Wednesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time (June 20, 2018)
2 KINGS 2:1, 6-14
When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.
When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.
Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.
Scripture challenge –Numbers, chapters 1-3.
At the end of our big day on Monday, we gathered in a room and everyone shared why they were here on this pilgrimage. Some people admitted later that they were tired and didn’t want to be in the meeting. However, after everyone shared for about one minute, the group bonded together as they listened to the stories of one another. Connections were made, bonds were formed and walls came tumbling down. It was beautiful to see how everyone stayed up for a while talking, laughing and sharing stories after this meeting. Some of us made a quick visit to the Basilica of the Annunciation before calling it a day.
We began our second full day with a 7:30am wake-up call. We ate breakfast in the hotel and then left at 9:00am for Mount Precipice, or the “brow on the hill” mentioned in Luke 4:29. Jesus had returned to Nazareth and read from Isaiah in the synagogue. After reading about the Messiah, Jesus proclaimed, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) The people were furious with Him, thinking that He was blaspheming, so they took him the “brow of the hill” to kill Him, but “He went straight through their midst and walked away.” (Luke 4: 30) What a beautiful view of the valleys around Nazareth from this place!
We then made the short trip to Cana, where Jesus’s first public miracle happened as He changed the water into wine. I witnessed the renewal of vows of the fourteen couples who are with us. It was beautiful to see their emotion as they renewed their vows. I could only imagine what the words “for better and for worse, in sickness and in health” mean to them after 15, 25, 40, and 57 years. We also blessed those whose spouse could not make the trip with us, those who are widows and widowers, and those who are single. It was something that many of us will never forget to renew vows in such a sacred place.
Following Cana, we drove to Mount Carmel, where we read the story from 1 Kings 18:22-40, in which the prophet Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a duel. The 450 prophets prepared a holocaust and called on Baal to answer and consume the holocaust. They danced around the alter, cut themselves and were in a frenzy. There was no response from Baal, so Elijah taunted them and then invited everyone around his altar. As soon as Elijah called on God, He responded and consumed the sacrifice on the altar. Everyone came to believe in the God of Israel after seeing this miracle performed on Mt. Carmel. Bishop Barron gives a great homily on the gods that we serve – honor, power, pleasure and wealth. We dance around these altars like the prophets of Baal, but these things will never satisfy us. Only the one, true God will satisfy our deepest longings of our heart.
Interestingly, the story today from 2 Kings talks about Elijah going up to heaven and hands on his mantle to Elisha. In the Old Testament, the prophets were cloaked with the mantle representing God’s call and authority. Elijah was handing on this call and authority to Elisha. Some even say that the “mantle that had fallen from” Elijah represents how the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the New Testament. Elisha then “wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,” was able to part the waters with the power given to him through the mantle.
This is a reminder that all of us who are baptized have received the Holy Spirit along with our vocation, or calling in life. We also receive the authority of God through the Holy Spirit to do things that seem humanly impossible, like Elisha parting the waters. It is a call for each of us to stir up the Holy Spirit within us through our prayer, study and acts of charity.
We descended from Mount Carmel’s panoramic view to have lunch at a restaurant run by Druze, which is a unique religious and ethnic minority among Arab citizens in Israel. You can learn more about them on the internet. We ate falafel or schnitzel.
After lunch, we made our way toward Mount Tabor. On the way, we stopped to look at a tomb along the side of the rode that had a round, stone that rolled to cover the tomb. Although this was not His tomb, this would be like the tomb in which Jesus was laid in Jerusalem.
We arrived at Mount Tabor to celebrate a 5pm Mass at the main altar of the Basilica of the Transfiguration, the location in which the transfigured Jesus, Moses and Elijah appeared to Peter, James and John. Jesus was trying to prepare them for the impending crucifixion, and He was preparing us for the heavy crosses that we must bear in life. Never give up or turn your backs on God when times get difficult, because Jesus is the only One that can get us through the tough times.
One member of our group shared last night how the Lord had called her on this trip, specifically to Mount Tabor and the Transfiguration. She read the first reading and we all felt the power of the moment with her as she received abundant graces from the Holy Spirit.
After Mass, we stopped on the way back to the hotel to read a passage from Luke 7:11-18, in which Jesus was in Naim/Nain and raised from the dead the only son of a widow. We did not enter Naim/Nain, but we read the passage along the highway by the city. We can only imagine the pity and compassion of Jesus for this widow who had lost her only son, as Jesus may have been thinking about His own mother at His crucifixion.
We returned home for the buffet dinner at the hotel. We finished the day with a multi-lingual rosary at the Church of the Annunciation, which was beautiful. Three people in our group led parts of the rosary in English and Spanish.
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 18, 2018

Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time (June 19, 2018)

Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time (June 19, 2018)
Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 38-40.
Today was our first full day in Nazareth and we spent the day around the Sea of Galilee. We began the day at the Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus gave His sermon on the mount (Matthew, chapter 5-7). It was a very hot day, but a beautiful one to see the glory of the day. The flowers were in full bloom and our pictures should be amazing with the contrast of the blue sky, green trees and shrubs, and the colorful flowers. We read the Beatitudes outside the chapel. We also discussed how Moses went up Mt. Sinai and came down with the Ten Commandments. Jesus went up the Mount and said, “You are have heard it said…,” meaning He was greater that Moses and He came to fulfill the Commandments, not abolish them.
We then went to the church of the Primacy of Peter where we read John 21:1-19, where Jesus invited Peter back to the charcoal fire. Peter denied Jesus at a charcoal fire outside the praetorium. After the resurrection, Jesus made a charcoal fire on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He invited Peter back to the wound of his denial, not to condemn him, but to heal him. I shared how the Lord invited me back to the night my mom died, not to make me relive that night, but to heal me and show me that He was with us that night. Jesus also commissioned Peter, the first among the apostles, to “Feed my sheep.”
We then went to Capernaum where Jesus centered much of His public ministry. We saw the ruins of the house of Peter’s mother-in-law and the two synagogues that were built next to this house. A church was built above the ruins of Peter’s mother-in-law’s house. We celebrated Mass there and read John, chapter 6. It was in the synagogue that Jesus taught His disciples, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” This is always very emotional for me because the Eucharist brought me into the Catholic Church, drew me into the priesthood through Eucharistic adoration, and sustains me as a priest.
We moved down the coast of the Sea of Galilee and visited the basilica that commemorates the place where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish to feed thousands. I remember kneeling in this church, asking the Lord to increase my faith that He can do anything in and through me. “Lord, please do not let my lack of faith be a limiting factor, but let me be your instrument of big and small things in this world.
We drove down the coast on the west side to have lunch. We had the choice of eating a typical fish dinner from the sea, which is tilapia. We could also order chicken or kabob (beef and lamb). After lunch, we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We talked about the several Scripture passages that dealt with Jesus on this sea (Peter walking on water, Jesus calming the sea, and Jesus asking them to cast their nets on the other side). The themes include trusting in God and not depending on ourselves.
Next. we drove down to Magdala, which continues to be excavated. It is believed that Magdala was a town of about 3,000-4,000 people during the time of Jesus. Mary Magdalene would be one of these citizens and she became a faithful follower of Jesus. A beautiful church dedicated to women was built in this place. We had a prayer service, thanking God for the amazing women of faith in our Church history and our family history. One of the highlights for me is a stunning painting of the woman who was hemorrhaging reaching out and touching the cloak of Jesus. As we know, her faith healed her as she touched Jesus. I now have a print of this painting in my office and have used it in healing retreats.
We returned to the hotel and had a meeting among the 56 pilgrims and two guides. We shared who we are as well as what brought us to this pilgrimage. I was humbled as this blog has brought many people on this pilgrimage. Ultimately, it was beautiful as people shared from the heart as to why they came on this pilgrimage. It was obvious that the Holy Spirt has a plan for each one of us.
We then ate dinner and some of us visited the Church of the Annunciation, which is right across the street. Most the pilgrims feel overwhelmed by the graces of the first day. We can’t wait to visit Mt. Tabor and the Church of the Annunciation tomorrow, along with renewing marriage vows at Cana.
Fr Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 17, 2018

Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time (June 18, 2018)

Monday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time (June 18, 2018)
Matthew 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 35-37.
I am writing this from our bus as we travel from the airport in Tel Aviv to our hotel in Nazareth, where will be spending three nights. We began the pilgrimage from Chicago O’Hare on Saturday with a flight at 9:30pm. All but three of our 56 pilgrims flew out of Chicago and the other three will meet us in Israel.
