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June 13, 2018 - The Lord's Fire

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Scripture Readings

Anyone involved in scouting or who has a fireplace has probably at one point knows how to make a fire.  You need three thing fuel, oxygen, and heat.  Elijah was prepared the fuel and the sacrifice and trusted that the Lord would provide the heat.  Except he was tired of the people persisting in their unbelief, asking them how long might they straddle issue?  Unmoved by the question Elijah pushes them further.

As Elijah shows, the path is not one we are meant to straddle.  The children of Israel were adopting Baal as their God, Elijah wanted to make clear that the Lord is God alone.  So he made a test for the prophets of Baal, before all the people.  The sacrifice was to be prepared and God alone was to light the fire.  As the fire for Baal failed to light the prophets, hopped around and slashed themselves all to call their god to action.  Their prayers to a God who did not exist went unanswered. Elijah determined to make clear the power of God dosed the altar with so much water the wood could not be lit except by God’s intervention.  Thus Elijah gave praise and called upon the Lord to burn the sacrifice and so it happened.

Then and now God is calling on us to be true to the one who created and saves us.  When temptation to follow a foreign God continually presents itself, we must think clearly about our thoughts, words, and actions and how they might lead ourselves and others to live outside the law of God’s love.  We must not let the flame of faith be dosed by the water of sin or unbelief.

Consider our own lives and the path on which we walk.  Do we walk within the law of the Lord?  Is there an area where we attempt to straddle the Lord’s path?  How could we change our stance to one that is solidly on the path to life?  Pray about one particular area in which one could themselves as a sacrifice acceptable to the Lord.  It will become clear when one is firmly back on the path because the heat of the Lord’s fire burning within you will capture your imagination.

- Michael Montgomery