, back to the dream and the road. .that we had embarked upon before things went wrong.”

And in closing  let us pray the prayer in today’s Vigils:

“Hidden God, ever present to me,

may I now be present to you,

attentive to  your every word,

attuned to your inspirations,

alert to your touch.

Empty me that I maybe filled with you alone.



Father Christian River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



I have started addressing Christmas Cards, and if you do not believe I have your snail mail and would like to have a card please email me. Thanks!

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