Because we were going to be traveling all day on Sunday, we celebrated Mass at gate M15 in the international terminal in Chicago. Several people who were not part of our group joined us for Mass, which was wonderful. We battled the constant interruptions of the intercom system at the airport, which reminded me of the Masses at Wrigley Field. At the airport, we also ran into Archbishop Listecki and Fr. Simon of Relevant Radio, who were leading a group to Greece and Turkey.
We flew from Chicago to Warsaw, Poland on Lot Airlines. It was an uneventful flight overnight in which many of us slept much of the way. We landed in Warsaw at 1:30pm local time on Sunday and two hours later were on the plane for Tel Aviv. I was happy to find out when we landed that the Mississippi State Bulldog baseball team won their first game in the College World Series last night! Except for one lost suitcase and one pilgrim being questioned for a while by immigration, everything has gone very well. Please continue to pray for us as we will be visiting the Sea of Galilee tomorrow. We will pray for you.
How difficult it is to follow Jesus’ instruction at times… Our natural reaction when we are hurt or offended is to strike back and make the other person feel what we have felt. But Jesus tells us to “offer no resistance”, “turn the other [cheek]”, go the extra mile, give until it hurts…
In these sixteen years as a priest I have not always lived up to these teachings by the Lord. I have failed many times. However, I have found that when I practice these difficult teachings there is so much grace and peace that comes with it. We must learn to discipline our will and intellect. We cannot simply react to others, but we must be people of prayer and prudence.
How do we learn to forgive? I always try to sit in front of a crucifix and call to mind the Lord’s words from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It also helps me to realize that few people wake up and think, “How can I make your life miserable today?” One of my best friends taught me that if someone offends me, seek to understand where they are coming from. Often there is miscommunication, a lack of understanding, or they are dealing with a difficult personal situation.
How is the Lord asking you to put these teachings into practice? Is there someone at work or school that tests your patience? Has someone hurt you? Ask the Lord for the grace to love and forgive those who hurt you, to be patient with those who try your patience, to give until it hurts.
Have a blessed day,
Fr. Burke
Lunes de la 11ª Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (18 de junio 2018)
San Mateo 5:38-42
Ustedes han oído que se dijo: Ojo por ojo y diente por diente.
Pero yo les digo que no hagan frente al que les hace mal: al contrario, si alguien te da una bofetada en la mejilla derecha, preséntale también la otra.
Al que quiere hacerte un juicio para quitarte la túnica, déjale también el manto;
y si te exige que lo acompañes un kilómetro, camina dos con él.
Da al que te pide, y no le vuelvas la espalda al que quiere pedirte algo prestado.
Desafío de las Escrituras -Éxodo, capítulos 35-37.
Estoy escribiendo esta reflexión desde el autobús que nos lleva del aeropuerto de Tel Aviv hasta nuestro hotel en Nazaret, donde nos vamos a quedar tres noches. Comenzamos el peregrinaje de Chicago O’Hare el sábado con un vuelo a las 9:30pm. Todos los 56 peregrinos, menos 3, volamos desde Chicago y los otros tres nos van a alcanzar en Israel.
Porque íbamos a viajar todo el día de domingo, celebramos misa en la puerta M15 en el terminal internacional en Chicago. Varias personas que no son parte de nuestro grupo nos acompañaron en la misa, la cual fue muy hermosa. Habían muchas distracciones con los locutores en el aeropuerto, pero estoy acostumbrado de las interrupciones en las misas en Wrigley Field. En el aeropuerto, vimos al Arzobispo Listecki de Milwaukee y Padre Simon de Relevant Radio. Ellos están llevando un grupo de peregrinos a Grecia y Turquía.
Volamas de Chicago a Warsaw, Polonia en la aerolínea Lot. Era un vuelo sin novedad en que muchos de nosotros dormimos la mayoría del camino. Aterrizamos en Warsaw a la 1:30pm tiempo local el domingo y dos horas después estábamos en otro avión saliendo para Tel Aviv. ¡Yo estaba feliz cuando me dijeron que el equipo de beisbol de Mississippi State University ganó su primer juego en el Serie Mundial de las Universidades anoche! Fuera de una maleta perdida y un peregrino que fue investigado por la migra, todo nos fue muy bien. Por favor, sigan rezando por nosotros. Mañana vamos a visitar el Mar de Galilea y rezar por Uds.
Qué difícil es seguir la instrucción de Jesús… Nuestra reacción natural cuando estamos heridos o ofendidos es la venganza y hacer que la otra persona sienta lo que hemos sentido. Pero Jesús nos dice que ” no hagan frente al que les hace mal, “preséntale también la otra mejilla”, sigue adelante, da hasta que te duela.
En estos dieciséis años que tengo de sacerdote, no siempre he llevado a cabo estas enseñanzas del Señor. Sin embargo, me ha dado cuenta que cuando practico estas enseñanzas difíciles, hay tanta gracia y paz. Tenemos que aprender a disciplinar la voluntad y el intelecto. No podemos simplemente reaccionar a los demás, tenemos que ser personas de oración y de prudencia.
¿Cómo aprendemos a perdonar? Siempre trato de sentarme frente a un crucifijo y recordar las palabras del Señor de la cruz: “Padre, perdónalos porque no saben lo que hacen”. También me ayuda a darse cuenta de que pocas personas se despiertan y piensan, “¿Cómo puedo hacerte miserable hoy?” Uno de mis mejores amigos me enseñó que si alguien me ofende, busque entender de dónde vienen. A menudo hay falta de comunicación, falta de entendimiento, o la persona tiene una situación muy difícil en su vida.
¿Cómo te esta pidiendo el Señor que pongas estas enseñanzas en práctica? ¿Hay alguien en el trabajo o la escuela que pone a prueba tu paciencia? Pídele al Señor la gracia de poder amar aquellos que te hierren, a ser paciente con aquellos que retan tu paciencia, dar hasta que te duela.
Que tengas un buen día,
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 16, 2018

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 17, 2018)

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 17, 2018)
Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 32-34.
As you read this, our pilgrimage group is somewhere over the Atlantic on our way to the Holy Land, passing through Warsaw, Poland. I will be journaling each day about our experiences, so please follow along and share with a friend.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, priests, spiritual fathers, Godfathers and any man who gives and fosters life in others. May God bless you with all the graces you need to help your spouse and children get to heaven. Thank you to my Dad and all the men who have mentored me into the man I have become. I would not be here without you!
We live in a world where people expect immediate gratification and results. When we have a headache, we take aspirin to feel better. When we are hungry, we can microwave a quick meal. When we are thirsty, we are blessed to always have something nearby to drink. If we seek pleasure, there are so many possibilities on the internet, TV and in person to satiate our desires. We do not like to wait for anything.
Today, Jesus is talking about planting seeds without knowing how they will grow and prosper. I have found this to be true in ministry. I usually have no idea how God uses my words and example to touch the lives of others. They may take 10 years to germinate in someone’s heart before they act on them and through the grace of God, turn their lives over to Christ.
The same is true in the role of a father. We spend 18-20 years teaching, mentoring, coaching and investing time in our children, praying that the seeds that we plant will be nurtured and grow into something beautiful. However, we have no control over how they are going to respond to our care. We must entrust our children into the arms of our loving Father, who loves our children more than we do.
As we grow in our relationship with God the Father, our identity as His beloved child matures and is solidified. When the time comes, we are then able to give ourselves away to another, whether that be to our spouse, the Church or to Jesus. St. John Paul II once said that the goal of the Christian life is to make total gift of self. This can only happen when we are secure in the Father and know who we are.
If God blesses us with biological, adopted, foster or spiritual children, the goal is that they come to know their identity in God the Father as well. We do not want them to put us in the center of their lives. If that is our desire, our ego is getting in the way, and we have lost the meaning of our role. The purpose of raising a child is that they come to know their identity as beloved children of the Father, so that they can mature and one day give their lives away in total self-gift.
One day that little mustard seed that you sow may turn into one of the largest trees you have ever seen, that will give shelter and shade to many others.
Are you generous in sowing the seeds of faith?
Are you willing to patiently walk the faith journey with someone?
How can you help someone else come to know their identity as a beloved child of God?
Happy Father’s Day!
Fr. Burke
XI Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario (17 de junio 2018)
San Marcos 4:26-34
Y decía: “El Reino de Dios es como un hombre que echa la semilla en la tierra:
sea que duerma o se levante, de noche y de día, la semilla germina y va creciendo, sin que él sepa cómo.
La tierra por sí misma produce primero un tallo, luego una espiga, y al fin grano abundante en la espiga.
