A reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi 3:19-20a Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays. _____________________________
REFLECTION Fire is a fascinating entity. I live in a region where threats of bushfires are present every summer. The same area would have the smell of firewood wafting through the chilly winter nights.
Fire can spell disaster, and equally, it can sustain life with its heat for warmth and cooking. Fire can consume as much as it can refine impurities.
It is no wonder the image of fire is often associated with testing periods in our lives, we call them “trial by fire”, and most notably, hell and purgatory are often associated with fire. There are many places in the bible which reference the holy fire of God; Moses and the burning bush, Elijah and the chariots of fire, the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles on Pentecost as tongues of fire. What then does this all mean? Are there two types of fire? No. There are two types of substance burning in the same fire: one will be consumed, and the other refined and moulded perfectly into the image of God.
The difference is what we have conformed in us - vice or virtue, sin or holiness - which will determine whether we will be stubble or arise. May the Lord have mercy on us in His generosity so that we may have the time of conform ourselves to Him. Pax et Bonum.