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February 4, 2023
blazing oven

Photo by André Beltrame on <a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/pizza-in-oven-1878346/" rel="nofollow">Pexels.com</a>

The weather has turned cold here in Saint Louis, so the thought of a blazing oven might seem comforting. But we know, both in biblical times and even in our recent history, ovens were used in some most despicable ways. The readings both for daily Mass and for this weekend take on a more dramatic tone.
blazing oven
Photo by Arthur Brognoli on Pexels.com

A Blazing Oven: 32nd Sunday

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays. From Malachi, the first reading for this Sunday.

The weather has turned cold here in Saint Louis, so the thought of a blazing oven might seem comforting. But we know, both in biblical times and even in our recent history, ovens were used in some most despicable ways. The readings both for daily Mass and for this weekend take on a more dramatic tone.

It is the case that we are, as we are at the end of the Church year, the images become quite dramatic. It is a solemn reminder that there must be accountability in any relationship. And since we are challenged to love God and to love others, there is no greater accountability than to God and our neighbors.

So all this means that we need to examine our lives in light of the context of this command. Do we love God? Do we love neighbor? When life becomes like a blazing oven, do we avail ourselves of God’s love, or do we become afraid? Do we seek to change our lives, repenting and turning to God, or do we dig in, stubbornly continuing to sin?

As we approach the end of the Church year, and the reset that can be the Advent season, let us take a moment to recall God’s love, and to seek to grow in holiness.

The homily will be posted when it is recorded. You can listen to our other homilies here.

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