Gospel – Luke 3:10-18
The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.” Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Exhorting them in many other ways, he preached good news to the people.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
696 While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. The prayer of the prophet Elijah, who “arose like fire” and whose “word burned like a torch,” brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. This event was a “figure” of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes “before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah,” proclaims Christ as the one who “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Jesus will say of the Spirit: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” In the form of tongues “as of fire,” the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself. The spiritual tradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit’s actions. “Do not quench the Spirit.”
From “The Great Crusade of Salvation” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (CS 113:1)
1) As a man who invites his friends to share his table, in like manner I invite you to share My life.
From “The Great Crusade of Mercy” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (CM 151:7-9)
7) Imagine that you are some really poor peasants who return tired and hungry to your wretched rural dwelling where you cannot hope for more than the little relief of rest and a poor meal. Weary as you are, imagine that one night instead of your poor and humble dwelling, you find a palace that you had no idea existed, and that that palace, an incomparable gift, was given to you unselfishly by a magnanimous king.
8) Well then, that is how it will be for you at the end of your lives. On your last day, already fixed by Me, you will do the things I have assigned to you, and following your usual custom, you will pass wearily and perhaps sadly before Me to find some rest, to calm some pain, to overcome some sorrow or for any other human reason. You will pass before Me and you will set out for the height that seems most necessary to you for that day. You will not suspect that I have already established the end of your weary days, and that your wretched hovel down here will change into a divine dwelling on that very day, even though for some, by passing through Purgatory.
9) Having arrived at your final destination, before your eyes, you will behold the divine Palace where I, the Love that speaks to you, am seated in the midst of a thousand delights.
From “Door to Heaven” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (DH 74:3)
3) If like the poor widow in the Gospel, you would place all your safety, your possessions and your fortune at My service, you would never want for anything. But no, you spend your lives being miserly with the alms that you give, calculating what will give you more profit, and where there are mathematical calculations and financial interests. I am not your God; your God is money, your God is comfort, your God is calculation, your God is the master of the world…
Each week we will be presenting a portion of the following Sunday’s readings, and linking it to relevant parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and messages from the Testimony of Catalina. Pay special attention to the italicized underlined sections. This Sunday it is asked, What kind of soil will you be for the word of God? We hope this is inspiring and educational. Any comments you have are certainly welcomed.
Tim Francis prepared this educational program to help you increase your faith and love for the Holy Trinity and our Blessed Mother. His website is http://YouShallBelieve.com
I have known Tim for many years and recommend his work highly. He is a strong advocate for the “The Real Body and Blood Of Jesus” and the numerous miracles that occur on a daily basis. Both of us are greatly inspired by the amazing writings of Catalina Rivas. Catalina is one of the few individuals in history who personally experienced the “Stigmata Of Jesus Christ.”