Thought for Thursday, 15th Week of Ordinary Time (July 18, 2019)
 
Matthew 11:28-30
 
Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
======================
Scripture Challenge – 1 Samuel, chapters 7-9.
 
All are invited on Sunday, July 28th for our Catholic Family Night at Benet Academy in Lisle, IL to kick off our 5th Annual Mike Sweeney Catholic Baseball Camp. We will begin with 5pm Mass, celebrated by Fr. Max Behna and I will concelebrate. Mass will be followed by a pizza social, during which I will speak and introduce the team for our camp. There is no cost, and everyone is welcome. It is not too late to register for the camp, which runs from July 29-31, 2019 at http://www.catholicsportscamps.org/ . Scholarships are available. We will not turn anyone away due to finances, but we can only take 150 campers, so space is limited.
 
What a short gospel reading we have today, but it is full of meaning. Jesus is speaking to each of our hearts today and I have come to realize that every single person in this world is carrying a heavy burden. Sometimes this burden is caused by things beyond our control – illness, death, betrayal by others, etc. Sometimes we cause our own burdens through our sinfulness and poor decisions.
Either way, Jesus is calling us to come to Him. He will give us rest. He will give us hope during the trials of life. We can never say, “Jesus doesn’t understand the burden that I’m carrying.” Jesus has experienced the worst type of suffering, betrayal and death possible. That is one of the reasons that God became man. He took upon Himself our flesh to unite Himself with us in solidarity; yet, Jesus trusted in the Father during His suffering and the Father did not abandon Him. He rose from the dead on the third day to give us hope that new life comes after our darkest hours.
We too must place our trust in the Father when we are carrying our own crosses of suffering and pain. I am not saying that this is easy, but there is no one in whom I’d rather place my trust than the Father. The evil one wants us to blame God for our suffering so that we run far away from the source of our healing and rest. God is the only One who is completely trustworthy. After he saw how hurt I was by his betrayal, a good college friend told me, “Burke, human beings will let you down, but God never will.” If we place our faith and trust in human beings, we will be disappointed, betrayed, let down.
 
Jesus suffered. We suffer. Jesus died. We are going to die. But Jesus rose from the dead. So too will we who trust in Him and place our faith in Him. Jesus told us that it would not be easy. We are going to have to bear heavy crosses, but He promised to never abandon us.
Just like Simon the Cyrene who helped Jesus carry His cross, Jesus helps us carry our crosses. His yoke is light. I have heard stories that two oxen yoked together can pull more than double they can individually. Imagine what can happen if we yoke ourselves to Christ, who is all-powerful! When we are united with Christ, we can carry any burden, for all things are possible with Him.
 
The Lord invites us to “learn from” Him. He is meek and humble of heart. He trusted completely in the Father with His cross and the Father was faithful to Him. If we move away from the Father during our tough times, our cross gets heavier. But if we entrust everything to the Father, He will make even the heaviest of crosses feel lighter.
 
Do I blame God for my suffering and pain?
What are the burdens that I am carrying today?
Do I ask the Lord to help me carry the crosses I bear?
Have a great day!
Fr. Burke
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Jueves de la 15 Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (18 de julio 2019)
San Mateo 11,28-30.
Vengan a mí todos los que están afligidos y agobiados, y yo los aliviaré.
Carguen sobre ustedes mi yugo y aprendan de mí, porque soy paciente y humilde de corazón, y así encontrarán alivio.
Porque mi yugo es suave y mi carga liviana”.
===========================
Todos están invitados el domingo, 28 de julio, para nuestra Noche Familiar Católica en la Academia Benet en Lisle, IL, para dar inicio a nuestro 5to Campamento Anual de Béisbol Católico de Mike Sweeney. Comenzaremos con la misa de las 5 p.m., celebrada por el Padre Mark Bernhard y yo voy a concelebrar. Después de la misa tendremos una pizza social, durante la cual hablaré e introduciré al equipo para nuestro campamento. No hay costo, y todos son bienvenidos. No es demasiado tarde para inscribirse en el campamento, que se realizará del 29 al 31 de julio de 2019 en http://www.catholicbaseballcamp.org/chicago. Becas están disponibles. No rechazaremos a nadie debido a las finanzas, pero solo podemos aceptar a 150 campistas, por lo que el espacio es limitado.
 
Qué lectura tan corta del evangelio tenemos hoy, pero está llena de significado. Jesús hoy le está hablando a cada uno de nuestros corazones y me he dado cuenta de que cada persona en este mundo está llevando una carga pesada. A veces esta carga es causada por cosas fuera de nuestro control – la enfermedad, la muerte, la traición de otros, etc. A veces nosotros causamos nuestras propias cargas a través de nuestros pecados y malas decisiones.
 
 
De todos modos, Jesús nos llama a venir a Él. Él nos dará descanso. Él nos dará esperanza durante los problemas de la vida. Nunca podemos decir: “Jesús no entiende la carga que yo llevo.” Jesús ha experimentado el peor tipo de sufrimiento, traición y muerte posible. Esa es una de las razones por las que Dios se hizo hombre. Él tomó sobre sí nuestra carne, para unirse con nosotros en la solidaridad; sin embargo, Jesús confió en el Padre en medio de Su sufrimiento y el Padre no lo abandonó. Resucitó de entre los muertos al tercer día para darnos la esperanza de que una nueva vida vendrá después de nuestras horas más oscuras.
 
 
También nosotros debemos poner nuestra confianza en el Padre cuando estamos llevando nuestras propias cruces de sufrimiento y dolor. No estoy diciendo que esto es fácil, pero no hay nadie en quien yo prefiero poner mi confianza que el Padre. El maligno quiere que culpemos a Dios por nuestro sufrimiento para que corramos lejos de la fuente de nuestra sanación y descanso. Dios es el único que es completamente digno de confianza. Después de ver lo herido que estaba por su traición, un buen amigo de la universidad me dijo: “Burke, los seres humanos te decepcionarán, pero Dios nunca lo hará”. Si ponemos nuestra fe y confianza en los seres humanos, nos decepcionaremos, nos traicionaran, nos decepcionaran.
 
 
Jesús sufrió. Nosotros sufrimos. Jesús murió. Vamos a morir. Pero Jesús resucitó de entre los muertos. Así también nosotros los que confiamos en Él y ponemos nuestra fe en Él. Jesús nos dijo que no sería fácil. Vamos a tener que llevar cruces pesadas, pero Él prometió que nunca nos abandonará.
 
 
Al igual que Simón el Cireneo que ayudó a Jesús a llevar Su cruz, Jesús nos ayuda a llevar nuestras cruces. Su yugo es ligero. He escuchado historias de que dos bueyes estando unidos por una yunta pueden jalar del doble que individualmente. ¡Imagina lo que puede pasar si nos unimos a Cristo, que es todopoderoso! Cuando nos unimos con Cristo, podemos llevar cualquier carga de todas las cosas posibles con Él.
 
 
El Señor nos invita a “aprender de” Él. Él es dócil y humilde de corazón. Él confió completamente en el Padre con Su cruz y el Padre fue fiel a Él. Si nos alejamos del Padre durante nuestros momentos difíciles, nuestra cruz se hace más pesada. Pero si confiamos todo al Padre, Él hará que incluso la más pesada de las cruces se sienta más ligera.
 
 
¿Culpo a Dios por mi dolor y sufrimiento?
¿Cuáles son las cargas que llevo hoy?
¿Le pido al Señor que me ayude a cargar las cruces que llevo?
 
 
¡Que tengan un gran día!
Padre Burke
WEDNESDAY OF THE 15TH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME (JULY 17, 2019)
 
EXODUS 3:1-6, 9-12
Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.
Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb,
the mountain of God.
There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in fire
flaming out of a bush.
As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush,
though on fire, was not consumed.
So Moses decided,
“I must go over to look at this remarkable sight,
and see why the bush is not burned.”
 
When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely,
God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
He answered, “Here I am.”
God said, “Come no nearer!
Remove the sandals from your feet,
for the place where you stand is holy ground.
I am the God of your father,” he continued,
“the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.
The cry of the children of Israel has reached me,
and I have truly noted that the Egyptians are oppressing them.
Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people,
the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
 
But Moses said to God,
“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh
and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
He answered, “I will be with you;
and this shall be your proof that it is I who have sent you:
when you bring my people out of Egypt,
you will worship God on this very mountain.”
=================================
Today we hear the story of the burning bush, a story that we have heard many times and seen portrayed in movies. There are some key points of this story that I’d like us to reflect upon today…
 
1) At the time of God’s call, Moses was working, tending the flock. God meets us in our daily routines of work, school and family life. He can come to us when we least expect it. Even though church is a special place to encounter God, He can speak to us anywhere, so keep your eyes and ears open for Him. We often miss God’s voice due to lack of prayer, which attunes our ears to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Do I prepare myself to hear the voice of God by praying each day?
 
