Prayer of the Day
Feast of St. John of CapistranoOctober 23rd, 2014
In today’s gospel Jesus speaks of ‘fire’ and ‘baptism.’ He proclaims his mission as that of bringing fire to the earth. But before this can be accomplished he has to undergo a fearful baptism. The baptism he speaks about is his terrible passion and death. The shadow of the cross must have been a terrible suffering for Jesus: “great is my distress until it is over.” Anticipation of suffering is nearly always worse than its realisation. In our day and age when we have pain-killers for even the slightest discomfort the thought of the cruelty of the cross is abhorrent. Jesus on the cross went down into the very depths of our suffering in order to be with us and to release the fire of the Holy Spirit on the earth. At Pentecost that fire came down on the disciples in the upper room and it transformed them from being frightened human beings to becoming courageous witnesses for Christ. Over the centuries that fire has been brought to the ends of the earth.