Setting the World On Fire
Malvern Minute


October 26, 2017  Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Alleluia, alleluia!


Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (


 Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (12:49-53)


Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!

There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.

From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father, 
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”


Reflect: I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! Jesus speaks of setting the earth on fire and “a baptism with which I must be baptized.”  In this case, the baptism of which he speaks is his passion and death; the blood of the cross. His very presence leads to that baptism. His very presence brings about division because of the conflict between those who open their hearts to receive him and others who resist his message and his presence – the conflict between good and evil. Today, we continue to make choices. Do we really embrace Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life; or do we try to pick and choose what fits in with our own ambitions and priorities. Often we are the ones sowing division by choosing envy, resentment, hatred, selfishness, pride, injustice or disrespect. In the first reading today, we hear from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Chapter 6), which helps to put this conflict in the context of our Christian journey toward Christ; in the context of our need for conversion, choosing life over death: “But what profit did you get then from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  May we let Jesus consume our sin with the fire of his love so that we might experience the fullness of his life, eternal life!


Questions: Am I willing to be burned by the Truth, who is Jesus, so that I might grow in holiness and stay on the road to eternal life? What are the ways that my sinful and self-centered choices sow division and anguish? What one decision can I make today that will help me to be a slave to God rather than a slave to sin?


Pray: Loving God, grant that I may always conform my will to yours and remain in service to your majesty and your Kingdom with sincerity of heart.   I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.


Holy God; Holy and Mighty One; Holy and Immortal One: Have mercy on me and on the whole world.



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