Cuando el fruto está a punto, él aplica en seguida la hoz, porque ha llegado el tiempo de la cosecha”.
También decía: “¿Con qué podríamos comparar el Reino de Dios? ¿Qué parábola nos servirá para representarlo?
Se parece a un grano de mostaza. Cuando se la siembra, es la más pequeña de todas las semillas de la tierra, pero, una vez sembrada, crece y llega a ser la más grande de todas las hortalizas, y extiende tanto sus ramas que los pájaros del cielo se cobijan a su sombra”.
Y con muchas parábolas como estas les anunciaba la Palabra, en la medida en que ellos podían comprender.
No les hablaba sino en parábolas, pero a sus propios discípulos, en privado, les explicaba todo.
Desafío de las Escrituras -Éxodo, capítulos 32-34.
Al leer esto, nuestro grupo de peregrinos está en algún lugar sobre el Atlántico en camino a Tierra Santa, pasando por Varsovia, Polonia. Estaré escribiendo un diario sobre nuestras experiencias, así que por favor sigue y comparte con sus amigos.
Feliz día del padre para todos los padres, padrastros, padres adoptivos, sacerdotes, padres espirituales, padrinos y cualquier hombre que da y fomenta la vida en los demás. Que Dios te bendiga con todas las gracias que necesitas para ayudar a tu esposa e hijos a llegar al cielo. Gracias a mi padre y a todos los hombres que me han guiado en el hombre en el que me he convertido. ¡Yo no estaría aquí sin ustedes!
Vivimos en un mundo donde la gente espera la gratificación y resultados inmediatos. Cuando tenemos un dolor de cabeza, tomamos aspirinas para sentirnos mejor. Cuando tenemos hambre, podemos poner en el microondas comida rápida. Cuando tenemos sed, tenemos la bendición que siempre hay algo cerca para tomar. Si buscamos placer, hay tantas posibilidades en el Internet, televisión, y en persona para saciar nuestros deseos. No nos gusta esperar por nada.
Hoy, Jesús está hablando de plantar semillas sin saber cómo crecerán y prosperarán. He encontrado que esto es cierto en el ministerio. La mayoría de veces no tengo idea como Dios usa mis palabras y ejemplo para tocar las vidas de los demás. Se puede tardar 10 años para germinar en el corazón de alguien antes de que actúe y entregue su vida a Cristo, con la gracia de Dios.
Lo mismo es cierto en el papel de un padre. Pasamos entre 18 y 20 años enseñando, asesorando, entrenando y invirtiendo tiempo en nuestros niños, rezando para que las semillas que plantamos se nutran y se conviertan en algo hermoso. Sin embargo, no tenemos control de cómo van a responder a nuestros cuidados. Debemos confiar a nuestros hijos en los brazos de nuestro amoroso Padre, quien los ama más que nosotros.
A medida que crecemos en nuestra relación con Dios Padre, nuestra identidad como Sus hijos amados madura y se solidifica. Cuando llegue el momento, podremos entregarnos a otro, ya sea nuestro cónyuge, a la Iglesia o a Jesús. San Juan Pablo II dijo una vez que la meta de la vida cristiana es hacer un don total de sí mismo. Esto solo puede suceder cuando estamos seguros en el Padre y sabemos quiénes somos.
Si Dios nos bendice con hijos biológicos, adoptivos, o espirituales, el objetivo es que ellos también conozcan su identidad en Dios Padre. No queremos que nos pongan en el centro de sus vidas. Si ese es nuestro deseo, nuestro ego se interpone en el camino, y hemos perdido el significado de nuestro papel. El propósito de criar a un niño es que lleguen a conocer su identidad como hijos amados del Padre, para que puedan madurar y algún día dar sus vidas en total auto-donación a Dios.
Un día esa pequeña semilla de mostaza que sembraste se puede convertir en uno de los árboles más grandes que jamás has visto, que le dará refugio y sombra a muchos otros.
¿Eres generoso en sembrar las semillas de la fe?
¿Estás dispuesto a caminar pacientemente el camino de fe con alguien?
¿Cómo puedes ayudar a alguien a conocer su identidad como un hijo amado de Dios?
¡Feliz Día del Padre!
Fr. Burke
Saturday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time (June 16, 2018)
MATTHEW 5:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 29-31.
I will be traveling to the Holy Land Saturday evening with 57 pilgrims to follow the footsteps of Jesus in Nazareth, Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. I will try to send a daily journal of our travels so that you can feel like you are with us. We arrive late Sunday night in Israel after stopping in Warsaw, Poland for a layover.
Today’s reading from the sermon on the mount reminds me of my parents. They always taught us to be men of our word. “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” When you give someone your word that you will do something, do it. People will know that they can count on you when you say ‘Yes.’
I thought of this when I was taking my vows as a deacon and a priest. I promised to pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily for the people of God. Honestly, there are times when I don’t feel like praying, but I gave my word that I would do it for others. I gave my word and that is important to me, so I pray.
I took the vow of celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom. Has this been easy? No, there are always temptations in life, just like anyone. However, the vow that I took was important to me, and so I joyfully give up marriage for the sake of Jesus and His Kingdom. I used to think of the sacrifices of celibacy, but now I count the blessings that I have received and the abundant intimacy I have experienced through this great gift.
Also, I thought I would become a slave when I promised obedience to my bishop and his successors. How can someone in today’s culture vow their obedience to someone else? That is archaic, many have told me. However, I have found so much freedom in this promise of obedience. I don’t have to worry about my next assignment, about climbing the corporate ladder, or about getting my next raise. I trust that the Holy Spirit is working through our bishop and I go where he sends me.
“Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” Making vows and promises are not easy, especially for the rest of your life. That is why many people are choosing not to get married, because they don’t want to commit to “forever”. Marrying someone before God requires you to make the vows of faithfulness and forever. Priesthood and religious life are very similar – poverty, chastity and obedience.
Throughout our lives, daily, we are asked to give our word to someone. When it is done with faith that God will give you the grace and strength to persevere, these vows and promises can lead to such joy and freedom.
Does my ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and my ‘No’ mean ‘No?’
How well am I living out the vows and promises I have made?
Do I trust in God’s grace to help me in my weakest moments?
Have a blessed weekend!
Fr. Burke
Sabado de la 10a Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (16 de junio 2018)
Mateo 5, 33-37
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Han oído ustedes que se dijo a los antiguos: No jurarás en falso y le cumplirás al Señor lo que le hayas prometido con juramento. Pero yo les digo: No juren de ninguna manera, ni por el cielo, que es el trono de Dios; ni por la tierra, porque es donde él pone los pies; ni por Jerusalén, que es la ciudad del gran Rey.
Tampoco jures por tu cabeza, porque no puedes hacer blanco o negro uno solo de tus cabellos. Digan simplemente sí, cuando es sí; y no, cuando es no. Lo que se diga de más, viene del maligno’’.
Desafío de las Escrituras -Éxodo, capítulos 29-31.
Sabado en la noche viajaré a Tierra Santa con 57 peregrinos para seguir los pasos de Jesús en Nazaret, Jerusalén y las áreas circundantes. Trataré de enviar un diario de nuestros viajes para que pueda sentirse como si estuviera con nosotros. Llegaremos tarde el domingo por la noche a Israel después de parar en Varsovia, Polonia para una escala.
La lectura de hoy del sermón en el monte me recuerda a mis padres. Ellos siempre nos enseñaron a ser hombres de palabra. “Deje que su ‘Sí’ signifique ‘Sí’ y su ‘No’ signifique ‘No'”. Cuando le dé a alguien su palabra de que hará algo, hágalo. La gente sabrá que puede contar con usted cuando diga ‘Sí’.
Pensé en esto cuando estaba tomando mis votos como diácono y sacerdote. Prometí rezar la Liturgia de las Horas diariamente para el pueblo de Dios. Honestamente, hay momentos en los que no tengo ganas de orar, pero di mi palabra de que lo haría por otros. Di mi palabra y eso es importante para mí, entonces oro.
Tomé el voto de celibato por el bien del Reino. ¿Ha sido esto fácil? No, siempre hay tentaciones en la vida, como cualquiera. Sin embargo, el voto que tomé fue importante para mí, por lo que con alegría renuncio al matrimonio por el bien de Jesús y su Reino. Solía pensar en los sacrificios del celibato, pero ahora cuento las bendiciones que he recibido y la abundante intimidad que he experimentado a través de este gran regalo
Además, pensé que sería esclavo cuando prometí obediencia a mi obispo y a sus sucesores. ¿Cómo puede alguien en la cultura de hoy jurar obediencia a otra persona? Eso es arcaico, muchos me lo han dicho. Sin embargo, he encontrado tanta libertad en esta promesa de obediencia. No tengo que preocuparme por mi próxima tarea, por escalar la escalera corporativa o por obtener mi próximo aumento. Confío en que el Espíritu Santo está obrando a través de nuestro obispo y voy donde él me envía.