2) God called Moses to come closer through the burning bush. His voice was inviting, and He called Moses by name. God calls us as well to come closer to Him in prayer. He calls us out of our daily routine to dialogue with Him, to realize that there is another realm of living beyond the physical world. How has the Lord spoken to me?
 
3) God told Moses that he was standing on holy ground. I am reminded of visiting the Eucharistic miracle in Santarem, Portugal the other day. We knew that we were on holy ground, but any Catholic church you enter has the Blessed Sacrament and is holy ground. Moreover, the Holy Spirit resides in every baptized person, so we should honor that person as a child of God. Am I aware of the many ways that I walk on holy ground each day?
 
 
4) God heard the cry of His people and wanted to help them. He continues to hear the cry of His people today. God calls you and me to be His hands, His feet, His voice, His heart, to the people in need today. How is God calling me to help those less fortunate than me?
 
5) Moses feared his mission. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the children out of Israel?” We too balk at God’s call in our lives. Who, me? Why would you call me Lord? I have no talents? I am no one? But that is exactly who God calls – those who are weak, humble, and rely on the Lord. Have I made excuses, so I don’t have to follow the Lord’s call in my life?
 
 
6) God promises to be with Moses. God also promises to be with us. He tells us, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.” Do I believe God’s promises? Do I believe that God will never abandon me?
 
7) Finally, they worship God after they have been delivered from slavery. Do I remember to praise God for all the good that He has done for me? Do I quickly forget His providence and love?
 
Take time today to reflect on this beautiful story of the burning bush. How is God calling you to participate as a missionary disciple in His plan of salvation? What is your response to the greatest invitation you will ever receive?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
=============================
MIÉRCOLES DE LA 15ª SEMANA DEL TIEMPO ORDINARIO (17 DE JULIO DE 2019)
 
EXODO 3:1-6, 9-12
Moisés estaba cuidando el rebaño de su suegro Jetró, el sacerdote de Madián.
Dirigiendo el rebaño por el desierto, llegó a Horeb,
el monte de Dios.
Ahí un ángel del Señor se le apareció en fuego
llameante de una zarza.
Mientras miraba, él se sorprendió al ver que el arbusto,
aunque en el fuego, no se consumía.
Así que Moisés decidió,
“Tengo que ir a ver esta vista notable,
y ver por qué la zarza no se quema”.
Cuando el Señor lo vio venir más de cerca,
Dios lo llamó desde la zarza: “¡Moisés! ¡Moisés! “
Él respondió: “Aquí estoy.”
Dios dijo: “¡No te acerques!
Quita las sandalias de tus pies,
porque el lugar donde estás es tierra santa.
Yo soy el Dios de tu padre “, continuó,
“El Dios de Abraham, Dios de Isaac, Dios de Jacob.
El clamor de los hijos de Israel ha llegado hasta mí,
y realmente he notado que los egipcios los oprimen.
Ven, ¡ahora! Te enviaré a Faraón, para guiar a mí pueblo,
los hijos de Israel, fuera de Egipto. “
Pero Moisés le dijo a Dios:
“¿Quién soy yo para que vaya a Faraón,
y lleve fuera a los hijos de Israel de Egipto?”
Él respondió: “Yo estaré contigo;
y esto será la prueba de que soy yo el que te ha enviado:
cuando saques a mi pueblo de Egipto,
darás culto a Dios en este monte. “
=======================
Hoy escuchamos la historia de la zarza ardiente, una historia que hemos escuchado muchas veces y visto en las películas. Hay algunos puntos clave de esta historia que me gustaría reflexionar sobre la actualidad…
 
1) En el momento de la llamada de Dios, Moisés estaba trabajando, cuidando el rebaño. Dios nos encuentra en nuestras rutinas diarias de trabajo, escuela y vida familiar. Él puede venir a nosotros cuando menos lo esperamos. Aunque la iglesia es un lugar especial para encontrar a Dios, Él puede hablarnos en cualquier lugar, así que mantén tus ojos y oídos abiertos para Él. A menudo extrañamos la voz de Dios debido a la falta de oración, lo que sintoniza nuestros oídos con la voz del Buen Pastor. ¿Me preparo para escuchar la voz de Dios orando cada día?
 
2) Dios llamó a Moisés a acercarse a través de la zarza ardiente. Su voz era atractiva, y llamó a Moisés por su nombre. Dios también nos llama a acercarnos a Él en oración. Él nos llama a salir de nuestra rutina diaria para dialogar con Él, para darnos cuenta de que hay otro reino de la vida más allá del mundo físico. ¿Cómo me ha hablado el Señor?\
 
3) Dios le dijo a Moisés que él estaba parado en tierra santa. Me recuerda haber visitado el otro día el milagro eucarístico en Santarem, Portugal. Sabíamos que estábamos en tierra santa, pero cualquier iglesia católica a la que entres tiene el Santísimo Sacramento y es tierra santa. Además, el Espíritu Santo reside en cada persona bautizada, por lo que debemos honrar a esa persona como hijo de Dios. ¿Soy consciente de las muchas maneras en que camino en tierra santa cada día?
 
4) Dios escuchó el clamor de su pueblo y quería ayudarlos. El sigue escuchando el clamor de su pueblo hoy día. Y Dios me llama a mí y a ti a ayudarles. Él nos llama a ser Sus pies, Su voz, Su corazón a las personas que lo necesitan hoy en día. Dios nos llama a ti ya mí a ser Sus manos, Sus pies, Su voz, Su corazón, para las personas que lo necesitan hoy. ¿Cómo me llama Dios a ayudar a los menos afortunados que yo?
 
5) Moisés tuvo miedo de su misión. “¿Quién soy yo para que vaya a Faraón, y lleve fuera a los hijos de Israel?” Nosotros también nos negamos a la llamada de Dios en nuestras vidas. ¿Quién, yo? ¿Por qué me llamas a mi Señor? ¿No tengo talentos? ¿No soy nadie? Pero eso es exactamente a los que llama Dios – los que son débiles, humildes, y confían en el Señor. ¿He puesto excusas para no seguir el llamado del Señor en mi vida?
 
6) Dios promete estar con Moisés. Dios también promete estar con nosotros. Él nos dice: “No temas. Yo estoy contigo.” ¿Creo en las promesas de Dios? ¿Creo en que Dios nunca me abandonará?
 
7) Finalmente, ellos adoran a Dios, después de haber sido liberados de la esclavitud. ¿Recuerdo alabar a Dios por todo el bien que Él ha hecho por mí? ¿Olvido rápidamente su providencia y amor?
 
Tómate el tiempo hoy para reflexionar sobre esta hermosa historia de la zarza ardiente. ¿Cómo te está llamando Dios a participar como discípulo misionero en Su plan de salvación? ¿Cuál es tu respuesta a la mejor invitación que recibirás?
¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | July 15, 2019

Tuesday of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time (July 16, 2019)

Tuesday of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time (July 16, 2019)
 
EXODUS 2:1-15A
A certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman,
who conceived and bore a son.
Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months.
When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket,
daubed it with bitumen and pitch,
and putting the child in it,
placed it among the reeds on the river bank.
His sister stationed herself at a distance
to find out what would happen to him.
 
Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe,
while her maids walked along the river bank.
Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it.
On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying!
She was moved with pity for him and said,
“It is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter,
“Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women
to nurse the child for you?”
“Yes, do so,” she answered.
So the maiden went and called the child’s own mother.
Pharaoh’s daughter said to her,
“Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you.”
The woman therefore took the child and nursed it.
When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter,
who adopted him as her son and called him Moses;
for she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
 
On one occasion, after Moses had grown up,
when he visited his kinsmen and witnessed their forced labor,
he saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his own kinsmen.
Looking about and seeing no one,
he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
The next day he went out again, and now two Hebrews were fighting!
So he asked the culprit,
“Why are you striking your fellow Hebrew?”
But the culprit replied,
“Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us?
Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?”
Then Moses became afraid and thought,
“The affair must certainly be known.”
 
Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death.
But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian.
==============================
After reading about the story of Joseph and his brothers in Egypt, the book of Exodus now turns its attention to Moses. On the pilgrimage we just finished, a major theme was that God brings good out of bad situations, especially for those who love Him.
 
Pharaoh wanted all the Hebrew baby boys killed because the Israelites were growing in number and power. Moses’ mother could not kill her own son, so she put him in a basket in the water, hoping he would be rescued. Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in the basket and her heart was moved with pity. Even though she recognized the child as Hebrew, she didn’t kill him. She had Moses’ own mother nurse him until he was old enough for Pharaoh’s daughter to raise him.
 
Of course, we know that Moses grew up to be a very influential man for the Israelites. God rescued him from a very difficult situation and he would be the one to lead them out of slavery in Egypt and get them close to the Promised Land. Moses received the 10 Commandments from God and we still follow them to this day. This was a child who should have been killed according to Pharaoh’s orders.
 
