20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 14/8/2022 - Gospel: Luke 12: 49-53
This is the self- revelation of Jesus' mind and heart. He came to bring fire to the earth and wished that the fire He brought to the world would burn brightly. He revealed also that he had a baptism, and that His Heart was in great distress. There is a huge difference between the peace and fire Jesus offers and the peace and fire of the world. The peace that the world has to offer can be violated, and fire of the world is destructive. The peace that Jesus has to offer can't be violated and the fire He brought is constructive.

Summer is the busiest time for fire-fighters. Where there is a fire, big or small, there is a potential threat, and when a fire is out of control it can destroy all living things on its way, including trees, animals, and human life.
The fire Jesus talked about is not a physical, consuming fire, but rather the spiritual one. The fire which comes from Jesus' loving Heart is the fire of His love for us. It burns brightly in His Heart, and He wished that it would burn brightly in the hearts of His followers. The fire Jesus offers is selective in its burning. It doesn't burn everything. It protects lives, environment and ecology, but burns personal vices.

When a fire burns it produces flames which constantly flick up and down, and each time the shape of the flame changes. It is a symbol of our heart for Jesus; like fire flames, our love for Jesus also ups and downs. Sometimes it burns brightly; other times it has no flame but just a thread of smoke. When our love for Jesus is not burning, Jesus wishes that our love for Him will blaze again. Fire has the power to purify, separating what is worthless from what is worthy. When the heavenly fire burns in our hearts, it has the power to purify our mind and heart. It burns down the sugar coating of all human desires and that helps us to see how wrong we were and make changes accordingly. Fire brings judgement, in a sense of what should be kept and what needs to be discarded. Jesus had experienced human judgement at two levels: government authority and private citizen. The authority one was His Passion. He was condemned to death by hanging on the cross; the individual ones are those who refused to follow him, reject his call for the conversion of heart.

A physical fire consumes everything in its way; when the heavenly fire is blazing in one's heart, it doesn't consume but purifies the whole person. It renews that person by giving him/her a new way of life, and a new way of relationships. The change it brings can cause conflict first within a person and then extend to relatives and friends. Change and division often move in opposite directions. Where there is no division, there would be no real change, because change requires separating, dividing, and moving away from the present situation. Without a real change, a person would never be a true follower of Jesus. This change may cause members of a family to condemn each other because a believer places Jesus as first priority in life, above even parents and blood relatives. The change makes a follower of Jesus realize that the present world is a passing world; our true home is in God's kingdom.

When Jesus talked about the baptism that he would soon receive; he was in distress, and agony, because His Baptism was the way of the cross. It was happening on the cross, and after three days, He was triumphant in resurrection. Unlike his, our baptism doesn't last that long and we don't have to go through what Jesus did. Our baptism has its foundation in Jesus, and is a joyful celebration, because Jesus has already taken the hard part for us. We are invited to follow Jesus who himself is the way, truth and life. The baptism that Jesus offers strips bare human ambitions, making us God's children, filling our heart with God's grace. We are baptised in the Name of the Holy Trinity; we renounce Satan, sin and worldly glory. We publicly profess that God is our Lord; we love him and follow His way of life. Our baptism gives us hope to enter our true home in God's kingdom.