“Deje que su ‘Sí’ signifique ‘Sí’ y su ‘No’ signifique ‘No.'” Hacer votos y promesas no es fácil, especialmente por el resto de su vida. Es por eso que muchas personas eligen no casarse, porque no quieren comprometerse para siempre. Casarse con alguien delante de Dios requiere que hagas los votos de fidelidad y para siempre. El sacerdocio y la vida religiosa son muy similares: pobreza, castidad y obediencia.
A lo largo de nuestras vidas, diariamente, se nos pide que demos nuestra palabra a alguien. Cuando se hace con fe de que Dios te dará la gracia y la fuerza para perseverar, estos votos y promesas pueden conducir a tanta alegría y libertad.
¿Mi “Sí” significa “Sí” y mi “No” significa “No”?
¿Qué tan bien estoy viviendo los votos y promesas que he hecho?
¿Confío en la gracia de Dios para ayudarme en mis momentos más débiles?
¡Que tengas un bendecido fin de semana!
P. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 14, 2018

Friday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time (June 15, 2018)

Friday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time (June 15, 2018)
MATTHEW 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful)
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 26-28.
Today we continue Jesus’s sermon on the mount. The Israelites would have been shocked by His words. Moses went up the mountain and returned with the Ten Commandments, the law of God. Now Jesus went up the mountain and taught them saying, “You have heard it said…”, referring to the Mosaic law, “but I say to you…”, referring to Himself as being greater than the law. This was heretical to the Jews, but Jesus was not abolishing the law, He was fulfilling it and raising the bar for all of us.
Today, Jesus challenges us on the sixth commandment, “You shall not commit adultery”. One can say, “I have not committed adultery, so I am fine.” However, Jesus challenges us to look beyond just our physical actions. He knows our thoughts and intentions.
He challenges us by saying, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This may cause us to pause. How often do we allow our minds to wander and justify our thoughts, “I am not hurting anyone.” Jesus wants to purify our thoughts, words and actions.
Jesus then uses some hyperboles (exaggerations) to emphasize the severity of sin. Whatever causes us to sin should be cut off or gouged out. Literally, we do not need to gouge our eyes out, but we need to take sin very seriously. When we look at the multi-billion-dollar pornography industry, it is sadly evident that the evil one is tempting and luring many countless souls into sins of the flesh.
I would venture to say that 85% of men and 40% of women have struggled with pornography at some point in their lives. Studies show that only 50% of adults and 33% of teens feel that pornography is wrong. However, pornography is destroying our marriages, our relationships, and our spirits. Remember, there is no such thing as a private sin. Sin affects the entire Mystical Body of Christ. Jesus wants to wake us up to the destructive nature of sin. Every time someone views pornography, they are supporting the industry that objectifies human beings, demoralizes human souls, and sometimes involves human trafficking of the most vulnerable persons in our world.
Pornography is readily available, free and anonymous. If you have an addiction, seek professional help, or consult a Catholic priest or Catholic Charities. Get an accountability partner. Print a prayer for purity and put it by your computer or bed. Get to the root of the problem and ask for God’s grace to heal you. Are you lonely? Remember loneliness is God’s invitation to intimacy with Him. Pornography is a false sense of intimacy.
Jesus is not just referring to pornography. Every impure thought or desire objectifies the other person. I remember a priest told us, “Your thoughts are simply dress rehearsals for the real thing. If you think about something enough, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, you are going to fall to the temptation.” Pay attention to your thought patterns.
Do I take seriously the gravity of my sin?
Am I damaging the Mystical Body of Christ (all of us) through viewing pornography or lusting after another person?
Do I realize there is no such thing as a private sin?
Lord Jesus, help me to be pure. You tell us that the clean of heart will see God. We want to see you Lord Jesus. Help me to avoid anything that objectifies another person for selfish gain. Help me to love as you love – purely, without attachments and expectations. Help me to lay down my life for a friend today. I know that sin leads to misery and virtuous choices lead me to joy. Help me to leave misery behind. Help me to choose joy!
God bless,
Fr. Burke
Viernes de la 10ma Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (15 de junio de 2018)
MATEO 5:27-32
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Han oído ustedes que se dijo a los antiguos: No cometerás adulterio; pero yo les digo que quien mire con malos deseos a una mujer, ya cometió adulterio con ella en su corazón. Por eso, si tu ojo derecho es para ti ocasión de pecado, arráncatelo y tíralo lejos, porque más te vale perder una parte de tu cuerpo y no que todo él sea arrojado al lugar de castigo. Y si tu mano derecha es para ti ocasión de pecado, córtatela y arrójala lejos de ti, porque más te vale perder una parte de tu cuerpo y no que todo él sea arrojado al lugar de castigo.
También se dijo antes: El que se divorcie, que le dé a su mujer un certificado de divorcio; pero yo les digo que el que se divorcia, salvo el caso de que vivan en unión ilegítima, expone a su mujer al adulterio, y el que se casa con una divorciada comete adulterio”.
Desafío de la Escritura –Éxodo, capítulos 26-28.
Hoy continuamos el sermón de Jesús en el monte. Los israelitas se habrían sorprendido por sus palabras. Moisés subió a la montaña y regresó con los Diez Mandamientos, la ley de Dios. Ahora Jesús subió a la montaña y les enseñó a decir: “Han oído ustedes que se dijo…”, refiriéndose a la ley mosaica, “pero yo les digo …”, refiriéndose a sí mismo como más grande que la ley. Esto era herético para los judíos, pero Jesús no estaba aboliendo la ley, lo estaba cumpliendo y elevando el listón para todos nosotros.
Hoy, Jesús nos desafía en el sexto mandamiento, “No cometerás adulterio”. Uno puede decir: “No he cometido adulterio, entonces estoy bien.” Sin embargo, Jesús nos reta a ver más allá de nuestras acciones físicas. Él conoce nuestros pensamientos e intenciones.
Él nos reta diciendo: “Quien mire con malos deseos a una mujer, ya cometió adulterio con ella en su corazón.” Esto puede hacer que nos detengamos.
¿Con qué frecuencia permitimos que nuestras mentes vaguen y justifiquen nuestros pensamientos, “No estoy lastimando a nadie.” Jesús quiere purificar nuestros pensamientos, palabras y acciones.
Jesús entonces utiliza algunas hipérboles (exageraciones) para enfatizar la severidad del pecado. Todo lo que nos hace pecar debe ser cortado o arrancado. Literalmente, no necesitamos arrancar a los ojos, pero debemos tomar el pecado muy en serio. Cuando vemos la industria de la pornografía multimillonaria, es tristemente evidente que el maligno es tentador y atrae a muchas almas incontables a los pecados de la carne.
Me atrevería a decir que el 85% de los hombres y el 40% de las mujeres han tenido problemas con la pornografía en algún momento de sus vidas. Los estudios demuestran que solo el 50% de los adultos y el 33% de los adolescentes consideran que la pornografía es incorrecta. Sin embargo, la pornografía está destruyendo nuestros matrimonios, nuestras relaciones y nuestros espíritus. Recuerde, no hay tal cosa como un pecado privado. El pecado afecta a todo el Cuerpo Místico de Cristo. Jesús quiere despertarnos a la naturaleza destructiva del pecado. Cada vez que alguien ve pornografía, apoya a la industria que objetiva a los seres humanos, desmoraliza a las almas humanas y, a veces, implica el tráfico humano de las personas más vulnerables de nuestro mundo.
La pornografía está disponible fácilmente, gratis y anónima. Si tienes una adicción, busca ayuda profesional, o un sacerdote o Caridades Catolicas. Obtén un socio de rendición de cuentas. Imprime una oración para la pureza y colócala por tu computadora o cama. Llega a la raíz del problema y pide la gracia de Dios para sanarte. ¿Te sientes solo? Recuerda que la soledad es la invitación de Dios a la intimidad con Él. La pornografía es una falsa sensación de intimidad.
Jesús no se refiere solamente a la pornografía. Todo pensamiento o deseo impuro objetiviza a la otra persona. Recuerdo que un sacerdote nos dijo, “Tus pensamientos son simplemente ensayos generales para lo real. Si piensas en algo lo suficiente, en cuanto se presente la oportunidad de hacerlo real, vas a caer en la tentación.” Presta atención a tus patrones de pensamientos.
