Yesterdays first reading was the story of Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal. This is absolutely my favorite story in the Scriptures. I think the story holds special significance for those trying to live the Radical Catholic life. Elijah is the last of the prophets of the Lord in an extremely unfaithful generation. (sound familiar?) The king’s wife, Jezebel, is something like a witch and she worships the god (demon) Baal. Baal was worshipped through ritual sex and prostitution, child sacrifice and blood. To say the least this was an evil scary religion. Jezebel had killed all the Prophets of the Lord that she could catch. Elijah just can’t take it anymore so he challenges the prophets of Baal in front of the people of Israel.
You know the rest of the story… Our God, Yaweh, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega answers with fire while Baal remains powerless and silent.
Isn’t this what always happens? The “prophets” of this world lead the people away from God. But God always answers with fire.
A radical Catholic knows that God answers with fire when you have Jesus deep within your hearts. A radical Catholic knows that God answers with fire when you ask for that fire in the name of Jesus. When we go out into the world and the false “prophets” and the worship of false gods is being thrown into our faces we know the answer. The answer, my brothers and Sisters is Jesus and when we proclaim Jesus and when people surrender to Him, He always answers with fire.
The fire that Elijah called down was physical and it burnt up the stones and wood and sacrifice and lapped up all the water. This fire I am talking about is not physical but it is infinitely more powerful. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit and it will burn up the hardness, doubt, sin, hate and hurt inside each man. If we ask and surrender God will send down fire into our heart that will stir up the gifts we need to kill the false “prophets” of sin, pride, godlessness, lust, and hopelessness that plague our culture. God wants to set us all on fire and as radical Catholics we should earnestly desire this fire.
Come Holy Fire. Come Holy Spirit. Lord, God answer with fire. People of the world listen! The God who answers by fire; He is God.
Are you a Catholic? Christian? Believer of any kind? Have you asked the Lord Jesus to send down the fire of the Holy Spirit into your hearts? Ask and surrender right now! Lord Jesus light me on fire. Burn me as a sacrifice to show the folly of glorifying anyone but you. Kill whatever is in me that is not of you.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.” 1 Kings 18:39
The God who answers by fire is God!
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.