Twenty-seventh Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C
Reflecting on 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
There’s an incendiary sentence in this week’s second reading from 2Timothy: “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you.” Those of us in Colorado and California have had more than enough “flames” this season. One hundred and sixty nine Boulder families were recently displaced when flames, whipped up by winds, darted from house to house, destroying homes and hundreds of acres of land. It is the most costly fire in Colorado history.
But it does give one pause. How quickly, how ravenously a fire can consume anything in its wake. A fire starts out quietly (in this case in a fire pit) and then builds volume as it spreads. And it’s just that kind of fire that the author of the letter to Timothy is encouraging!
I’ve seen lots of those kinds of fires. Twelve years ago my brother Marty pointed out a little girl in his inner-city Math class and said, “This kid will be President someday if somebody will just give her a little help.” Last year, at age 18 and a first-year college student, she wowed the benefactors at the Seeds of Hope gala with her poised and thoughtful reflection on the many mentors who supported her as she navigated her way through elementary school and high school. She’ll probably be President of her own non-profit someday. She will undoubtedly spend her life stoking the same fires of compassion and justice that were darting around her during those difficult years.
Send forth the fires of your justice, God. And let each one of us fan the flames of radical kindness and goodness into a fire that can never be extinguished.
Sharing God’s Word at Home:
Can you remember a kindness that one person extended that grew into a larger “firestorm” of good?
What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.
I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
My life has been richly blessed with kind people who have made a difference! And sad to say that I didn’t always realize what blessings that some of them were offering. I remember my God mother Rose, she was so sweet and humble, and very out spoken too. No rose colored glasses for Rose. But now that I am matured I see the wisdom she offered. It funny how true the saying that “youth is wasted on the young” is. Oh, the things I could have done if I had shut the mouth and opened the ears. When I fell away from the Church, she and many friends stuggled to open my eyes. Yet what they thought was falling on deaf ears, laid in my heart and smothered for year. Then one day a tiny ember began to glow and guide me back. Sometimes it’s a roaring fire and other times it’s a little flicker. But all along it has been flued by the love and care of good loving people that God led me to. Becky
p.s Im still trying to get the hang of being online from my cell. Sorry for all the typos!
In 1967, a friend’s family invited me to stay with them when my parents kicked me out of their house. I remember saying, “I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you.” Their response was, “If a time comes that someone needs help, and you’re in a position to help, do it.”
I have found so many opportunities these past 43 years to help others the way I was helped. If they say that they don’t know how to repay me, I repeat, “If a time comes that someone needs help, and you’re in a position to help, do it.”
I hope some people have caught “fire” in these endeavors. I’ll never know, but that doesn’t matter, does it?
A couple of months ago, a friend passed away at age 54. I circulated 40 slips of paper containing the e-mail of the beareaved wife so that after the 9-day novena, there will be 40 e-mails of daily support to the wife who lives by herself.
Each slip of paper contains a date when the person who draws it is supposed to call the beareaved. I called the activity ‘Cadena de Amor’ – – (Chain of love.)
Result: plethora of e-mail arrived, eventually compiled by the beareaved’s daughter into so many pages. The ember that turned into conflagration. – – Cris
“a Spirit of love and self contoll”
Well, tonight I am excersizing the “love and self control”. I am struggling to help my son as he works to choose the next steps in his life (he’s a senior in High School). On one hand he wants to enlist in the Marines, the next hand he wants to go to a military college, the next he wants to just goof off. I’m fine with him joining the military, it’s the “on again” and “off again” that makes it hard.
Some of it is him being 17, I know. But it is most difficult when working to be a guide and you feel like you’re being ignored. My son is ADHD and it only adds to the difficulty at times.
Ahh, well, thanks to the Holy Spirit, I have the courage and self control to continue to support, guide, and love him. But it does take a great deal of perseverance, persistance and patience .
Thanks for listening to my rant. Sometimes it helps to just “say” the words.
I have recently been writing a blog about my life, for my adopted daughter. In doing so, the many individuals who had an impact on my life at every level have been recalled. And, I wonder to myself if they have any idea what their caring and love meant, and how my life was guided by so many. Most will never know, for as Becky states, “Youth is wasted on the young.” The results weren’t always immediate, in fact laid fallow in my heart at times, needing some reminder to re-kindle the flame. So, as Brebis, I have tried to ‘pay it forward’ when an opportunity arises, and find that most of the time the results aren’t as obvious as was the case with the lovely child in Kathy’s story. But, remembering my own experiences, I’m comforted to realize that you never know when the fire will erupt!
Chris, I hold you in prayer. Such difficult years for parents!! We always want to lift them up over the mud puddles, spare them from the mess of life, and they always need to wallow in the mud and experience it themselves, don’t they? 🙂
Thank you for remembering the people of Boulder. So many friends have lost so much. A fire of love has swept this community (Boulder always reacts with generous care for others – despite what the media say). Care of the displaced still goes on – there is a fundraising lunch at Namaste Solar next week. Of course, my parish has done nothing. It is deeply disturbing.
Thank you again fro this wonderful place of reflection.
(By the way: ADHD kids hear every word you say. They can’t help taking in everything. They just have trouble filtering things, processing them and then letting it back out.)