Marie joins Marcus Grodi on Deep in Scripture Radio to discuss the imagery of fire and purgation in the Bible, looking specifically at Luke 12: 49, Luke 22: 31-34 & 54-57, 1 Peter 1: 7, and 1 Corinthians 3: 12-15.
Luke 12: 49
 “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!”
Luke 22: 31-34
 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,
 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”
 And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
 He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.”
Luke 22: 54-57
 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
1 Peter 1: 7
 so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3: 12-15
 If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,
 the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one’s work.
 If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage.
 But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire.
In the midst of the Holiday Cheer it is easy to forget why we are truly here… at this time…in Advent
For Catholic Christians it is a mini Lent – a time to prepare to meet our Savior in the Child Jesus!
The best way to prepare is to let go of ourselves, crucify our flesh and once again unite with Christ our King!
Our Jesus is the “Suffering Servant” and to be like Him and with Him is to carry our Cross and follow Him right to Calvary!
So if we find ourselves at this time suffering in mind, body and or spirit let us rejoice that Our Lord and God has deemed us worthy of sharing in His suffering and let us ask Him to do with it whatever pleases Him.
For we usually do not understand why we suffer and it seems meaningless, especially now when the world has already started celebrating Christmas with good food, drink and gifts!
But God, in His mercy and grace totally understands what our suffering is about and He knows it is for a greater good…
Look at Saint Joseph and how he struggled and suffered upon seeing Our Blessed Mother pregnant when he knew it wasn’t his baby!!!!
Can you just imagine that the news of this baby was not good at first but painful!!!
If Saint Joseph was allowed to suffer in spirit and mind – then how much more do you think we should be expecting to suffer when the Child Jesus is near!
May God bless you this Advent season with just what you need to get closer to Him who loves you!
8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10For,
“THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS,
MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.
11 “HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD;
HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT.
12 “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS,
AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER,
BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.”
Well St. Peter this might be the hardest of your words yet! These words are so counter-cultural – so opposite from the desire of human nature!
Sounds like we need a saviour to follow these words…
We need THE SAVIOR Jesus to follow His example – to follow HIM!
I was reminded yesterday of the difference between the “I” in me and the “I AM” of Jesus –
We can only act in the way of Jesus by His grace and His strength — He acting in us.
But when we try to be perfect for ourselves… when we look at the commandments as a measure of how righteous we are… for the sake of being righteous… a good person…
for ME — For the “I” in me… than we have missed the power of the savior in our lives!
The is no longer an “I” in me… but a “Christ” who lives in me… and He is the great
“I AM” — HE IS!
When I can step out of the way and put all my trust in Him — with my YES –
then I can let His grace give me the strength to repay evil with good — and to not allow evil to pass my lips!
I need saving every day… and I look to Jesus who had the power to fight sin — to fight it daily in me!
Where in your life are you not following the good?
Where in your life have you not surrendered to Jesus?
God bless –
1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
St. Peter starts with the words… in the same way… meaning is the same way as the verses we ended with yesterday… in the same way as “THE WAY” CHRIST JESUS!
How beautiful and with a totally truthful perspective we can read these words if we read first about Christ suffering…
these are hard words for our modern day culture….and with all that has happened with women’s so called “liberation”.
When Christ came he liberated women… he raised women and slaves and the poor…
If we read these words about submission and the fact that a woman has the power to win her husband’s soul for Christ if she exemplifies him…
Not with nagging… not with anger or frustrated words… but with love in action…
Silence – not a word would have to be spoken –
This is a high calling we have as women – to be like the savior Jesus!
Not in titles or positions of grandeur … but in action…
Then St. Peter calls men to live with wives “In the same way” as Christ and with understanding…
This might seem amazing to many men and women who read this and think…
Understanding? We are so different how can I understand this Man or Woman????
But with the grace of Christ – understanding is possible!
And in the Sacrament of Marriage the grace of God is flowing if a wife and husband follow in this SAME WAY!
As St. Peter says… the husband’s prayers will be hindered!
This word “weaker”… this may seem to offend some women…
Weaker does not mean unequal or less than…
Women are receivers… we are to be softer, docile, usually more compassionate,
we are the heart of the family.
Men are the hunters, protectors and they are stronger –
This goes for temptations too I believe… which is why Eve was so easily tempted and taken by Satan when he convinced her to eat the apple in the original sin…
So St. Peter is so wise to exhort the husband to a greater understanding of his wife!
