By Angie Koenig
I love a good bonfire. Living in Northwestern Wisconsin, there are only so many months in the year you have to enjoy this summer night favorite. As a kid I looked forward to the fire because it meant s’mores and roasting hotdogs. Now that I’m older, there is just something magical about watching the fire burn. The crackle of the logs, the smell of the smoke as it rises up into the night, the stars shining bright above you, and the embers, the little glowing bits of what was once a living thing, floating into the abyss.
Fire is beautiful, but it is also fierce. One small spark can start an uncontrollable flame that consumes everything around it. It is no wonder that Jesus himself said, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49) We are called to be caught up in this fire of the Almighty, we are called to set the world ablaze.
We cannot accomplish this on our own. Praise God that He never leaves us abandoned. Today we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, and just as tongues of fire settled on the Apostles, through their succession, the same power is passed on to us through our Confirmation.
What was scattered at Babel, the consequence of “making a name for ourselves” (Gen 11:4) outside of God, is restored through the Spirit of the Lord. It is clear – with God there is unity, without Him there is chaos. So often we look for what we need outside of the Lord. We think that we need to build towers to reach Heaven on our own. The tower of wealth, or the tower of power. The tower of perfection, the tower of pleasure. These towers, and the name we try and make for ourselves, prevent us from truly placing our trust in God. There is no tower we build that can get us to Heaven.
It’s time to burn down our towers, burn them down with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Let wisdom, knowledge, counsel and understanding consume our need for wealth and power. Allow fear of the Lord to burn up our desires for perfection in the eyes of the world. Set fire to unholy cravings for pleasure with fortitude and piety. Jesus did not leave us unarmed in the world. He gave us the gift of the Spirit who can set the world on fire through us if we allow Him to.
In today’s second reading we hear St. Paul advise us that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each individual for some benefit. (1 Cor 12:7) Can you image what the world would like if we allowed the Spirit to work through us? We get a glimpse of the power we have access to through the Spirit when we read the Acts of the Apostles. Wisdom, the power to heal, courage in the face of death. The Apostles were changed after Jesus breathed the Spirit into them. They became the embers that passed the fire on through generation after generation.
My dear sisters, what power does the Holy Spirit wish to manifest in you? What flame has been put in your heart for the sake of the Kingdom? What tower have you been building that needs to be burned to the ground? Focus your eyes on the Lord and allow the Spirit into your heart. You are the flame that can set the world ablaze.
About the Author:
Angie Koenig is a passionate follower of Jesus working her way through life as a Millennial. She is the youngest of nine children and embraces her role as a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Angie blogs about her love story with Jesus at www.spirituallyspokenfor.com. Currently she resides in Eau Claire, WI where she enjoys anything that involves coffee.