FIRE AS DIVINE PRESENCE
God appeared as fire in the Bible:
God appeared to Moses at Mount Horeb in a burning bush while he was tending the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro (Ex 3:2).
The Lord preceded the Israelites in the desert as a column of fire at night (Ex 13:21).
The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai in fire (Ex 19:18).
The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles as fire (Acts 2:1-4). At Mount Sinai, the fire was visible as one body that all could see. Whereas the fire at Pentecost rested on each of the apostles as individual pieces. While people kept away from the fire at Mount Sinai, people received the tongues of fire upon them at Pentecost.
Holy Spirit is represented by fire because fire has purity, light, and heat. It can purify a metal by burning away the impurities on it. The fire can also melt the metal to mold it into the desired shape. Thus, the Holy Spirit can purify us from sin and mold us as God’s instruments. The Spirit can enlighten our minds with the truths of the gospel of Jesus. It can also make us zealous to work for the Kingdom of God and to defend the Christian faith. Fire causes the rebuilding of a city or regeneration of a forest in a better form. The Holy Spirit is so powerful that it can spiritually renew a person. “The spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will join them in their prophetic ecstasy and will become a changed man” (1 Sam 10:6). The coming of the Holy Spirit reformatted the mind and spirit of the apostles.
Those who received baptism have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. We are the temple of God because of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us (1 Cor 6:19). We must keep our body holy and enkindle the Spirit by nourishing with the Word of God and with the acts of charity.