¿Tomo en serio la gravedad de mi pecado?
¿Estoy dañando el Cuerpo Místico de Cristo (todos nosotros) a través de ver pornografía o cometer lujuria?
¿Me doy cuenta de que no hay tal cosa como un pecado privado?
Señor Jesús, ayúdame a ser puro. Tú nos dices que los de corazón limpio verán a Dios. Queremos verte Señor Jesús. Ayúdame a evitar cualquier cosa que objetivice a otra persona para ganancia egoísta. Ayúdame a amar como tu amas – puramente, sin apegos ni expectativas. Ayúdame a dar mi vida por un amigo hoy. Sé que el pecado conduce a la miseria y las elecciones virtuosas me llevan a la alegría. Ayúdame a dejar atrás la miseria. ¡Ayúdame a elegir la alegría!
Dios te bendiga,
Padre Burke
Thursday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time (June 14, 2018)
Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 23-25.
Today Jesus teaches us how serious sin is and how important reconciliation should be in our lives. Jesus did not come to abolish the commandments, but to fulfill them. Being a follower of Jesus is not just about following some rules; it is about having a living relationship with a God who loves us intimately. Developing a relationship with the Holy Trinity and becoming more like Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit leads to holiness.
Some of us have taken a minimalist approach to our spiritual lives. We have lost the idea that sin separates us from God and from one another. Sin is very real in each of our lives. Therefore, we need a savior, someone to pay the price for our sins. Jesus, suffered and died for our sins to pay the price for us on the cross. He redeemed us so that we can live with Him forever if we commit our lives to Him. Some people say, “At least I haven’t killed anyone.” We think we are righteous in God’s eyes even though we may be living in serious sin. Jesus raises the bar today.
The 5th Commandment says, “Thou shall not kill.” But Jesus tells us that we should not even get angry with our brother/sister or we are liable to judgment. Anger is one of the passions and is not sinful until we engage our intellect and/or will. Usually sinful anger seeks revenge against someone. Righteous anger, on the other hand, is not sinful because it fights against an injustice, like Jesus driving out the money changers from the Temple. In my experience, sinful anger is usually the result of an unhealed wound.
To heal our wounds, we must get to the root or the cause. For example, if your yard is full of weeds and all you do is cut the top of the weeds off, what will happen? The weeds will be just as tall or taller the next day. We need to get something that will kill the weed at its roots. The same is true in the spiritual life. We can confess the same sins on a regular basis and they will continue to haunt us throughout our lives. However, if we get to the root of the sin, ask God for forgiveness, and ask for God’s grace to heal us in the deepest level of our soul, then we will see progress in our search for wholeness and holiness.
Forgiveness is one of the best ways to heal a wound. That is why Jesus tells us that if we have sinned against someone as we approach the altar, we should first go reconcile with that person, and then return. Sin affects relationships and hurts the Body of Christ. That is why we should receive Communion in the state of grace, because receiving the Eucharist is affirming our unity with the Lord and His people.
Jesus mentions at the end of this reading how seriously He takes sin. If we do not reconcile, He says we will be “thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
Please do not take sin lightly. Make the change today that is needed in your life. As I have mentioned, when we make virtuous decisions and choose God, we will find joy. When we sin, we choose misery. Choose joy! Choose God! Allow His grace to heal you.
Do you see how sin damages your relationship with God and neighbor?
What is at the root of any habitual sins in your life?
Who do you need to forgive or ask for forgiveness?
God bless,
Fr. Burke
Jueves de la 10ma Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (14 de junio de 2018)
Mateo 5:20-26
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Les aseguro que, si su justicia no es mayor que la de los escribas y fariseos, ciertamente no entrarán ustedes en el Reino de los cielos.
Han oído ustedes que se dijo a los antiguos: No matarás y el que mate será llevado ante el tribunal. Pero yo les digo: Todo el que se enoje con su hermano, será llevado también ante el tribunal; el que insulte a su hermano, será llevado ante el tribunal supremo, y el que lo desprecie, será llevado al fuego del lugar de castigo.
Por lo tanto, si cuando vas a poner tu ofrenda sobre el altar, te acuerdas allí mismo de que tu hermano tiene alguna queja contra ti, deja tu ofrenda junto al altar y ve primero a reconciliarte con tu hermano, y vuelve luego a presentar tu ofrenda.
Arréglate pronto con tu adversario, mientras vas con él por el camino; no sea que te entregue al juez, el juez al policía y te metan a la cárcel. Te aseguro que no saldrás de allí hasta que hayas pagado el último centavo”.
Desafío de la Escritura –Éxodo, capítulos 23-25.
Hoy Jesús nos enseña cuán grave es el pecado y cuán importante debe ser la reconciliación en nuestras vidas. Jesús no vino para abolir los mandamientos, sino para cumplirlos. Ser un seguidor de Jesús no se trata solo de seguir algunas reglas; se trata de tener una relación viva con un Dios que nos ama íntimamente. Desarrollar una relación con la Santísima Trinidad y llegar a ser más como Jesús a través del poder del Espíritu Santo conduce a la santidad.
Algunos de nosotros hemos adoptado un enfoque minimalista de nuestras vidas espirituales. Hemos perdido la idea de que el pecado nos separa de Dios y de los demás. El pecado es muy real en cada una de nuestras vidas. Por lo tanto, necesitamos un salvador, alguien que pague el precio de nuestros pecados. Jesús, sufrió y murió por nuestros pecados para pagar el precio por nosotros en la cruz. Él nos redimió para que podamos vivir con Él para siempre si comprometemos nuestras vidas con él. Algunas personas dicen: “Por lo menos no he matado a nadie.” Creemos que somos justos a los ojos de Dios aunque podamos estar viviendo en un pecado grave. Hoy Jesús sube la escala.
El quinto mandamiento dice: “No matarás”. Pero Jesús nos dice que ni siquiera deberíamos enojarnos con nuestro/a hermano/a o que estaremos sujetos a juicio. La ira es una de las pasiones y no es pecaminosa hasta que empleamos nuestro intelecto y / o voluntad. Por lo general, la ira pecaminosa busca la venganza contra alguien. La ira justa, por otro lado, no es pecaminosa porque lucha contra una injusticia, como Jesús expulsando a los cambistas del Templo. En mi experiencia, la ira pecaminosa suele ser el resultado de una herida no cicatrizada.
Para sanar nuestras heridas, debemos llegar a la raíz o la causa. Por ejemplo, si tu yarda está llena de maleza y todo lo que haces es cortar la parte superior de la maleza, ¿qué pasará? La maleza solo será tan alta o más alta al día siguiente. Lo que tenemos que hacer es conseguir algo que mate a la maleza desde sus raíces. Lo mismo pasa en la vida espiritual. Podemos confesar los mismos pecados superficiales regularmente y continuaran persiguiéndonos a lo largo de nuestras vidas. Sin embargo, si llegamos a la raíz del pecado, pídele a Dios perdón, y pide que la gracia de Dios nos sane en el nivel más profundo de nuestra alma, entonces veremos progreso en nuestra búsqueda por la integridad y la santidad. He encontrado que muchos de nuestros pecados son el resultado de una herida sin sanar de nuestro pasado.
El perdón es una de las mejores formas de sanar una herida. Es por eso que Jesús nos dice que si hemos pecado contra alguien mientras nos acercamos al altar, primero debemos reconciliarnos con esa persona y luego regresar. El pecado afecta las relaciones y lastima el Cuerpo de Cristo. Es por eso que debemos recibir la Comunión en estado de gracia, porque recibir la Eucaristía es afirmar nuestra unidad con el Señor y Su pueblo.
Jesús menciona al final de esta lectura que tan seriamente Él toma el pecado. Él nos dice que nos reconciliemos antes de llegar al altar. Y si no nos reconciliamos, Él dice que seremos “metidos a la cárcel. Te aseguro que no saldrás de allí hasta que hayas pagado el último centavo”.
Por favor, no tomes el pecado a la ligera. Haz el cambio que se necesita hoy en tu vida. Como lo he mencionado, cuando tomamos decisiones virtuosas y elegimos a Dios, encontraremos alegría. Cuando pecamos, elegimos la miseria. ¡Elige la alegría! ¡Elige a Dios! Deja que Su gracia te sane.
¿Ves cómo el pecado daña tu relación con Dios y el prójimo?
¿Qué está en la raíz de cualquier pecado habitual en tu vida?
