One Minute Reflection – 23 January – St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275) – Sirach 31:8-11, Luke 12:35-40 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“You also must be ready, for at an hour that you think not, the Son of man will come.” – Luke 12:40
REFLECTION – “I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing”… The Lord desires to have us vigilant, always waiting for the Saviour’s coming… But as the gain is meagre and the merit weak, when fear of pain is what prevents us from straying and as love is what has the greater worth, the Lord Himself…sets on fire our longing to win God, when He says: “I have come to set the earth on fire.” Not the kind of fire that destroys, of course but that which produces an upright will and perfects the golden vessels in the Lord’s House by consuming the chaff and the straw (1 Cor 3:12), by devouring all this world’s veneer, acquired through the taste for earthly pleasures and the perishable works of the flesh.
This was the heavenly fire that burned in the bones of the prophets, as Jeremiah declared: “It becomes, like fire burning…in my bones,” (Jer 20,9). For there is a fire of the Lord of which it is said: “Fire goes before Him,” (Ps 96,3). The Lord Himself is a fire, it says: “which burns without being consumed,” (Ex 3,2). The fire of the Lord is Light Eternal; the lamps of believers are lit at this fire: “Gird your loins and light your lamps,” (Lk 12:35). It is because the days of our life are still night that a lamp is necessary. This is the fire which, according to the testimony of the disciples at Emmaus, the Lord Himself set within them: “Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32). He gives us evident proof of this fire’s action, enlightening man’s inmost heart. That is why the Lord will come in fire (Is 66,15) so as to devour our faults at the resurrection, fulfil each one’s desires with His Presence and cast His Light over their merits and mysteries.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Archbishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church (Treatise on St Luke’s Gospel, 7, 131-132).
PRAYER – O God, Thou Who chose blessed Raymond to be a renowned minister of the Sacrament of Penance and miraculously brought him through the waves of the sea, grant that, by his intercession, we may produce good results from our penance and reach the Heaven of eternal salvation .Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).