Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love (Gospel acclamation, Pentecost).
Fire is a traditional symbol of the Spirit. Fire is defined as the release of heat energy and of the light that accompanies fierce combustion. In human history, fire has created empires. The one who controls fire rules. Jesus reigns. The King has sent his Spirit on the disciples as a burning energy to purify them, to motivate them and to enable them to do the work of evangelization. The disciples themselves are transformed into the image of Christ by the fire of the Spirit. They burn with an ardent love. They live in light that never dims. Receiving the Spirit, Christians become his Temple, the hearth of divine fire in the world. Through their own fidelity, they tend the fire of the Spirit, always inflamed and illuminated by it. Their commitment to the fire prepares them for the mission of Christ: the burns they receive are transformed into gifts of the Spirit. As torches aflame with charity and truth, their task is to kindle the fire of the Spirit in the world. They make it available to people’s hearts and to the structures of human life. The combustion they ignite with enthusiasm is never without pain: it is a participation in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus. But it is a fire always to be lit with conviction and never be allowed to die out because of fear. It is matter of empire.
It’s the old black pot that turns out the good white rice. (Niger)