This reminds me of stories of babies that were recommended for abortion, but their parents chose life. Celine Dion and Tim Tebow’s parents almost had an abortion, but they chose life. I know there are many people who have been impacted by their lives. I am not saying that these two people are like Moses, but every life is important and has dignity because we are made in the image and likeness of God.
 
This story of Moses also shows us that nothing is impossible with God. If you are in a situation that seems like there is no solution, cry out to God. Trust in Him. God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, but He invites us to surrender our will to the will of God. St. Maximilian Kolbe probably prayed that he would be released from the concentration camp in Auschwitz, but he surrendered to God’s will and offered his life in the place of a young father who was about to be killed. The man he saved was at St. Maximilian Kolbe’s canonization Mass in Rome.
 
Another point in this story that I’d like to discuss is the fact that Moses was a murderer. He killed the Egyptian that was mistreating the Hebrew slave. St. Paul took part in the murder of Christians before his conversion. We all have skeletons in our closet, but our sins of the past do not define us. Confess your sins with a contrite heart and God will forgive you. He wants to turn your life around to be a great saint, no matter how far you have left the narrow path God has set out for you.
 
Do you have experiences in your life in which God rescued you from a difficult situation?
Do you believe that nothing is impossible with God?
Do you allow your past sins to define you or do you learn from the past to grow in holiness?
Do you have any sins from the past that need to be confessed?
 
Peace,
Fr. Burke
===============================
Martes de la 15ª semana de tiempo ordinario (16 de julio de 2019)
 
Éxodo 2, 1-15
En aquellos días, un hombre de la tribu de Leví se casó con una mujer de su misma tribu. La mujer concibió y dio a luz un hijo; y viendo que era hermoso, lo tuvo escondido tres meses. Pero como ya no podía ocultarlo por más tiempo, tomó una canastilla de mimbre, la embadurnó con betún y con brea, metió en ella al niño y la dejó entre los juncos, a la orilla del río. Entre tanto, la hermana del niño se quedó a cierta distancia para ver lo que sucedía.
 
Bajó la hija del faraón a bañarse en el río, y mientras sus doncellas se paseaban por la orilla, vio la canastilla entre los juncos y envió a una criada para que se la trajera. La abrió y encontró en ella un niño que lloraba. Se compadeció de él y exclamó: “Es un niño hebreo”.
 
Entonces se acercó la hermana del niño y le dijo a la hija del faraón: “¿Quieres que vaya a llamar a una nodriza hebrea para que te críe al niño?” La hija del faraón le dijo que sí. Entonces la joven fue a llamar a la madre del niño. La hija del faraón le dijo a ésta: “Toma a este niño; criámelo y yo te pagaré”. Tomó la mujer al niño y lo crió.
 
El niño creció y ella se lo llevó entonces a la hija del faraón, que lo adoptó como hijo y lo llamó Moisés, que significa: “De las aguas lo he sacado”.
 
Cuando Moisés creció, fue a visitar a sus hermanos y se dio cuenta de sus penosos trabajos; vio también cómo un egipcio maltrataba a uno de sus hermanos hebreos. Entonces Moisés miró para todas partes, no vio a nadie, mató al egipcio y lo escondió en la arena.
 
Al día siguiente salió y vio que dos hebreos se estaban peleando. Le dijo entonces al culpable: “¿Por qué le pegas a tu compañero?” Pero él le contestó: “¿Quién te ha nombrado jefe y juez de nosotros? ¿Acaso piensas matarme como al egipcio?” Lleno de temor, Moisés pensó: “Sin duda que ya todo el mundo lo sabe”. Se enteró el faraón de lo sucedido y buscó a Moisés para matarlo, pero él huyó lejos del faraón y se fue a vivir al país de Madián.
==============================
Después de leer sobre la historia de José y sus hermanos en Egipto, el libro de Éxodo ahora dirige su atención a Moisés. En la peregrinación que acabamos de terminar, un tema importante fue que Dios saca lo bueno de las situaciones malas, especialmente para aquellos que lo aman.
 
El Faraón quería que mataran a todos los niños hebreos porque los israelitas estaban creciendo en número y poder. La madre de Moisés no pudo matar a su propio hijo, por lo que lo puso en una canastilla en el agua, esperando que lo rescataran. La hija de Faraón encontró a Moisés en la canastilla y su corazón se conmovió con compasión. Aunque reconoció al niño como hebreo, no lo mató. Ella hizo que la propia madre de Moisés lo cuidara hasta que tuviera la edad suficiente para que la hija del faraón lo criara.
 
Por supuesto, sabemos que Moisés se convirtió en un hombre muy influyente para los israelitas. Dios lo rescató de una situación muy difícil y él sería el que los sacaría de la esclavitud en Egipto y los acercaría a la Tierra Prometida. Moisés recibió los 10 mandamientos de Dios y todavía los seguimos hasta hoy. Este era un niño que debería haber sido asesinado de acuerdo con las órdenes del Faraón.
 
Esto me recuerda las historias de bebés que fueron recomendados para el aborto, pero sus padres eligieron la vida. Los padres de Celine Dion y Tim Tebow casi tuvieron un aborto, pero eligieron la vida. Sé que hay muchas personas que han sido impactadas por sus vidas. No estoy diciendo que estas dos personas sean como Moisés, pero cada vida es importante y tiene dignidad porque estamos hechos a imagen y semejanza de Dios.
 
Esta historia de Moisés también nos muestra que nada es imposible para Dios. Si estás en una situación que parece que no hay solución, clama a Dios. Confía en El. Dios no siempre responde a nuestras oraciones como queremos que lo haga, pero nos invita a rendir nuestra voluntad a la voluntad de Dios. San Maximiliano Kolbe probablemente oró para que lo liberaran del campo de concentración en Auschwitz, pero se rindió a la voluntad de Dios y ofreció su vida en lugar de un joven padre que estaba a punto de ser asesinado. El hombre que salvó estaba en la misa de canonización de San Maximiliano Kolbe en Roma.
 
Otro punto en esta historia que me gustaría discutir es el hecho de que Moisés fue un asesino. Él mató al egipcio que estaba maltratando al esclavo hebreo. San Pablo participó en el asesinato de los cristianos antes de su conversión. Todos tenemos esqueletos en nuestro armario (pasado), pero nuestros pecados del pasado no nos definen. Confiesa tus pecados con un corazón contrito y Dios te perdonará. Él quiere cambiar tu vida para ser un gran santo, no importa lo lejos que hayas dejado el camino estrecho que Dios ha establecido para ti.
 
¿Tienes experiencias en tu vida en las que Dios te rescató de una situación difícil?
¿Crees que nada es imposible para Dios?
¿Permites que tus pecados pasados te definan o aprendes del pasado a crecer en santidad?
¿Tienes algún pecado del pasado que deba ser confesado?
 
Paz,
P. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | July 14, 2019

Monday of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time (July 15, 2019)

Monday of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time (July 15, 2019)
 
EXODUS 1:8-14, 22
A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.
He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;
otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies
to fight against us, and so leave our country.”
 
Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel
to oppress them with forced labor.
Thus they had to build for Pharaoh
the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed,
the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel
and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick
and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.
 
Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects,
“Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,
but you may let all the girls live.”
===============
We had a 2:30am wake-up call this morning to be on the bus at 3:30am to head to the airport. Some in the group stayed up all night so that they could sleep on the plane. We left Lisbon, Portugal at 6:35am and landed in Madrid at 8:55am (Madrid is one hour ahead of Lisbon). After going through passport control, we celebrated Mass near the gate. Some other travelers joined us for the celebration. We left Madrid at 11:35am and arrived in Chicago at 1:35pm local time. It will take some time for all of us to allow the graces of this pilgrimage to sink into our souls. Thanks for all your prayers. I hope you have enjoyed traveling with us via this blog.
 
Reflection on the readings:
We have been reading the story of Joseph’s rise to second in command in Egypt. Joseph was able to save the lives of his brothers, who had sold him into slavery. Now, as the story continues, the Israelites are growing “numerous and powerful.” The new Egyptian king, “who knew nothing of Joseph,” was threatened by this growth of the Israelite people. He forced them to work in horrible circumstances. “Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread.” Then the king told them to throw every boy born to the Hebrews into the river, which will lead us to the story of Moses.
 
As I was praying with this reading, I was thinking about how persecution can strengthen a group. When the Israelites were oppressed by the Egyptians, they bonded together and became even stronger.
 
We live in a time in which Christianity is being persecuted. Our faith and the things that we value are mocked by many in our society. Tolerance is valued more than truth. Traditional marriage and pro-life values are being mocked as well as the people who hold these values. Relativism teaches that there is no such thing as objective truth. Christians are being persecuted around the world for their beliefs.
 