¿A quién necesitas perdonar o pedir perdón?
Dios te bendiga,
Padre Burke
Wednesday of the 10th Week of Ordinary Time (June 12, 2018 – St. Anthony of Padua)
1 KINGS 18:20-39
Ahab sent to all the children of Israel
and had the prophets assemble on Mount Carmel.
Elijah appealed to all the people and said,
“How long will you straddle the issue?
If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.”
The people, however, did not answer him.
So Elijah said to the people,
“I am the only surviving prophet of the LORD,
and there are four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal.
Give us two young bulls.
Let them choose one, cut it into pieces, and place it on the wood,
but start no fire.
I shall prepare the other and place it on the wood,
but shall start no fire.
You shall call on your gods, and I will call on the LORD.
The God who answers with fire is God.”
All the people answered, “Agreed!”
Elijah then said to the prophets of Baal,
“Choose one young bull and prepare it first,
for there are more of you.
Call upon your gods, but do not start the fire.”
Taking the young bull that was turned over to them, they prepared it
and called on Baal from morning to noon, saying,
“Answer us, Baal!”
But there was no sound, and no one answering.
And they hopped around the altar they had prepared.
When it was noon, Elijah taunted them:
“Call louder, for he is a god and may be meditating,
or may have retired, or may be on a journey.
Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”
They called out louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears,
as was their custom, until blood gushed over them.
Noon passed and they remained in a prophetic state
until the time for offering sacrifice.
But there was not a sound;
no one answered, and no one was listening.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.”
When the people had done so, he repaired the altar of the LORD
that had been destroyed.
He took twelve stones, for the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob,
to whom the LORD had said, “Your name shall be Israel.”
He built an altar in honor of the LORD with the stones,
and made a trench around the altar
large enough for two measures of grain.
When he had arranged the wood,
he cut up the young bull and laid it on the wood.
“Fill four jars with water,” he said,
“and pour it over the burnt offering and over the wood.”
“Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he said,
and they did it a third time.
The water flowed around the altar,
and the trench was filled with the water.
At the time for offering sacrifice,
the prophet Elijah came forward and said,
“LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
let it be known this day that you are God in Israel
and that I am your servant
and have done all these things by your command.
Answer me, LORD!
Answer me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God
and that you have brought them back to their senses.”
The LORD’s fire came down
and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust,
and it lapped up the water in the trench.
Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said,
“The LORD is God! The LORD is God!”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 20-22.
Elijah, who was alone, challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to show the people who was the one true God. The prophets of Baal set up their sacrifice and cried out, “Answer us, Baal!” However, there was no answer. They cried out louder and continued to dance around the altar. Still nothing, so Elijah mocked them. Finally, they began to cut themselves and blood gushed forth from their bodies as they pleaded for Baal to answer them.
Then Elijah invited the people around his altar. He prepared everything and then called upon God to consume the sacrifice that he had prepared. He even doused his altar and offering with water to make it even more amazing that God’s fire would consume the sacrifice. “The Lord’s fire came down and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dust, and it lapped up the water in the trench. Seeing this, all the people fell prostrate and said, ‘The Lord is God! The Lord is God!”
I remember hearing a wonderful homily by Bishop Robert Barron on this reading. He said the altar of the prophets of Baal represents all the things that we worship that are not God – honor, power, pleasure and wealth. Usually we can break down our gods into one of these categories. We dance around these altars like the prophets hoping that they fulfill our deepest desires. When they leave us empty, we go to more drastic measures, like the prophets cutting themselves, in order to feel good. Ultimately, nothing from this world will satisfy us.
This is so true in our lives, isn’t it? We all have a favorite sin, or a temptation that seems to be our weakness. This temptation calls for our attention, especially when we are hungry, lonely, angry or tired. We try it out and it feels good for a moment and then it leaves us empty. So, we try more of the same thing, and once again it feels good momentarily, but leaves us more and more empty each time. This is how addictions begin. This is why we see people going to great lengths and spending a lot of money to feel good on things that never satisfy them.
I was reading from Peter Kreeft’s book How to be Holy. He says that every time we choose sin we choose misery. And every time we choose God we choose joy. “In order to find death rather than life in the end, in order to go to Hell, you must be insane: you must choose misery over joy. Why would you do that? Because you can understand and control misery but not joy. This is insane. But it is what we all do in some degree whenever we sin. For all sin is choosing misery over joy. We are all insane. That is what Original Sin means.”
Why do we choose misery over joy? Our fallen nature makes us think that things of this world can satisfy our deepest longings. This is insanity. Sanity is seeing that we were made by God and for God, and only God can satisfy our deepest longings.
What is my greatest temptation when I am hungry, lonely, tired or angry?
How have I chosen misery over joy in my life?
How can I choose joy in every moment of every day?
Have a blessed day! And choose joy! Choose God!
Fr. Burke
Miércoles de la 10ma Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (12 de junio de 2018 – San Antonio de Padua).
1 REYES 18:20-39
En aquellos días, el rey Ajab envió mensajeros a todo Israel y reunió a los profetas de Baal en el monte Carmelo. Elías se acercó al pueblo y le dijo: “¿Hasta cuándo van a andar indecisos? Si el Señor es el verdadero Dios, síganlo; y si lo es Baal, sigan a Baal”.
Pero el pueblo no supo qué responderle. Entonces Elías les dijo: “Yo soy el único sobreviviente de los profetas del Señor; en cambio, los profetas de Baal son cuatrocientos cincuenta. Que nos den dos novillos; que ellos escojan uno, que lo descuarticen y lo pongan sobre la leña sin prenderle fuego. Yo prepararé el otro novillo y lo pondré sobre la leña sin prenderle fuego. Ustedes invocarán a su dios y yo invocaré al Señor; y el Dios que responda enviando fuego, ése es el verdadero Dios”.
Todo el pueblo respondió: “Está bien”. Elías dijo entonces a los profetas de Baal: “Escojan un novillo y comiencen ustedes primero, pues son más numerosos. Invoquen a su dios, pero sin prender fuego”.
Ellos tomaron el novillo que les dieron, lo prepararon e invocaron a Baal desde la mañana hasta el mediodía, diciendo: “Baal, respóndenos”. Pero no se oyó ninguna respuesta, y ellos seguían danzando y brincando junto al altar que habían hecho. Llegado el medio día, Elías comenzó a reírse de ellos, diciéndoles: “Griten más fuerte, porque a lo mejor Baal, su dios, está muy entretenido conversando o tiene algún negocio o está de viaje. A lo mejor está dormido y así lo despiertan”.
Ellos gritaron más fuerte y empezaron a sangrarse, según su costumbre, con cuchillos y punzones, hasta que la sangre les chorreaba por todo el cuerpo. Cuando pasó el mediodía, se pusieron en trance hasta la hora de la ofrenda, pero no se escuchó respuesta alguna ni hubo nadie que atendiera sus ruegos.
Entonces Elías le dijo al pueblo: “Acérquense a mí”. Y todo el pueblo se le acercó. Preparó el altar del Señor, que había sido demolido. Tomó doce piedras, según el número de las tribus de los hijos de Jacob (a quien el Señor había dicho: Tú te llamarás Israel). Con las piedras levantó un altar en honor del Señor e hizo alrededor del altar una zanja, del ancho de un surco. Acomodó la leña, descuartizó el novillo y lo puso sobre la leña.
Después dijo: “Llenen cuatro cántaros de agua y derrámenla sobre el holocausto y sobre la leña”. Y lo hicieron así. Volvió a decirles: “Háganlo otra vez”. Y lo repitieron. De nuevo les dijo: “Háganlo por tercera vez”. Y así lo hicieron. El agua corrió alrededor del altar y llenó la zanja por completo.
A la hora de la ofrenda se acercó el profeta Elías y dijo: “Señor, Dios de Abraham, de Isaac y de Jacob; que se vea hoy que tú eres el Dios de Israel, que yo soy tu servidor y que por orden tuya he ejecutado todas estas cosas. Respóndeme, Señor, respóndeme, para que todo este pueblo sepa que tú, Señor, eres el Dios verdadero, que puede cambiar los corazones”.
Entonces bajó el fuego del Señor y consumió la víctima destinada al holocausto y la leña, y secó el agua de la zanja. Al ver esto, todo el pueblo tuvo miedo, y postrándose
en tierra, dijo: “El Señor es el Dios verdadero. El Señor es el Dios verdadero”.
Desafío de la Escritura –Éxodo, capítulos 20-22.
