Should We Call Down Fire?

Should We Call Down Fire?


When this story was announced from the world’s news pulpits this week, recalling God’s truth sorrowed my heart deeply:


Brothers and sisters:

For freedom Christ set us free;

so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1


We seem to have made a choice to live by the flesh rather than the Spirit and,


…they are opposed to each other.


In our ‘hyper-tolerance’ we have yoked ourselves to the slavery of sin, yet this was never God’s intent for us…freedom is. This is why Jesus came: to set us free from the darkness of our own minds which lures us to live only as we want or desire.

What will we who are on this journey of faith, do with our dismay?

In our anger we could respond as the disciples in today’s gospel when,


..the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled,

he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,

and he sent messengers ahead of him.


On the way they entered a Samaritan village

to prepare for his reception there,

but they would not welcome him

because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

Luke: 9:51-62   

And they asked Him,


do you want us to call fire down from heaven and consume them?


Father Demetrius Dumm, OSB has a few lessons for those of us who desire to travel with Jesus. First:


…put aside all initiatives prompted by anger and prejudice. Thus, Jesus rebukes the disciples who want to repay the hostility of the Samaritans with fiery destruction.


The second lesson is one of Luke’s favorites, namely, that those who would follow Jesus must be willing to let go of all previous attachments. Half-hearted discipleship simply will not be acceptable.


There is, Father says a profound paradox at the heart of Christianity;


Jesus freely gives up his power to control as his loving makes him vulnerable and seems to lead only to defeat.

But that same loving concern for others releases the power of God within him–a power that easily conquers death and eclipses by far all the earthly power that he had manifested in Galilee.

—Demetrius R.Dumm, OSB


We may have a right to be angry, but for me to follow Christ as the darkness presses in, means I’d better ‘set my hand to the plow’ and direct my anger and sorrow inward to my own conversion; never mind calling down fire from heaven to consume anyone else.

Lord, forgive me for any way I may have contributed to the darkness….Give me the strength to follow you unreservedly though it may feel in these last days as if those who love you have no place to rest their head.

Dare I ask You to help me love as vulnerably and unconditionally as You loved me…that the power of God may reach one person in slavery….and set them free.




  • See also: Reaping the Whirlwind, Msgr. Charles Pope
  • Artist: Aksel Waldemar Johannessen, Wikimedia Commons






  1. Patricia
    Jun 30, 2013

    Wow, Caroline! This is beautiful! Your knowledge of Scripture always blesses me so much.

    “Jesus freely gives up his power to control as his loving makes him vulnerable and seems to lead only to defeat. ”

    Of course, we must follow our Savior and continue to love and to pray for those who persecute us.

    Your last three paragraphs contain so much wisdom and truth…words of a beautiful daughter of God which you are.

    Thank you! Love and hugs…

    • Caroline
      Jul 1, 2013

      Patricia, These days I find the Lord reminding me to bury myself in His word and trust Him ….There doesn’t seem to be much wisdom coming elsewhere, but was there ever? It’s always only been Jesus, hasn’t it?
      I worry for the world my new little grandchild will be born into, but God knows that too and I have promised always to keep him covered in prayer…and love.
      Hands to the plow!
      Love you aand blessings always +

  2. Nancy
    Jul 1, 2013

    O wow. Marvelous. “In our hyper-tolerance we have yoked ourselves to the slavery of sin.” Again: marvelous.

    • Caroline
      Jul 1, 2013

      Nancy, It’s all so much to take in week after week, but I am so glad to have this online community of ladies who really get it! You are such a blessing. +

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