I believe that God may be allowing some persecution against the Church to wake us up. Are we going to bond together, like the Israelites in this reading, and remain strong against the oppressors? Or are we just going to allow our values to be overrun by those who want to take God out of everything?
 
There are many people in the world, neighborhood, workplace and church who believe what you believe. That is why it is important that we gather together regularly at church to strengthen one another and not lose hope. The Church may get smaller for a while, but I believe it will get stronger because of the crazy things happening in the world. Jesus has won the victory. His love and truth will prevail. He invites us to hold firm and persevere through the trials.
 
Parents stay strong in raising your kids in the faith. It is difficult to raise them with so many distractions and temptations today. Find others in your church that can support you in this mission God has given you. The evil one wants us to give up the fight. God is cheering us on to stay strong and persevere.
 
Have you lost hope?
Do you gather with others who share your Christian beliefs to strengthen one another?
 
God bless,
Fr. Burke
============================
Lunes de la 15ª semana de tiempo ordinario (15 de julio de 2019)
 
ÉXODO 1:8-14, 22
En aquel tiempo, subió al poder en Egipto un nuevo faraón, que no había conocido a José, y le dijo a su pueblo: “Los hijos de Israel forman un pueblo más numeroso y fuerte que nosotros. Tomemos precauciones contra ellos para que no sigan multiplicándose, no sea que, en caso de guerra, se unan a nuestros enemigos, para luchar contra nosotros y se escapen del país”.
 
Les pusieron, pues, capataces a los israelitas para que los oprimieran con trabajos pesados; y así construyeron para el faraón las ciudades de Pitom y Ramsés, como lugares de almacenamiento. Pero mientras más los oprimían, más crecían y se multiplicaban.
 
Los egipcios llegaron a temer a los hijos de Israel y los redujeron a una cruel esclavitud; les hicieron pesada la vida, sometiéndolos a rudos trabajos de albañilería y a toda clase de tareas serviles en el campo.
 
Además, el faraón dio esta orden a su pueblo: “Echen al río a todos los niños que les nazcan a los hebreos; pero si son niñas, déjenlas vivir”.
===================
Hemos estado leyendo la historia del ascenso de José a segunda en el mando en Egipto. José pudo salvar las vidas de sus hermanos, quienes lo habían vendido como esclavo. Ahora, a medida que la historia continúa, los israelitas están creciendo “numerosos y poderosos”. El nuevo rey egipcio, “que no había conocido a José”, fue amenazado por este crecimiento del pueblo israelita. Los forzó a trabajar en circunstancias horribles.” Pero mientras más los oprimían, más crecían y se multiplicaban”. Entonces el rey les dijo que arrojaran a todos los niños nacidos a los hebreos en el río, lo que nos llevará a la historia de Moisés.
 
Mientras oraba con esta lectura, pensaba en cómo la persecución puede fortalecer a un grupo. Cuando los israelitas fueron oprimidos por los egipcios, se unieron y se hicieron aún más fuertes.
 
Vivimos en un tiempo en el cual Cristiandad está siendo perseguida. Nuestra fe y las cosas que valoramos son burladas por muchos en nuestra sociedad. La tolerancia se valora más que la verdad. El matrimonio tradicional y los valores pro-vida están siendo burlados, al igual que las personas que mantienen estos valores. El relativismo enseña que no existe la verdad objetiva. Los cristianos están siendo perseguidos en todo el mundo por sus creencias.
 
Yo creo que Dios puede estar permitiendo cierta persecución contra la Iglesia para despertarnos. ¿Vamos a unirnos, como los israelitas en esta lectura, y permanecer fuertes contra los opresores? ¿O vamos a permitir que nuestros valores sean invadidos por los que quieren sacar a Dios de todo?
 
Hay muchas personas en el mundo,barrio, lugar de trabajo e iglesia que creen lo que tú crees. Estas personas están en tus iglesias. Por eso es importante que nos reunamos regularmente en la iglesia para fortalecernos uno a otro y no perder la esperanza. La Iglesia puede ser más pequeña por un tiempo, pero creo que se fortalecerá como resultado de las cosas locas que están sucediendo en el mundo. Jesús ha ganado la victoria. Su amor y verdad prevalecerán. Él nos invita a mantenernos firmes y perseverar durante las pruebas.
 
Padres, manténganse fuertes en criar a sus hijos en la fe. Es difícil criarlos con tantas distracciones y tentaciones hoy en día. Encuentra a otros en tu iglesia que puedan apoyarte en esta misión que Dios te ha dado. El maligno quiere que renunciemos a la lucha. Dios nos anima a permanecer fuertes y perseverantes.
 
¿Has perdido la esperanza?
¿Se reúne con otros que comparten sus creencias cristianas para fortalecerse mutuamente?
 
Dios te bendiga,
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | July 13, 2019

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time (July 14, 2019)

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time (July 14, 2019)
 
Luke 10:25-37
 
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”
 
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
 
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
=============================
We began our last full day of the pilgrimage this morning with a 7am wake-up call followed by breakfast. Our hotel put our bags on the bus at 8:15am and then the other hotel had to be on the bus by 8:45am. We left for Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, but first stopped in Santarem about 9:15am to visit a Eucharistic miracle.
 
In 1247AD a woman was frustrated with her husband’s infidelity. She went to a sorceress to ask for help. The sorceress told the woman she would cure her husband’s infidelity, but it would cost her the price of a consecrated host. The next time she went to Mass, the wife received the Eucharist on her tongue, but then removed the host and put it in her veil. The host almost immediately began to bleed. She put the host in a trunk at home.
 
That night her husband arrived late as usual. In the middle of the night they were both awakened by a strange light emanating from the trunk. The woman confessed to her husband what she had done and they both knelt in adoration of the miracle. The next day she took the host to her priest at St. Stephen’s church. She had put the host in a wax container and the priest put it in the tabernacle. The next day the wax container was destroyed, and the host was enclosed in a crystal pyx. The miracle was confirmed by the Church and the parish church was renamed the Church of the Holy Miracle. It was visited by St. Francis Xavier before he went on a missionary journey. This is one of the most visited sites in Portugal.
 
The miracle is now housed in a tabernacle high above the regular tabernacle and we had the opportunity to climb the stairs behind the altar to reverence the miracle. It was a very moving experience for everyone in our group. Some of us were moved to tears as we were reminded how much God loves us. I was reminded that God wants us to believe even when we don’t see miracles, but He gives us miracles to help us who are weak in faith. You can look for more information about this miracle online.
 
After allowing the graces of this miracle to settle in, we said a prayer and got on the bus around 11am to go to Lisbon. We arrived at our Bessa Hotel in Lisbon at 12:15pm. Our rooms were not ready yet, so they allowed us to go to local restaurants for lunch. The food was fantastic where our group and I heard similar reports from everyone else.
 
We returned to the hotel at 2:30pm and checked in to the hotel, which is very nice and modern. At 3:15pm we boarded the bus to get a tour of the city. We stopped two places by the Tagus River to see some beautiful bridges, a fortress, an old plane memorial, and a war memorial. The weather once again was ideal for us, thanks be to God.
 
We got back on the bus to go to the nearby St. Jerome Monastery for Mass at 5:30pm. This is a 16th century monastery and the church was started in 1502AD and finished over a century later. Fr. Dennis celebrated the Mass and I preached. I preached about the message, “Do not be afraid.” God wants us to put our trust in Him and invest in our spiritual life more than we worry about our physical needs. We returned to the hotel and had a short time to get refreshed before we headed out to our farewell dinner at 8pm.
 
We had a nice dinner with live entertainment. They sang about 10 songs that are typical in Portugal. The group gave the clergy members nice gifts and then the prayer partners exchanged gifts. We arrived back at the hotel at midnight and will have a 2:30am wake up call to catch our flight at 6:35am. It was a trip full of grace. Please pray for our safe travels back to Chicago and other destinations.
 
Reflection on the readings of the day:
Both the rich young man (Matthew 19:16-24) and the scholar of the law (today’s Gospel) asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Both times Jesus emphasized the importance of maintaining the law, namely the law to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Being a Christian is not just about dutifully following some external laws, but it is about living a life of joy and love. Once we have a personal encounter with Christ and He fills us with His unconditional love and mercy, our faith cannot remain just a “me and God” relationship. We have a desire to share with others the Good News of Jesus Christ.
 
The rich young man was excited because he followed the law. The scholar in this gospel felt kind of smug because he knew the law. But Jesus does not leave the two men just at the level of following the law. For the rich young man, Jesus challenged him to sell everything he had to follow Him. The scholar asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus shared with him the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan was the outcast of society and the most unlikely character to care for the man left for dead by the side of the road.
 
