I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! Jesus is asking us, are you on fire? or, what are you passionate about? Another way to ask that question is, what makes your heart sing?
Last year, I was celebrating the 4pm Christmas Eve mass at my previous parish. We were filled to the brim. Probably almost 1500 people were there for that one Mass. And I was emotional at the start of that Mass. I was overwhelmed by how many people came to celebrate Christ’s birth. I am passionate about people coming to know Jesus Christ.
I have been thinking about that question a lot lately. I have been reading a book about TED talks and the author proposes that question to the reader. What makes your heart sing? His advice: find what you passionate, on fire… find what makes your heart sing and talk about it.
So, what makes my heart sing?
As I think about this question, what comes to mind are the types of shows and movies I like to watch. They all share an important quality. They show the goodness of humanity. For example, I’ve been watching America’s Got Talent this summer. One great moment on this show came a couple of years ago. A woman came on the show to sing a song. But, as Simon quickly noticed, the young woman had an interpreter… because she can’t hear. She lost her hearing when she was 18. She even gave up on singing until she was about 25 and decided to try. Now on the show, she was 29 and she had learn how to sing even with her inability to hear. She wrote and sang a song about trying. It was one of the most inspirational things I had seen about someone who has persevered and continues to bless the world with the gifts God has given her. I am inspired by her story.
One of my favorite moments was when an 11-year-old boy wowed the judges with his violin talent. But it was even more amazing because he had cancer when he was 4 and now is in remission. The song he chose was Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. Simon gave him the golden buzzer. This young man’s talent, his passion, his love for music, and his joy made this a beautiful moment.
When I was younger, the priest I grew up with made my heart sing. I was at a funeral for the grandfather of one of my closest friends. My friend was the lector for the second reading and he was overcome with emotion. The priest walked over put his hand on his shoulder and helped my friend finish, in his moment of grief, to finish the reading. I think this was a major moment for me in considering the priesthood.
What makes my heart sing? My heart sings when I see people encounter something beautiful and good, because I believe it is in encountering the beautiful and good that we experience the divine—that we experience God! People experiencing God’s beauty, His goodness, and his love. It’s why I became a priest. It’s what I’m passionate about. It’s what makes my heart sing.
It is what I am passionate about. I have come to set the earth on fire, Jesus says, and how I wish it were already blazing!
Brothers and Sisters, we must become fire! This is Christ’s message for us. Imagine how the earth could be on fire if our hearts were all inflamed with the love of Christ. How true and needed this is in our world today!? What makes our hearts sing? Jesus wants our answer to be him. He makes our heart sing, so that we Go out to all the world and tell the Good News!
In Christ’s love and friendship,