Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 9 – Memorial of St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Tending Well the Fire of God

The antiphon for today’s psalm exclaims, “Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire!” We often used this image of fire to describe the presence and love of God. Jesus tells us that he came to set the world on fire. The Holy Spirit came in tongues of flame at Pentecost. In today’s first reading we see the the eyes of Moses remained undimmed at the age of 120, still filled with the fire of so many face to face encounters with God. While fires can sometimes be large and rage out of control, the fire that is the presence of God within us is much more like a small watch fire. A small fire has to be carefully tended and little sticks have to be added frequently to feed it. That’s a good image for the spiritual life in all of us. We have to carefully tend this gift of God’s presence and feed it often. St. Jane Frances de Chantal knew this is and is a beautiful example of tending carefully the spiritual life. May we all be diligent in keeping the flame of God’s love alive in our hearts.

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