The scholar of the law thought highly of himself because he knew the law. The rich young man felt secure by having many possessions. Both felt self-sufficient because of what they knew and what they were able to obtain. Jesus asks both to surrender everything to follow Him. He asks us also to trust in Him with all that we have and are. He asks us to come to Him with our sins and ask for mercy. He asks us to use the gifts He has given us for His glory. He asks us to depend on Him for everything. He cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. How much more will He take care of us!
 
Not only does God ask us to trust in Him with our whole being, but He asks us to be His witnesses to the world. The rich young man went away sad. The scholar of the law realized that the Samaritan man was treating his neighbor with love and mercy. Jesus told the scholar, “Go and do likewise.” Jesus always sends us out after we have an encounter with Him.
 
Do I follow the law of love?
Am I a good Samaritan to those I encounter, even those who do not like me?
Do I rely on my own abilities or do I trust in God for everything?
When was the last time I shared with someone what the Lord has done in my life?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
=================================
Lucas 10, 25-37
En aquel tiempo, se presentó ante Jesús un doctor de la ley para ponerlo a prueba y le preguntó: “Maestro, ¿qué debo hacer para conseguir la vida eterna?” Jesús le dijo: “¿Qué es lo que está escrito en la ley? ¿Qué lees en ella?” El doctor de la ley contestó: “Amarás al Señor tu Dios, con todo tu corazón, con toda tu alma, con todas tus fuerzas y con todo tu ser, y a tu prójimo como a ti mismo”. Jesús le dijo: “Has contestado bien; si haces eso, vivirás”.
 
El doctor de la ley, para justificarse, le preguntó a Jesús: “¿Y quién es mi prójimo?” Jesús le dijo: “Un hombre que bajaba por el camino de Jerusalén a Jericó, cayó en manos de unos ladrones, los cuales lo robaron, lo hirieron y lo dejaron medio muerto. Sucedió que por el mismo camino bajaba un sacerdote, el cual lo vio y pasó de largo. De igual modo, un levita que pasó por ahí, lo vio y siguió adelante. Pero un samaritano que iba de viaje, al verlo, se compadeció de él, se le acercó, ungió sus heridas con aceite y vino y se las vendó; luego lo puso sobre su cabalgadura, lo llevó a un mesón y cuidó de él. Al día siguiente sacó dos denarios, se los dio al dueño del mesón y le dijo: ‘Cuida de él y lo que gastes de más, te lo pagaré a mi regreso’.
 
¿Cuál de estos tres te parece que se portó como prójimo del hombre que fue asaltado por los ladrones?” El doctor de la ley le respondió: “El que tuvo compasión de él”. Entonces Jesús le dijo: “Anda y haz tú lo mismo”.
==============================
Tanto el joven rico (Mateo 19, 16-24) como el erudito de la ley (el Evangelio de hoy) le preguntaron a Jesús: “Maestro, ¿qué debo hacer para heredar la vida eterna?” En ambas ocasiones, Jesús enfatizó la importancia de mantener la ley, verdaderamente la ley de amar al Señor tu Dios con todo tu corazón, tu mente y tu alma, y amar a tu prójimo como a ti mismo. Ser cristiano no es solo seguir obedientemente algunas leyes externas, sino que se trata de vivir una vida de alegría y amor. Una vez que tenemos un encuentro personal con Cristo y Él nos llena con su amor y misericordia incondicionales, nuestra fe no puede seguir siendo solo una relación de “yo y Dios”. Tenemos un deseo de compartir con otros la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo.
El joven rico estaba emocionado porque seguía la ley. El erudito en este evangelio se sintió un poco presumido porque conocía la ley. Pero Jesús no deja a estos dos hombres al nivel de seguir la ley. Para el joven rico, Jesús lo desafió a vender todo lo que tenía para seguirlo. El erudito le preguntó a Jesús: “¿Quién es mi prójimo?” Jesús compartió con él la parábola del buen samaritano. El samaritano era el marginado de la sociedad y el personaje más improbable que se preocuparía de cuidar al hombre medio muerto a un lado del camino.
El erudito de la ley se consideraba muy bueno porque conocía la ley. El joven rico se sintió seguro al tener muchas posesiones. Ambos se sentían autosuficientes por lo que sabían y por lo que podían obtener. Jesús les pide a ambos que se desprendan todo para seguirlo. También nos pide que confiemos en Él con todo lo que tenemos y somos. Él nos pide que vengamos a Él con nuestros pecados y pidamos misericordia. Él nos pide que usemos los dones que nos ha dado para su gloria. Él nos pide que dependamos de Él para todo. Él cuida las aves del aire y los lirios del campo. ¡Cuánto más nos cuidará a nosotros!
Dios no solo nos pide que confiemos en Él con todo nuestro ser, sino que nos pide que seamos Sus testigos del mundo. El joven rico se fue triste. El erudito de la ley se dio cuenta de que el hombre samaritano estaba tratando a su prójimo con amor y misericordia. Jesús le dijo al erudito: “Ve y haz lo mismo”. Jesús siempre nos envía después de tener un encuentro con Él.
¿Sigo la ley del amor?
¿Soy un buen samaritano con quienes me encuentro, incluso con aquellos que no me quieren?
¿Confío en mis propias habilidades o confío en Dios para todo?
¿Cuándo fue la última vez que compartí con alguien lo que el Señor ha hecho en mi vida?
¡Que tengas un buen día!
P. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | July 12, 2019

Saturday of the 14th Week of Ordinary Time (July 13, 2019)

MATTHEW 10:24-33
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!

“Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
===========================
We had a wake-up call at 7am in Fatima and ate breakfast before celebrating Mass at 8:30am in the Chapel of the Apparitions. We are located perfectly, right across the street from the plaza, so it is only a 1-minute walk to get to the chapel. The other half of the group is only a 5-minute walk. Since we had the largest group of English-speakers at the Mass, which was celebrated in English, they asked Fr. Dennis and I to celebrate and preach the Mass. I asked Fr. Dennis if he wanted to preach and he said, “I am comfortable letting the Holy Spirit speak through me.”

We decided that I would preside and he would preach until one of the ten priests in the sacristy introduced his bishop from northern England. A bishop always should preside at Mass unless there are other bishops present. The bishop presided at Mass, I read the Gospel and Fr. Dennis preached. And oh did the Holy Spirit show up! I have heard Fr. Dennis preach many times, but he truly allowed the Holy Spirit to use him in a big way this morning. There were people crying in the pews because his words came directly from God. Overall it was a beautiful beginning to the day and set the tone for a wonderful day.

After Mass we boarded the bus to go the fields where Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia use to play in order to pray the Way of the Cross. Fortunately, it was cloudy and the temperatures did not reach the mid-90’s like it was predicted. It was very comfortable; God has blessed us with great weather the whole time. Deacon Tom, Fr. Dennis and I guided the group through the Way of the Cross, which was very moving. Different readers volunteered to read at each station and then the clergy offered a reflection and prayer. There were many other pilgrims that were doing the stations of the cross today also because the 13th is always a busy day in Fatima since Mary always appeared to the children on the 13th of the month. This time of prayer bonded our group together even more. We prayed over a Philippino priest that we encountered on the way, and we also prayed over Paco, our tour guide. Our prayer was that God would bless them abundantly in the current vocation.

We then walked down the hill to visit the homes of the three young children who had seen the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima. We first visited the home of siblings Jacinta and Francisco. Mary told them that they would die young and they did (Francisco – age 10, Jacinta – age 9). They were canonized saints in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions. We then visited the small home of their cousin Lucia. I am sure these children never thought people would be coming to visit their homes 100 years after these apparitions. As Mary had predicted, Lucia lived to the ripe old age of 97 before dying in 2005. All three of these children who had seen Mary are now buried in the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima churh.

After this tour, we got back on the bus and they brought us back to our hotels for lunch and a free afternoon until 6:30pm dinner. Many went shopping to get a small gift for their prayer partner in the group or to buy souvenirs for family and friends. Others spent time in prayer and meditation.

We gathered again for dinner at 6:30pm at the hotel. After dinner, some of us went the Basilica to visit the tombs of the three children of Fatima. We then went to pray in adoration for a while to thank God for the wonderful pilgrimage so far. The candlelight rosary began at 9:30pm and procession with Our Lady of Fatima at 10:15pm. Because tomorrow is the 13th of the month, there were many more pilgrims for the rosary and procession than the night before.

We are looking forward to our last full day in Portugal with a visit to Santarem and it’s Eucharistic miracle and then finish in Lisbon before we fly home on Sunday.

Reflection on the Gospel:
Jesus is telling His Apostles not to be afraid of those who were trying to tear them down. He basically says that the truth will come out in the end. All secrets will be revealed. If we are right with God, we have nothing to fear. However, if we are opposing God with our words or actions, that will come to light as well. God’s team will win in the end.

Jesus tells them repeatedly, “Do not be afraid.” These are words that should echo in our hearts throughout the day, every day. Jesus knew that His followers would be persecuted. If they feared the response of the people, the Gospel would never be preached. This is important for us to remember. If we are worried about how others think about us when we share the Good News, we will never do anything for the Lord.

