2020.01.19 Homily

Readings and Gospel at USCCB

When I was in High School, I was blessed to have parents who were very supportive of their children having hobbies.

One that I picked up was blacksmithing.

And I’m always reminded of it this time of year.

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When it got cold, that was the best time to smith.

I used a coal forge, and it could easily get up over 3000 degrees, so it wasn’t the best summer activity.

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Though most of you have probably never seen a forge, I ask you to imagine one.

The roar of air being forced into the fire, the heat smacking you in the face, the flames white hot, the metal glowing a cherry red, and all of this contrasting nicely with the black coal waiting around the edge of the fire to be pulled in.

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The Holy Spirit is often symbolized as fire.

Because it is destructive, but also creative.

The Holy Spirit is the destroyer of sin and wickedness, and the agent of creation.

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We know well the destructive power of fire, we have heard of it destroying so much of Australia, as well as the forest fires that ravaged California.

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In a much better way, the Holy Spirit is destructive.

Sin cannot stand before the Spirit of God, evil and wickedness melt away like wax in a furnace. 

In Baptism we see this, as Original Sin is burned away. We see it also in Confession, as well as at Mass.

When we invoke the Holy Spirit, we are throwing ourselves in a raging furnace, our sin will not survive, as long as we don’t run away.

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But fire is also the means of creation.

In my forge I was able to heat steel into a malleable material, I made hinges, nails, knives, door handles, and many other useful things.

Glass is made through the use of extreme heat; in a way we use fire to cook our food, heat our homes, power our vehicles.

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In such a way, the Holy Spirit acts as a creative force.

The Spirit creates saints out of sinful human beings, brings peace into the midst of chaos, and turns bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ during the mass.

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So when John says in our Gospel that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit, it is no simple thing he speaks about.

In our baptism, we were made temples of this Spirit.

We are the forge, and within us is the roar of a furnace.

The Holy Spirit, ready to burn away sin, and create the Kingdom everywhere we go.

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May we be a light to the nations, and let the Spirit burn.

En Español

Lecturas y Evangelio en la USCCB

Te pido que imagines un horno, como uno usado para forjar acero.

El rugido del aire al ser forzado al fuego, la sensación del intenso calor, las llamas al rojo vivo, el metal rojo brillante, y todo esto contrastando con el carbón negro alrededor del borde del fuego.

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El Espíritu Santo a menudo se simboliza como fuego.

Porque es destructivo, pero también creativo.

El Espíritu Santo es el destructor del pecado y la maldad, y el agente de la creación.

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Conocemos bien el poder destructivo del fuego, hemos escuchado recientemente que destruyó gran parte de Australia.

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De una manera mucho mejor, el Espíritu Santo es destructivo.

El pecado no puede estar delante del Espíritu de Dios, el mal se derriten como cera en un horno.

En el bautismo vemos esto, ya que el pecado original es destruido. Lo vemos también en la confesión, así como en la misa.

Cuando invocamos al Espíritu Santo, nos estamos arrojando en un horno furioso, nuestro pecado no sobrevivirá, mientras no huyamos.

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Pero el fuego también es el medio de la creación.

El vidrio y el acero se fabrican y forman mediante el uso de calor extremo; de diferentes maneras usamos el fuego para cocinar nuestros alimentos, calentar nuestros hogares y alimentar nuestros vehículos.

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De tal manera, el Espíritu Santo actúa como una fuerza creativa.

El Espíritu crea santos a partir de seres humanos pecaminosos, lleva la paz al medio del caos y convierte el pan y el vino en el Cuerpo, la Sangre, el Alma y la Divinidad de Jesucristo durante la misa.

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Entonces, cuando Juan dice en nuestro Evangelio que Jesús bautiza con el Espíritu Santo, no es algo simple de lo que habla.

En nuestro bautismo, fuimos hechos templos de este Espíritu.

Somos la fragua, y dentro de nosotros está el rugido de un horno.

El Espíritu Santo, listo para quemar el pecado y crear el Reino donde quiera que vayamos.

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Que seamos una luz para las naciones, y que el Espíritu arda.

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