Elías, quien estaba solo, desafió a los 450 profetas de Baal a mostrar al pueblo quien era el Dios verdadero. Los profetas de Baal establecieron su sacrificio y gritaron, “¡Baal, respóndenos!” Sin embargo, no hubo respuesta. Ellos gritaron más fuerte y bailaron alrededor del altar. Aún nada, entonces Elías se burló de ellos. Por último, comenzaron a cortarse y sangre brotó de sus cuerpos mientras suplicaban a Baal que les respondiera.
Entonces Elías invitó a la gente alrededor de su altar. Él preparó todo y luego invocó a Dios para consumir el sacrificio que había preparado. Incluso roció su altar con agua y lo ofreció para hacerlo aún más sorprendente que el fuego de Dios consumiría el sacrificio. “Bajó el fuego del Señor y consumió la víctima destinada al holocausto y la leña, y secó el agua de la zanja. Al ver esto, todo el pueblo tuvo miedo, y postrándose en tierra, dijo: “El Señor es el Dios verdadero. El Señor es el Dios verdadero”.
Recuerdo haber escuchado una maravillosa homilía del Obispo Robert Barron en esta lectura. Dijo que el altar de los profetas de Baal representa todas las cosas que adoramos que no son Dios – honor, poder, placer y riqueza. Por lo general, podemos romper nuestros dioses en una de estas categorías. Bailamos alrededor de estos altares como los profetas esperando que cumplan nuestros deseos más profundos. Cuando nos dejan vacíos, vamos a medidas más drásticas, como los profetas cortándose a sí mismos, con el fin de sentirse bien. Al final, nada de este mundo nos va a satisfacer.
Esto es tan cierto en nuestras vidas, ¿no es así? Todos tenemos un pecado favorito, o una tentación que parece ser nuestra debilidad. Esta tentación llama a nuestra atención, especialmente cuando estamos con hambre, solos, enojados o cansados. Lo intentamos y se siente bien por un momento y luego nos deja vacíos. Así que intentamos más de lo mismo, y una vez más se siente bien momentáneamente, pero nos deja cada vez más y más vacíos. Así es como comienzan las adicciones. Es por esto que vemos a personas ir a grandes distancias y gastar mucho dinero para sentirse bien en cosas que nunca los van a satisfacer.
Yo estaba leyendo del nuevo libro de Peter Kreeft, How to be Holy (Como ser Santo). Dice que cada vez que elegimos el pecado elegimos la miseria. Y cada vez que elegimos a Dios elegimos la alegría. “Con el fin de encontrar la muerte en lugar de la vida, al final, con el fin de ir al infierno, debes estar demente: debes elegir la miseria sobre la alegría. ¿Por qué harías eso? Porque puedes entender y controlar la miseria, pero no la alegría. Esto es una locura. Pero es lo que todos hacemos en algún grado cada vez que pecamos. Porque todo pecado es elegir la miseria sobre la alegría. Todos estamos dementes. Eso es lo que significa el pecado original.”
¿Por qué elegimos la miseria sobre la alegría? Nuestra naturaleza caída nos hace pensar que las cosas de este mundo pueden satisfacer nuestros anhelos más profundos. Esto es una locura. La cordura es ver que fuimos creados por Dios y para Dios, y solamente Dios puede satisfacer nuestros anhelos más profundos.
¿Cuál es mi mayor tentación cuando tengo hambre o estoy solo, cansado o enojado?
¿Cómo he elegido la miseria sobre la alegría en mi vida?
¿Cómo puedo elegir la alegría en cada momento de cada día?
¡Que tengas un día bendecido! ¡Y elige la alegría! ¡Elige a Dios!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 11, 2018


MATTHEW 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 17-19.
As I meditate on these words of Jesus to His disciples, I am thinking about how we all are called to be both disciples and apostles. Disciples are followers or students; apostles are ones who are sent.
How do we become better disciples of Jesus? We first need to be filled with the Holy Spirit before we are sent into the world. So how do we become better disciples? Last year I attended one of Matthew Kelly’s “Passion and Purpose” seminars. He challenged us to do one of these three things to be the best disciple we can be:
1) Read 15 minutes from the Gospels every day for one year. As soon as you finish a Gospel, go on to another one. Keep repeating this process over one year and you will come to know the person of Jesus Christ in a way you never have before.
2) Go to confession at least once per month for a year. When we confess our sins regularly, we not only receive incredible graces and the mercy of God, but we also become more mature in the spiritual life.
3) Keep a “Mass Journal” every day for 100 days. Go to Mass each time with the mindset that God wants to speak to your heart through the readings, the music, the prayers and the homily. Write down one thing in your Mass Journal that touched your heart. Bring this journal with you to spiritual direction and prayer and thank God for all that He has done for you. Mass will never be boring again.
The more we know about Jesus, but more importantly the more we know Jesus personally, the more we fall in love with Him. This helps us become salt and light for the world. If we haven’t fallen in love with Jesus, His light will not shine through us. However, once we become salt and light, He sends us forth as apostles to share the Good News we have received.
How do we become better apostles (this comes from the same root word of “postal”, one who is sent)?
1) We go where he sends us. We listen to Him in prayer and follow His call. There is great freedom when we are obedient to the will of God.
2) We speak the truth in love. Sometimes it is hard to speak to the truth because we fear people will not like what we have to say. However, sometimes the most loving action is to speak the truth – but always in love. Love means to will the good of the other person. The ultimate good of the other person is heaven. Sometimes our challenging words lead to a person’s salvation. If we remain silent at a critical time in someone’s life, we may miss the opportunity to direct them toward the Lord and salvation.
3) Hang around other good Christians. Jesus sent them forth two by two. We can’t do this alone, but we need to walk with others who are trying to grow in holiness. They help keep us accountable and encourage us on the way.
Go forth as apostles of Jesus, but first spend time as His faithful disciples. We can’t give what we don’t have. Try today to keep this healthy balance of receiving from the Lord in prayer and study (disciples), and then sharing the love of God in action (apostles).
Fr. Burke
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Martes de la 10 Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (12 de junio 2018)
Mateo 5, 13-16
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Ustedes son la sal de la tierra. Si la sal se vuelve insípida, ¿con qué se le devolverá el sabor? Ya no sirve para nada y se tira a la calle para que la pise la gente.
Ustedes son la luz del mundo. No se puede ocultar una ciudad construida en lo alto de un monte; y cuando se enciende una vela, no se esconde debajo de una olla, sino que se pone sobre un candelero, para que alumbre a todos los de la casa.
Que de igual manera brille la luz de ustedes ante los hombres, para que viendo las buenas obras que ustedes hacen, den gloria a su Padre, que está en los cielos”.
Reto de las Escrituras: Éxodo, capítulos 17-19.
Mientras medito estas palabras de Jesús a Sus discípulos, estoy pensando en cómo todos somos llamados a ser discípulos y apóstoles. Los discípulos son seguidores o estudiantes; los apóstoles son los que son enviados.
¿Cómo nos convertimos en mejores discípulos de Jesús? Primero necesitams ser llenados del Espíritu Santo antes de ser enviados al mundo. Entonces, ¿cómo nos convertimos en mejores discípulos? El año pasado asistí a uno de los seminarios de Matthew Kelly “Pasión y Propósito”. Él nos retó a hacer una de estas tres cosas para ser el mejor discípulo que podemos ser:
1) Leer 15 minutos de los Evangelios todos los días durante un año. En cuanto termines un Evangelio, ve a otro. Sigue repitiendo este proceso durante un año y llegarás a conocer a la persona de Jesucristo de una manera que nunca antes lo has hecho.
2) Ve a la confesión al menos una vez al mes durante un año. Cuando confesamos nuestros pecados regularmente, no sólo recibimos gracias increíbles y la misericordia de Dios, sino que también nos hacemos más maduros en la vida espiritual.
3) Mantén un “Diario de Misas” todos los días durante 100 días. Ve a Misa cada vez con la mentalidad que Dios quiere hablarle a tu corazón a través de las lecturas, la música, las oraciones y la homilía. Escribe una cosa en tu Diario de Misas que tocó tu corazón. Trae este diario contigo a la dirección espiritual y la oración y agradece a Dios por todo lo que Él ha hecho por ti. La Misa nunca volverá a será aburrida.
Cuanto más sabemos acerca de Jesús, pero más importante aún, cuanto más conocemos a Jesús personalmente, cuanto más nos enamoraríamos de Él. Esto nos ayuda a convertirnos en sal y luz para el mundo. Si todavía no nos hemos enamorado de Jesús, Su luz no brillará a través de nosotros. Sin embargo, una vez que nos convertimos en sal y luz, Él nos envía como apóstoles para compartir la Buena Nueva que hemos recibido.