However, Jesus tells us that He cares for the birds of the air. How much more will He care for us? If we acknowledge Him before others, He will acknowledge us before the Father. Think about this the next time you have a chance to witness to your faith. If we deny Jesus, He will deny us before the Father.

Think about the last time you failed to be a bold witness for Jesus. How did you feel afterward? What was your fear? Keep this gospel in mind to give you strength and courage. It sounds like Dynamic Catholic’s motto, “Be bold. Be Catholic.”

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

Posted by: frburke23 | July 11, 2019

Friday of the 14th Week of Ordinary Time (July 12, 2019)

Friday of the 14th Week of Ordinary Time (July 12, 2019)
 
MATTHEW 10:16-23
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.”
====================
Today we had a 6:30am wake-up call followed by breakfast. We packed our belongings and left Santiago de Campostela for Fatima at 8:30am. We were supposed to leave at 8am, but were delayed a little by the packing of the bags on the bus. On the bus, we prayed morning prayer and offered our day to the Lord. We prayed for our prayer partners (we chose names out of a hat and promised to pray for this person throughout the pilgrimage), for safe travels and for health for all our pilgrims.
 
We crossed the border into Portugal at 9:50am. Even though we traveled due south from Santiago, the time changed one hour earlier when we entered Portugal. We stopped for a personal needs break and then prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet when we got back on the bus.
 
We arrived at 11:45am in the beautiful city of Porto, the second most important city in Portugal after Lisbon. Marta, our local guide, boarded our bus to lead us on a tour around this picturesque city that is known for its Port wine and fishing. She took us to the government building that took 65 years to build. Some of the rooms were breathtaking. We also had a great view of the Cathedral and the rest of the city from the second floor of the government building. Then we drove across the river and toured Sandeman, a winery that produces port wine. The weather was nearly perfect – sunny and about 85 degrees – and the scenery was stunning. They described to us the process of producing port wine and then gave us a small taste test of a white and red wine.
 
We left the winery at 1:40pm to board the bus and continue our journey to Fatima. We stopped for lunch shortly after 2pm at a rest stop along the highway. At 3:30pm we left to finish our journey to Fatima. We prayed the Luminous mysteries of the rosary and arrived in Fatima at
 
We are staying in two different hotels in Fatima because we couldn’t get all 53 pilgrims in the same hotel. The 13th of every month is a big day in Fatima because Mary appeared to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia on the 13th of the month each time. Since we are close to the 13th many of the hotels were full when we set up this pilgrimage. We dropped off the first group and their luggage and then took the second group to their nearby hotel. We celebrated Mass at 6:00pm at the second hotel and then ate a buffet dinner there at 7:00pm.
 
After dinner, some people went to pray in the adoration chapel until the rosary started in the plaza in the Sanctuary at 9:30pm. The rosary was prayed in several different languages with more than a thousand people present. After the rosary, we participated in a Eucharistic procession around the plaza. It was a great way to end the day a little after 11pm. We will spend the whole day in Fatima tomorrow.
 
Reflection on the Gospel:
Some would say that Jesus is not a good at marketing. This is the job description for someone that wants to be His disciple:
1) Willing to be sent like a sheep among wolves
2) Ability to be shrewd as a serpent and simple as a dove
3) Willing to be handed over to the authorities and be put on trial
4) Ability to let go of control and let Me speak through you
5) Willing to have family members hand you over to authorities
6) Willing to be hated for My sake
7) Willing to endure severe trials and continue to persevere for the mission
8) Willing to die for Me, if necessary
 
What was Jesus trying to do with this job description? He was being realistic. He knew that people would not want to hear the Good News and would react harshly to His disciples. He was trying to prepare them for the hardships so that they would not lose heart when the trials began. This is something that we need to do for our children. We need to prepare them for the hardships of life. Sometimes our children are so protected and spoiled that they give up the first time something goes wrong. We need to be prepared for the trials of life, even when we are following Jesus.
 
Jesus was also raising the bar for us. As an athlete, I love challenges. I loved when my coach would call us to do things that seemed physically impossible. He called us to greatness, and we responded. Jesus is the ultimate coach. If it were easy to be His disciple, there would be no value in it. However, Jesus calls us to holiness and greatness and challenges us to respond.
 
Jesus, as a great coach, is also encouraging us by His presence. We are not alone on this journey. Any great coach accompanies his team and is with them through the good and bad. In this Gospel, we see the hope that Jesus gives us:
1) Do not worry about what to say because the Holy Spirit will give you the words you need. For this to happen, we need to communicate with God through prayer. We need to trust that the Holy Spirit can use me as an instrument.
2) If you endure to the end with faith, your reward will be great in heaven. This earth is not our home; heaven is our home. They can take away every material thing in our lives, but no one can take away our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We are not to take extra things on the journey but completely trust that the Lord will provide for us.
 
What strikes me in this Gospel?
Am I one to lose faith quickly and despair that God has abandoned me when times get tough?
Or do I trust the Lord in good times and bad?
Do I truly allow myself to be used as an instrument of the Holy Spirit?
Am I willing to rise to the challenge of being a saint in 2019?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
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Posted by: frburke23 | July 10, 2019

JULY 11, 2019 – MEMORIAL OF ST. BENEDICT, ABBOT

JULY 11, 2019 – MEMORIAL OF ST. BENEDICT, ABBOT
 
MATTHEW 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”
=============================
We had a wake-up call at 7am followed by breakfast at the hotel. We met in the lobby of the hotel at 8:30am to walk to the Cathedral of Santiago de Campostela, which took us about 10 minutes. The Cathedral is under major renovation which should be finished by 2021, so we celebrated Mass at the Church of San Pasto de Antealtres, a beautiful place next to the Cathedral. Fr. Dennis celebrated Mass and preached about our call to continue the mission of Jesus even when we experience difficult times like Joseph in the Old Testament, St. Stephen, St. James (Santiago) and Jesus.
 
After Mass we had a tour with local guide Diego, which is another name for Santiago. We learned that Jaime, Diego and Jacob are forms of James in Spanish. We toured the inside of the Cathedral of Santiago, which has scaffolding everywhere you look. It has one of the largest thuribles, or incense burners, in the world. We were able to visit the tomb of St. James (Santiago), who was martyred in Rome, but they brought his body to Santiago to be buried. They relate that a star led people to the tomb of Santiago, thus giving the name of the city “Santiago de Campostela,” which means “field of stars.”
 
We saw many people who were finishing the Camino and arriving at the Cathedral. This is on my bucket list to do the Camino, maybe even the 30-day trek by foot, covering more than 600 miles. They get stamped every day along the way and get a certificate of completion in Santiago. Most people make it a spiritual pilgrimage in which they pray and offer their sufferings for the good of others.
 
After the tour, we were free to do what we wanted until 7pm. Some of us went to change dollars into Euros and eat. Some went shopping and touring this beautiful city. Some rested because we have been on the go a lot. Others went to pray and reflect on the graces we have received. I had the opportunity to visit with 3 other pilgrimages and we had an amazingly deep spiritual conversation that could only be directed by God. It is very nice to have free time to do what each person wants to do.
 
At 7pm we gathered in the dining room at the hotel for a buffet dinner. Then some people went out to see a little more of the city. It doesn’t get dark until after 10pm here, so the daylight is deceiving. Tomorrow we leave for Fatima with a stop in Porto.
 
Reflection on St. Benedict
Today the Church remembers St. Benedict, who died in 543 AD. He is known as the founder of Western Christian monasticism as his “Rule” was followed by many other monasteries. His “Rule” is a group of precepts on how the monks should live their lives. It is known to be balanced and reasonable. Benedictine monasteries balance their days around “Ora et Labora” (Prayer and Work).
 
This is something that all of us can learn from in our everyday lives. We need to find balance between prayer and work also, although we are not monks. Our lives are so busy and focused on work, production and climbing the corporate ladder. No one is measuring our holiness and our prayer lives.
 
As I’ve talked about before in this blog, Cursillo teaches that our spiritual lives have three main components – prayer, study and action. We need to spend time daily in prayer and study – this is time that we spend receiving from the Lord. Then we are sent forth to share what we have received from the Lord. This is a type of “Ora et Labora” for the lay person.
 
Am I nourishing my life with daily prayer?
Do I have a balanced life?
Do I take time to receive from the Lord so that I have something to give?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
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Wednesday of the 14th Week of Ordinary Time (July 10, 2019)

Matthew 10:1-7

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
====================
Today we had a wake-up call at 7am and breakfast in our hotel in Burgos, Spain. We loaded the bus at 8:30am to drive a short distance for Mass in the Cathedral of St. Mary in Burgos. I had the privilege to celebrate the Mass in one of the side altars in this beautiful cathedral. I preached about how God can use our bad situations to bring about great good if we surrender to His will.

