He brings it up again during Adoration. The nudge, the call. Jesus has been tenderly stoking a near-absent fire in my heart. It once blazed, providing warmth and light, releasing sparks that rivaled the stars.
And then I got burned.
So I squelched the fire with buckets of doubt and disappointment. I left the fire, ashamed, embarrassed, and confused.
And now, years later, Jesus reminds me that He is content to remain around the ashes, stoking the coals.
Today’s First Reading recounts a prophecy to God’s chosen people, the Israelites, during their exile. They’d been driven from the land to which God had brought them. Hopes and dreams rested in this Promised Land.
And then it was burned.
Being forced from their homes, they caravanned with doubt and disappointment. They were ashamed, embarrassed, and confused.
Through His prophet, God speaks a word of encouragement to His people. He doesn’t relent on the call He placed on His beloved. The Lord promises that He will “raise up its ruins, and rebuild it” (see Amos 9:11).
I can hear the people’s responses in my head because they are my own.
Ok, Lord, since that worked out so well the last time.
It’s not even worth it. Can we just forget it?
But the Lord doubles down on His promise, reinforcing that what He’s kindled in them would last. He tells them that they will enjoy the wine from the grapes they plant and eat the fruit of the gardens they sow from seeds (see First Reading). This is imagery of both abundance and longevity.
What fires are dying in your heart today? On what promises is God doubling-down? Hear the peace He speaks to you (see Responsorial Psalm). Let Him fan the embers.