¿Cómo podemos ser mejores apóstoles (esto viene de la misma raíz de la palabra “postal”, uno que es enviado)?
1) Vamos a donde Él nos envía. Lo escuchamos en la oración y seguimos Su llamado. Hay una gran libertad cuando somos obedientes a la voluntad de Dios.
2) Hablamos la verdad en amor. A veces es difícil hablar con la verdad porque tenemos miedo que no les guste lo que tenemos que decir. Sin embargo, a veces la acción más amorosa es decir la verdad – pero siempre en amor. Amor significa desear el bien de la otra persona. El bien último de la otra persona es el cielo. A veces nuestras palabras desafiantes conducen a la salvación de una persona. Si permanecemos callados en un momento crítico en la vida de alguien, podemos perder la oportunidad de dirigirlos hacia el Señor y la salvación.
3) Convive con otros buenos cristianos. Jesús los envió de dos en dos. No podemos hacer esto solos, pero tenemos que caminar con otros que están tratando de crecer en santidad. Ellos nos ayudan a mantenernos responsables y nos animan en el camino.
Salgan apóstoles de Jesús, pero primero pasen tiempo como Sus discípulos fieles. No podemos dar lo que no tenemos. Traten hoy de mantener este equilibrio saludable de recibir del Señor en oración y estudio (discípulos), y luego compartan el amor de Dios en acción (apóstoles).
Padre Burke
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Posted by: frburke23 | June 10, 2018

Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (June 11, 2018)

Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (June 11, 2018)
ACTS 11:21B-26; 13:1-3
In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.
Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger,
Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.
Scripture challenge –Exodus, chapters 14-16.
Today we remember St. Barnabas, one of the early converts to the faith and a contemporary of St. Paul. We hear in the reading today that Barnabas was sent to Antioch to encourage the young Christians in their faith. “He was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.” He rejoiced when he saw the faith of the people and encouraged them to stay close to Jesus “in firmness of heart.” He brought St. Paul to Antioch and together they taught, encouraged and evangelized. The many followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” there in Antioch.
Then we have this beautiful scene of the Christians gathered together in prayer and fasting. The Holy Spirit told them to “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then they prayed over the two men, laid hands on them and sent them on mission.
As I imagine these early Christians fasting and praying, I envision people who are on fire with the Holy Spirit. I am reminded of the group that I am privileged to work with on our Mike Sweeney Catholic Baseball Camp (, July 22-25, 2018). The Lord has brought together a group of people who shine with the light of Christ because they are rooted in prayer with our Lord.
One of the families who brought their son to the baseball camp last year from out of state told me, “We can go to baseball camps anywhere. But I want my son to be around men of faith like you have here.” When people regularly fast and pray, their whole being lights up with the presence of the Holy Spirit. And as Christ’s light shines in and through them, other people are drawn to the Lord.
St. Barnabas was a “good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.” Mike Sweeney is a man with these same characteristics. The people on our team are filled with that same Holy Spirit and are on fire for Jesus. This fire of the Holy Spirit is contagious and Jesus wants to set a fire on this earth and wishes that it were already ablaze (see Luke 12:49).
The evil one wants to isolate us so that any fire of the Holy Spirit within us will be extinguished. However, when people of faith regularly come together in prayer and fasting, the flame of faith comes alive. Do not stay away from the Church and people who are on fire with the Holy Spirit. Stay close to the fire so that your heart too will burn with the love of God.
Do I spend regular time in fasting and prayer?
Is my heart on fire with the Holy Spirit?
Do I isolate myself and stay away from the Church and people of faith?
Do I gather regularly with other people of faith to fan the flame?
St. Barnabas, pray for us that we too can be faithful disciples of Jesus. Help us to burn with the same faith and fervor you had to share the love of Jesus with the world.
God bless,
Fr. Burke
Memoria de san Bernabé, Apóstiol (11 de junio 2018)
HECHOS 11:21-26; 13:1-3
En aquellos días, fueron muchos los que se convirtieron y abrazaron la fe. Cuando llegaron estas noticias a la comunidad cristiana de Jerusalén, Bernabé fue enviado a Antioquía. Llegó Bernabé, y viendo la acción de la gracia de Dios, se alegró mucho; y como era hombre bueno, lleno del Espíritu Santo y de fe, exhortó a todos a que, firmes en su propósito, permanecieran fieles al Señor. Así se ganó para el Señor una gran muchedumbre.
Entonces Bernabé partió hacia Tarso, en busca de Saulo; y cuando lo encontró, lo llevó consigo a Antioquía. Ambos vivieron durante todo un año en esa comunidad y enseñaron a mucha gente. Allí, en Antioquía, fue donde por primera vez los discípulos recibieron el nombre de “cristianos”.
Había en la comunidad cristiana de Antioquía algunos profetas y maestros, como Bernabé, Simón (apodado el “Negro”), Lucio el de Cirene, Manahén (que se crió junto con el tetrarca Herodes) y Saulo. Un día estaban ellos ayunando y dando culto al Señor, y el Espíritu Santo les dijo: “Resérvenme a Saulo y a Bernabé para la misión que les tengo destinada”. Todos volvieron a ayunar y a orar; después les impusieron las manos y los despidieron.
Reto de las Escrituras: Éxodo, capítulos 14-16.
Hoy recordamos a San Bernabé, uno de los primeros convertidos en la fe y un contemporáneo de San Pablo. Hoy escuchamos en la lectura de que Bernabé que fue enviado a Antioquía para animar a los jóvenes cristianos en su fe. “Era hombre bueno, lleno del Espíritu Santo y de fe.” Se alegró mucho cuando vio la fe de las personas y les animó a permanecer cerca de Jesús “firmes en su propósito.” Él trajo a San Pablo a Antioquía y juntos enseñaron, animaron y evangelizaron. Los muchos seguidores de Jesús fueron llamados “cristianos” por primera vez allí en Antioquía.
Luego tenemos esta hermosa escena de los cristianos reunidos en la oración y el ayuno. El Espíritu Santo le dijo, “Resérvenme a Saulo y a Bernabé para la misión que les tengo destinada.” Y oraron sobre los dos hombres, les impusieron las manos y los enviaron en misión.
Mientras me imagino a estos primeros cristianos ayunando y orando, me imagino la gente que está en fuego con el Espíritu Santo. Me acuerdo del grupo con el que tengo el privilegio de trabajar en nuestro Campamento Católico de Béisbol de Mike Sweeney (Mike Sweeney Catholic Baseball Camp) (, julio 22-25 de 2018). El Señor ha reunido a un grupo de personas que brillan con la luz de Cristo, porque están arraigados en la oración con nuestro Señor.
Una de las familias que trajo a su hijo al campamento de béisbol el año pasado desde fuera del estado me dijo: “Podemos ir a campamentos de béisbol en cualquier lugar. Pero quiero que mi hijo este alrededor de hombres de fe como los que tienen aquí.” Cuando la gente ayuna y ora regularmente, todo su ser se ilumina con la presencia del Espíritu Santo. Y a medida que la luz de Cristo brilla en y a través de ellos, otras personas son atraídas hacia el Señor.
San Bernabé era un “hombre bueno, lleno del Espíritu Santo y de fe.” Mike Sweeney es un hombre con estas mismas características. La gente en nuestro equipo está llena de ese mismo Espíritu Santo y están en fuego por Jesús. Este fuego del Espíritu Santo es contagioso y Jesús quiere encender un fuego sobre la tierra y desea que ya estuviera encendida (ver Lucas 12:49).
El maligno quiere aislarnos para que se extinga cualquier fuego del Espíritu Santo dentro de nosotros. Sin embargo, cuando la gente de fe se reúne regularmente en la oración y el ayuno, la llama de la fe cobra vida. No te mantengas alejado de la Iglesia y las personas que están en fuego con el Espíritu Santo. Permanece cerca del fuego para que tu corazón también arda con el amor de Dios.
¿Paso tiempo regular ayunando y orando?
¿Está mi corazón en llamas con el Espíritu Santo?
¿Me aíslo y me mantengo alejado de la Iglesia y las personas de fe?
¿Me reúno regularmente con otras personas de fe para avivar la llama?
San Bernabé, ruega por nosotros para que también podamos ser discípulos fieles de Jesús. Ayúdanos a arder con la misma fe y fervor que tuviste para compartir el amor de Jesús con el mundo.
Dios te bendiga,
Padre Burke

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