Discovering Fire

Hopping Hadrian's Wall

Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest and brilliant scientist, once said:

“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.”

I begin with Fr. Teilhard’s words this morning because they remind me of Jesus’ words in today’s gospel: “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”

At first glance, these words of Jesus seem very apocalyptic and destructive. It’s understandable that some people might interpret them in this way. After all, fire can be very destructive. However, it can also be creative.

Fire, in a contained explosion, ignites the engines of automobiles and rockets. Electricity is a kind of fire that powers most of the technology we take…

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