I was recently struck by this idea quoted by Saint Pope John Paul II. According to Saint Ephrem those who eat the living Body of the Lord with faith eat “Fire and Spirit” (Encyclical Letter Ecclesia De Eucharistia, 17, Pope John Paul II).
Of course in the natural realm we can tame fire and it is very useful in all sorts of different ways but this doesn’t take away from its inherent power.
Through the sacraments and prayer we receive the Holy Spirit, that same Spirit that came at Pentecost with what appeared as tongues of fire. This is what we are dealing with, though often in a hidden way seen only with eyes of faith- the power of the Gospel, the power of Christ in the sacraments-Spirit and fire at work in our lives and those who are engaged in the RCIA process.
If as catechists we can faithfully and humbly ‘get out of the way’ and allow the Spirit, the fire of Divine love, to burn in our hearts we will surely see the fruit of the Spirit’s work- love, peace and joy continue to grow in abundance.
Fire can be gently warming but also powerful in its intensity and the fire of Christ’s love as we know will continue to transform and purify us all on our journey of faith, if we allow it. Sometimes as catechists the fire can become embers and we need to once again fan into a flame that gift of God.
As we all approach the table of the Lord, be it at Sunday Eucharist or for the first time at the Easter Vigil may we all be conscious that we eat with faith ‘fire and Spirit’, may this rekindle our mission to love and serve God and neighbour.