For example, Jacob wrestled with the angel of God. When he finally surrendered after being injured at the hip, Jacob went on to do great things for God. St. Ignatius of Loyola was injured in battle and God used his time of recuperation to call Ignatius to a conversion of life which would impact the lives of millions of people after him. We all wrestle with God and have difficult experiences in life, but the key is surrendering to the will of God. His will is always better than ours.

After Mass we toured the Cathedral of St. Mary with a local guide named Luis. This is a spectacular place with many details in place to give glory to God. We then walked around the area with Luis and learned that Burgos is important for several reasons, among them St. Dominic received the rosary from Mary in this area. He said they also have had as many as 50 monasteries in Burgos, so it is a very religious place that draws people to God.

We boarded the bus again at 11:30am to travel to Leon, Spain. While on the way we prayed morning prayer, stopped for personal needs, and prayed the rosary. We arrived in Leon at 2pm and immediately visited the Cathedral of St. Mary’s there. The church was closed during the lunch hours, so we took time to eat lunch in the area around the cathedral. I was with a group that ate outside under a shaded area of a restaurant right next to the cathedral. We ate pasta, pizza and some had hamburgers. The weather was perfect – in the mid 70’s. We have had great weather. It has rained at night and when we are inside and whenever we have been out walking, the weather has been great.

We got back on the bus at 4:30pm to drive to Santiago de Campostela, which is the destination place of all those who do the Camino, made famous by the movie of the same name. Many took a nap on the bus, we stopped for personal needs, and prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet and evening prayer.

We arrived at the hotel in Santiago de Campostela at 8:45pm, received our room keys and ate a buffet dinner before retiring to go to bed. Tomorrow we will spend the day at and around the Cathedral of Santiago de Campostela.
Reflection on the Gospel
The first Twelve were called by Jesus to drive out demons and cure every disease and illness. All of us are called by name to carry on the mission of Jesus Christ in our world as priests, religious, deacons, married people or consecrated singles.

As I look at this list, I think about the legacy that they have left in the world. I cannot help but think about how I want to be remembered. Have you thought about that? What is the legacy that you want to leave? What mark do you want to leave on this world? We may not all have the world stage like Pope Francis, but we do each have a sphere of influence – our family, our neighborhood, our workplace, etc… What impact am I making for Jesus Christ in the environments in which I live and work?

Look at this list of 12 that Jesus called to be His first apostles. Peter betrayed Jesus three times and yet he became the first leader of the Church. James and John fought over who would sit at Jesus’ right and left. They wanted power and prestige. Matthew was a despised tax collector. Thomas doubted the resurrection of Jesus. And of course, Judas betrayed Jesus.

This group of apostles were not perfect to say the least. And yet the Lord chose them, despite their sinfulness, to lead His Church. And by the power of His grace and mercy, these men (other than Judas) were transformed. They gave their lives for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Jesus chooses the weak and makes them strong. His glory shines greatest through the weakest vessels when we allow His light to shine through us.

We are Christians today because these twelve men and other disciples throughout the ages have devoted their lives to Christ. This is the type of remembrance we should all desire. Hopefully one day people will be able to say at our funeral, “I am a better Christian and better person because he/she lived.” “He/she taught me what it means to follow Jesus Christ.”

May we not wait until it is too late to make a difference. Make today the first day of the rest of your life and give it all you have. Love today like you have never loved before.

May God bless you,
Fr. Burke
https://frburke23.wordpress.com

=====================================

Miércoles de la XIV Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (10 de julio 2019)

San Mateo 10,1-7.
Jesús convocó a sus doce discípulos y les dio el poder de expulsar a los espíritus impuros y de curar cualquier enfermedad o dolencia.
Los nombres de los doce Apóstoles son: en primer lugar, Simón, de sobrenombre Pedro, y su hermano Andrés; luego, Santiago, hijo de Zebedeo, y su hermano Juan;
Felipe y Bartolomé; Tomás y Mateo, el publicano; Santiago, hijo de Alfeo, y Tadeo;
Simón, el Cananeo, y Judas Iscariote, el mismo que lo entregó.
A estos Doce, Jesús los envió con las siguientes instrucciones: “No vayan a regiones paganas, ni entren en ninguna ciudad de los samaritanos.
Vayan, en cambio, a las ovejas perdidas del pueblo de Israel.
Por el camino, proclamen que el Reino de los Cielos está cerca.
=====================
Los primeros Doce fueron llamados por Jesús para expulsar demonios y curar toda enfermedad y toda dolencia. Todos nosotros estamos llamados por nombre para llevar a cabo la misión de Jesucristo en nuestro mundo como sacerdotes, religiosos, diáconos, personas casadas o solteros consagrados.

Mientras veo esta lista, pienso en el legado que han dejado en el mundo. No puedo dejar de pensar en cómo quiero ser recordado. ¿Has pensado en eso? ¿Cuál es el legado que quieres dejar? ¿Qué marca quieres dejar en este mundo? Puede que no todos tengamos el escenario mundial como el Papa Francisco, pero sí cada uno tenemos una esfera de influencia – nuestra familia, nuestro vecindario, nuestro lugar de trabajo, etc… ¿Qué impacto estoy haciendo para Jesucristo en los ambientes en los que vivo y trabajo?

Echa un vistazo a esta lista de 12 que Jesús llamó para ser Sus primeros apóstoles. Pedro traicionó a Jesús tres veces y sin embargo se convirtió en el primer líder de la Iglesia. Santiago y Juan lucharon sobre quién se sentaría a la derecha y a la izquierda de Jesús. Ellos querían poder y prestigio. Mateo era un recaudador de impuestos despreciado. Tomás dudó de la resurrección de Jesús. Y, por supuesto, Judas traicionó a Jesús.

Este grupo de apóstoles no eran perfectos. Y sin embargo el Señor los eligió, a pesar de su maldad, para dirigir Su Iglesia. Y por el poder de Su gracia y misericordia, estos hombres (excepto Judas) se transformaron. Ellos dieron sus vidas por la causa de Cristo y del Evangelio. Jesús escoge a los débiles y los hace fuertes. Su gloria brilla más a través de los vasos más débiles cuando permitimos que Su luz brille a través de nosotros.

Somos Cristianos hoy día porque estos doce hombres y otros discípulos a través de los tiempos han dedicado sus vidas a Cristo. Este es el tipo de recuerdo que todos debemos desear. Esperemos que un día la gente sea capaz de decir en nuestro funeral, “soy un/a mejor Cristiano/a y mejor persona porque él / ella vivía.” “Él / ella me enseñó lo que significa seguir a Jesucristo.”

No esperemos hasta que sea demasiado tarde para hacer una diferencia. Haz hoy el primer día del resto de tu vida y dale todo lo que tienes. Ama hoy como nunca has amado antes.

Que Dios los bendiga,
Fr. Burke
https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | July 8, 2019

TUESDAY OF THE 14TH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME (JULY 9, 2019)

TUESDAY OF THE 14TH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME (JULY 9, 2019)

Matthew 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
=======================
We had a wake-up call at 6:15am this morning and then ate breakfast before we headed to the Sanctuary in Lourdes for Mass. Some walked and some rode the bus for the Mass at 8am in St. Gabriel chapel, the same place where we celebrated Mass yesterday. Deacon Tom preached about the faith, hope and love we all have been experiencing in Lourdes. People arrived from all over the world with faith and hope that God would heal them one way or another. We saw so many volunteers who lovingly care for all the pilgrims that arrive in Lourdes. I was struck by a female volunteer who hugged and caressed an elderly woman who was crying as she prepared to enter the baths. These volunteers sacrifice their time to share the love of God with pilgrims.

Deacon Tom also talked about the Annunciation when the angel Gabriel told Mary, “Do not be afraid” to be the mother of the Son of God. He asked us, “What are the fears that we have that keep us from being the people God has called us to be?” This is a good question to ponder because our fears often bind us and prevent us from the true freedom God desires for us.

After Mass we took a short personal needs break and then boarded the bus at 9:15am to go to St. Sebastian, Spain. We prayed morning prayer on the bus and then most people took a nap since we stayed up late the night before to take advantage of our last night at the Sanctuary.

We arrived in St. Sebastian around 12:15pm. We drove around town a little to get a view of the beauty. There were some older buildings that showed the history of the place and there were some very modern buildings. We stopped and walked for a short time down one of the main roads. Paco, our guide, showed us some places where we could eat lunch and asked us to report back at 2:30pm. A group of us visited St. Mary Major church, which was beautiful. Then we ate tapas at a local restaurant. The food was outstanding!

After lunch, we walked back to the bus and drove by the beach that was shaped like a shell. It looked like a beautiful place to vacation.

