Let's Get Fired Up!

Pentecost, Fernando Gallego

Happy Feast Day, and wouldn't you know the day we celebrate speaking in tongues there'd be no one on duty to translate the Pope's Italian homily. Maybe the Spirit will help us understand it anyway. Asia News summarizes it thus:
The Apostles, together with believers of different communities, have brought this divine flame to the ends of the Earth, thus they opened a path for humanity, an illuminated road, and they collaborated with God who with his fire wants to renew the face of the earth. How different this fire is from that of war and bombs! How different the fire of Christ is, propagated by the Church, than that of the dictators of every age, even those of the last century, which left behind scorched earth. The fire of God, the fire of the Holy Spirit, is the fire of the bush that rages without burning. It is a flame that burns but does not destroy, indeed, its flames bring out the best and truest in man, like in a fusion it reveals his inner form, his call to truth and love. "
"And yet - continues the pope - it transforms, and therefore must consume something in man, the waste that corrupts and hinders his relationship with God and his neighbour.  This effect of the divine fire, however, frightens us, we are afraid of being 'burned', preferring to stay as we are. This is because many times our life is set according to the logic of having, of possession and not giving. Many people believe in God and admire the figure of Jesus Christ, but when they are asked to lose something of themselves, then they draw back, afraid of the demands of faith. "
The Pope goes on to say: "In losing something, indeed, losing ourselves for the true God, the God of love and life, we actually gain something, we find ourselves more fully.  Those who entrust themselves to Jesus in this life experience a peace and joy of heart, that the world can not give them or take away from them once gifted by God.  It is therefore worthwhile to allow ourselves be touched by the fire of the Holy Spirit! The pain that it brings us is necessary for our transformation”