“Set the World on Fire” by Karen Theckston, Fiat Ventures

Flickr Photo byShan Sheehan

4th Sunday of Easter

This past week we celebrated the feast days of some of my favorite saints. We had St. Gianna, the patroness of mothers, physicians and unborn children, St, Joseph the Worker and the great, St. Catherine of Siena. St. Catherine is a doctor of the Church and was said to be the most outspoken Italian woman of the middle ages – now that’s my kind of saint! She fought for the rights of the people and for peace and unity of the Church. She is also the author of one of my favorite quotes – “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!”

This quote keeps coming to mind while listening to and reading though the Acts of the Apostles this Easter Season. The image of fire and all its power is used multiple times, representing the Holy Spirit and the boldness and passion that filled the disciples for their mission to spread the word of Jesus. Through daily readings, I’ve been walking with the disciples, learning about the uncertainties,  the “new normal” they were living, trials they faced and how they overcame it all knowing God was walking with them the entire time. I even felt a little called out by the Holy Spirit through scripture – what was I doing right now for His mission? I don’t feel like I’ve been setting the world on fire exactly, while sitting on the couch stuck at home.

During the Easter Season, we are called to seek and spread the joy of the Resurrection. We’re supposed to be celebrating! Jesus has risen from the dead and victory is ours! But how am I supposed to celebrate when in the midst of a pandemic? For the first couple of weeks of the quarantine, I let this uncertainty consume me. I was so fixated on watching the news and making sure I understood the latest graphs and trends. I was scared to leave the house and would worry every minute my husband was at work. I wanted to hand over my anxieties and worries to God and the prayer I kept repeating was “Lord, help me trust”.  I felt like the worst disciple. What if fears and uncertainties kept the Apostles in the upper room? What if they didn’t trust? What if they let their fear consume them and  they didn’t go out and add thousands to the Church each day those first few weeks like we hear about in the first reading.

But they did. They were able to overcome all that, putting full confidence in God. Despite being persecuted everywhere they went, arrested, thrown in jail (and rescued by an angel!), their hearts were on fire for the Lord.

Praying with scripture was never my favorite way to pray…don’t tell anyone. However, through streaming Mass and turning to the daily readings more, God has opened my heart to his Word, showed me that scripture is FAR from boring and is helping me put my trust back in him. Do I still have concern about living in a pandemic (and bringing a baby into the world in just a couple of weeks), of course. But God has helped me find the confidence, hope and trust I have in Him that I lost for some time. I am able to see the joys of everyday life and an determined to spread it to others this Easter season. I know I’m living out God’s plan for me through ministry and being a wife and mom at home, and although setting the world on fire seems a little impossible over Zoom right now – it’s worth a shot!

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