We then drove to Loyola, Spain, the birthplace of St. Ignatius. We arrived in Loyola about 4:45pm. This is a very important place for me as I have been trained in Ignatian spirituality, based on the Spiritual Exercises that he wrote as a result of a big conversion that happened in his life. The most powerful experience for me was seeing the room in which Ignatius recovered from a cannonball injury to his leg. During his recovery, he only had two books to read – The Life of Christ and The Lives of the Saints. These books led Ignatius to give his life completely to Christ and the Church. He founded the Jesuits, who have impacted the lives of millions, including me. This experience reminds me how God can use one holy person to change the lives of others.

We took a guided tour through Ignatius’s home. He came from a wealthy family, so it was a big sacrifice for him to give up everything to follow Jesus. Sometimes we can think that these saints are born as saints who never did anything wrong. Seeing the home of this saint and listening to his story shows us that saints are sinners who decide to put God first in their lives above all else. Heroic virtue begins with God’s grace, but our cooperation is necessary. We visited the Basilica of St. Ignatius next to the family home. It is beautiful.

We boarded the bus again after this wonderful tour to go to Borgos. We arrived at 8:30pm at our Hotel Castilla. We received our room keys and went directly to the 1st floor to eat dinner (paella, pork loin, French fries, and an orange for dessert). Tomorrow we will head to Santiago de Campostela for the next two nights.

Reflection on the Gospel:
Jesus loves us so much. The Gospels can be summarized with those simple words. He cures the sick, heals the lame, drives out demons – all because He loves us.

Today’s Gospel says that Jesus looked upon the crowd with pity “because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” If we look around us, there are many people who are like sheep without a shepherd. They go about their lives with little or no direction. They find no meaning in life and are caught in the routine of commute, work, eat, sleep; then repeat the process the next day. So many people are working in jobs that have no meaning for them. Many come home from work and take out their frustrations on their family. They lose sight of the goals of marriage and family. This is not the abundant life that Jesus wants us to have. When we lose our purpose, the first things we stop doing are Church and prayer. Jesus Christ, the One whom every human heart desires, gets pushed aside as we try to become “successful” in the eyes of the world.

To spread the Gospel to all people and all nations, the Lord calls men and women to be “laborers for his harvest”, missionaries to the world. The Lord needs people like you and me to be modern-day prophets in our families, in our work places, in our schools, among our friends, and in the neighborhood.

This does not mean necessarily that we are called to go to Africa tomorrow. But every single person is called to holiness. We call this the ‘universal call to holiness’. “Be holy as my heavenly Father is holy,” Jesus says. The laborers that we should pray for are not just priests, deacons, sisters and brothers. We should pray that each person in the world be faithful to his/her vocation.

We need to each take our call to holiness very seriously. Then as we grow in our relationship with Christ and he captures our hearts, we will have the desire to spread the good news and share the light of Christ with a darkened world. When you see a good movie, you want to tell people about it. When you enjoy the food at a restaurant, you want tell others to eat there. Have you experienced the love of Christ to the point that you want others to experience His love?

We need more holy men and women who are willing to lay down their lives for Christ and His Church.

We need more holy men and women who serve others in humility and compassion.

We need more holy men and women who share the Gospel message of salvation to a world that is starving for Jesus Christ.

We need more holy priests to preach the Word of God, to celebrate Mass, hear confessions, and anoint the sick; to bring the presence of Christ to the world through the Sacraments.

We need more holy religious sisters and brothers to teach our young, to care for the sick, to pray for the needs of the world, and to be a sign of the world to come.

We need more holy deacons to serve the poor, to baptize our children, to preach and teach, and to bring Christ into the workplace.

We need more holy married couples to show the world the love Christ has for His Church through their laying down their lives for one another, and to raise their children according to the ways of Jesus.

We need more holy single and consecrated people who are dedicated to serving the Lord in the place the Lord needs them.

What is my mission? Am I living the abundant life of joy? How am I being called to be a laborer for Jesus Christ? Where is the Lord calling me to be His voice, His hands and His feet?

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
https://frburke23.wordpress.com
==================================
Martes de la XIV Semana del Tiempo Ordinario (9 de julio 2019)

Evangelio según San Mateo 9,32-38.
En cuanto se fueron los ciegos, le presentaron a un mudo que estaba endemoniado.
El demonio fue expulsado y el mudo comenzó a hablar. La multitud, admirada, comentaba: “Jamás se vio nada igual en Israel”.
Pero los fariseos decían: “El expulsa a los demonios por obra del Príncipe de los demonios”.
Jesús recorría todas las ciudades y los pueblos, enseñando en las sinagogas, proclamando la Buena Noticia del Reino y curando todas las enfermedades y dolencias.
Al ver a la multitud, tuvo compasión, porque estaban fatigados y abatidos, como ovejas que no tienen pastor.
Entonces dijo a sus discípulos: “La cosecha es abundante, pero los trabajadores son pocos.
Rueguen al dueño de los sembrados que envíe trabajadores para la cosecha.”
=================
Jesús nos ama mucho. Los evangelios pueden ser abreviados en estas simples palabras. Él cura al enfermo, sana al manco, expulsa a los demonios- Todo porque nos ama.

El Evangelio de hoy dice que Jesús miró a la multitud con compasión “porque estaban turbados y abandonados, como ovejas sin pastor”. Si miramos a nuestro alrededor, hay muchas personas que son como ovejas sin pastor. Siguen sus vidas con poca o ninguna dirección. No encuentran ningún significado en la vida y se ven atrapados en la rutina de viajar diario al trabajo, trabajar, comer, dormir; luego repiten el proceso al día siguiente. Muchas personas están laboran en trabajos que no tienen ningún significado para ellos. Muchos llegan del trabajo a la casa y sacan sus frustraciones con su familia. Pierden de vista los objetivos del matrimonio y la familia. Esta no es la vida abundante que Jesús quiere que tengamos. Cuando perdemos nuestro propósito, las primeras cosas que dejamos de hacer son ir a la Iglesia y la oración. Jesucristo, Aquel que todo corazón humano desea, queda a un lado mientras tratamos de ser “exitosos” a los ojos del mundo.

Para difundir el Evangelio a todas las personas y todas las naciones, el Señor llama a los hombres y mujeres a ser “obreros para su cosecha”, misioneros en el mundo. El Señor necesita personas como tú y como yo para ser profetas modernos en nuestras familias, en nuestros lugares de trabajo, en nuestras escuelas, entre nuestros amigos y en el vecindario.

Esto no significa necesariamente que estamos llamados a ir a África mañana. Pero cada persona está llamada a la santidad. Llamamos a esto el “llamado universal a la santidad”. “Sean santos como mi Padre celestial es santo”, dice Jesús. Los trabajadores por los que debemos orar no son solamente por los sacerdotes, diáconos, hermanas y hermanos. Debemos orar para que cada persona en el mundo sea fiel a su vocación.

Necesitamos que cada uno de nosotros tome nuestro llamado a la santidad muy en serio. Luego, a medida que crecemos en nuestra relación con Cristo y Él capture nuestros corazones, tendremos el deseo de difundir la Buenas Nueva y compartir la luz de Cristo con un mundo oscurecido. Cuando ves una buena película, quieres contarle a la gente sobre ella. Cuando disfrutas de la comida en un restaurante, quieres decirles a los demás que coman allí. ¿Has experimentado el amor de Cristo hasta el punto de querer que otros experimenten su amor?

Necesitamos más hombres y mujeres santos que estén dispuestos a dar sus vidas por Cristo y su Iglesia.

Necesitamos más hombres y mujeres santos que sirvan a los demás con humildad y compasión.

Necesitamos más hombres y mujeres santos que compartan el mensaje de salvación del Evangelio a un mundo que muere de hambre por Jesucristo.

Necesitamos más sacerdotes santos para predicar la Palabra de Dios, celebrar misa, escuchar confesiones y ungir a los enfermos; traer la presencia de Cristo al mundo a través de los sacramentos.

Necesitamos más hermanas y hermanos religiosos y santos para enseñar a nuestros jóvenes, cuidar a los enfermos, orar por las necesidades del mundo y ser un signo del mundo que está por venir.

Necesitamos más diáconos santos para servir a los pobres, para bautizar a nuestros hijos, para predicar y enseñar, y para traer a Cristo al lugar de trabajo.

Necesitamos más matrimonios santos para mostrar al mundo el amor que Cristo tiene por su Iglesia a través de la entrega de sus vidas del uno por el otro y de criar a sus hijos según los caminos de Jesús.

Necesitamos más personas consagradas y santas que se dediquen a servir al Señor en el lugar donde el Señor los necesita.

¿Cuál es mi misión? ¿Estoy viviendo la vida abundante de alegría? ¿Cómo estoy siendo llamado a ser un obrero por Jesucristo? ¿Dónde está el Señor llamándome a ser su voz, sus manos y sus pies?
¡Que tengan un buen día!

Fr. Burke

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