Daily Reflection
October 21st, 1999
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
 Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Romans 6:19-23
Luke 12:49-53

"I have come to light a fire on the earth. How I wish the blaze were ignited!
I have a baptism to receive.  What anguish I feel till it is over!"

These are some of the most exciting and challenging words of Jesus.  Too often Jesus is made into a calming, comforting, anesthetizing person.  He asks that we love, but he seems to do it in such a pleasant and undemanding way.

Today we can really feel the passion of Jesus.  He is restless in his desire to ignite a fire.  He's on a mission.  It is deep inside of him, coming out of the fire within him.  His desire is to draw us in, to enflame our hearts, to have us ablaze with his mission, with our passion.

He knows there are so many arguments against passion - at least this kind of passion.  Oh, it will be "divisive."  Some people will "be upset."  Being "controversial" will turn some people off, and anger others.  Isn't it better to "keep the peace."

Jesus knows that Evil can reign under this kind of cover.  And he knows that his "baptism" is ours.  Baptized into him, we await, with some anticipation, our hearts being ablaze with the fullness of the living out of that baptism.  So today we can ask ourselves how we might catch the passion of Jesus, and let it ignite our hearts, so that we might set our world ablaze.

What is the passion I feel, the desire, the invitation, to recover today?  Do I feel loved with the passion of Jesus?  What would I have to surrender to be more "on fire?"  How would it change my relationships, my view of my work, my outlook on life, my faith and service of others - if I let myself be touched by this loving Fire?

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