This is good news and beautifully put by St. Peter…
In what ways can we as wives or husbands follow in Christ’s way –
which we read about yesterday — that by His wounds we are healed and by His suffering we have an example in our relationships?
In what way can you offer suffering or any wounds from your spouse in marriage – to our Lord for healing?
23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
Oh St. Peter… this is action packed today. I can just picture him writing this with heart felt thanksgiving to His Savior and King Jesus Christ.
How do we suffer? Do we follow the example of our Lord?
This is so comforting… but also exhorting… and if you haven’t seen by now,
Peter exhorts! Our first Pope!
“For by his wounds you are healed” This never had such meaning to me as it does right now!
If Jesus healed us by His Wounds… how much more then does He call us to offer our wounds?
Think about the people in your life who have hurt you —
Do you want revenge, justice, do you want them to come to you and tell you they are sorry — that they were wrong…
Isn’t that what we want usually? Don’t we remain in pain over past hurts and think to ourselves… you know if they just came to me and said they were sorry –
Or we are upset because we think… “If they just said they were wrong and sorry!”
Usually I have forgiven but there is still a pain in my heart over the hurt and so I continue to pray for the person… but I will think to myself in times of temptation…
I wish they knew how much they hurt me…
Recently I prayed and realized that my prayers for this person are greater now after they hurt me than before… it is a greater sacrifice to Our Lord — and the person doesn’t even have to know that I know pray for them from a place of pain — from the wound!
From the Wound I pray for God to bless them and heal them!
Wow — that is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us and for all those people — even His own friends… ESPECIALLY PETER who denied him!
When Jesus was on the cross Peter had left Him… said he didn’t even know Him!
Jesus prayed for Peter anyway — that his faith would be strong – for protection against Satan who Jesus already had seen speaking through Peter!
These are powerful words today from St. Peter…
A beautiful way that he replays and tells the way Our Lord suffered… and an example for us to follow!
Think today about praying from your wounds and hurts — from that place of pain for those who hurt you…
In heaven you will see the graces and glory of God through this prayer!
God bless –
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds [favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
Christ Is Our Example
21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH
WOW this is even harder than the verses from Day 14! So here it is… when we do what is right and suffer, and patiently endure it, we follow Jesus example and bring glory to God.
Seems like I spend most of my life suffering the consequences of my sin… and I seem to be better able to endure that then I am when I am called to suffer for what I did not do.
It just doesn’t ever seem fair!
And that’s it! In our world today we don’t like to ever pay for someone else’s sin… we do not like what we think is injustice!
And yet injustice is all around us…
When we suffer for doing the right thing and unite it to Christ it brings glory to God.
What stops us is fear, and St. Peter knows all about this temptation, as he fell three
times and denied Jesus…
Now St. Peter exhorts us here to do the good and be like Jesus in carrying injustices and
exercise patience and endurance.
In what ways do you feel like you suffer for doing good?
Maybe in your own home you are persecuted for your love of Jesus and His Church?
Maybe at work where people might be sinning and you are the one they make fun of for doing good?
How can you suffer patiently today and offer it to Jesus for His Glory!
This is a great time in Lent as we contemplate Jesus death for our sins…
as Peter says… he who did not sin or even speak anything deceitful suffered?
That’s a lot to meditate on today…
God bless –
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Today is a great message on the Feast of St. Joseph! His purity and his holiness spoke volumes and created great witness to the power of God… and with no written words about him!
St. Peter exhorts here that we keep our behavior excellent among the Gentiles… those who are far away from Jesus.
When someone is not with Christ or following in evil ways… the ways of God are crazy – and create anger in the dark soul!
But in the end the dark soul is still watching and observing your good deeds… we have no idea how those good deeds come into play someday and aid in their salvation.
St. Peter reminds us of this… and gives us motivation to follow in the good no matter what anyone thinks!
So stay clear of following the lust and desires of your flesh — ways of the world…
and follow in the ways of the Spirit of God!
The war is for our souls… and sin is death… it really is simple!
This letter is written for those Christians who were scattered in Asia minor —
Maybe there are Catholic Christians today reading this who feel all alone in their faith walk…
Maybe there are people reading this that feel… “What’s the point? Everyone around me is following the ways of the world and putting me down or scandalizing me for following the good in Jesus Christ! Why bother?”
St. Peter today is telling you that it does matter and to keep fighting against lust and sin –excellence in holiness is our goal –
How might you follow the light today?