Posted by: frburke23 | June 30, 2015

Thought for Wednesday, 13th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 8:28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

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

I always find it very interesting that the demons recognize Jesus for who He is – the Son of God.  We Christians often miss Jesus when He is right in front of us.

Another thing that caught my attention was the line, “Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”  They are insinuating that there will come a time in which God will torment the demons.  Jesus will win the victory and they know it. 

They were so frightened that they asked to be sent into the swine.  Think about that.  They didn’t even put up a fight.  They knew the power of Jesus, the Son of God, and willingly went into the swine and then drowned in the sea.

Why is this important?  We must realize two important things:

  • The devil is real. This is important because the devil wants us to believe that he doesn’t exist.  When this happens we are easily duped and fall into temptation.  However, when we realize that the devil is real and study his tactics, we recognize him for who he is.  We prepare ourselves by asking for God’s grace, especially in our areas of weakness.
  • The devil is no match for Jesus. The devil is nothing to fear when we have Jesus.  If we stay close to Jesus, the devil will run in fear like we hear in the Gospel today.  The devil is not an equal and opposing force to Jesus; but the devil is a creation of God – a creature.  This is not to say that we should play with the devil.  We should not even play with Ouija Boards, séances, palm reading, etc.  This is not a game; it is a spiritual battle.  But Jesus has won the victory and we should stay close to Him.

There are many stories of the saints battling with the devil.  St. Padre Pio and St. John Vianney are famous examples of holy men having physical battles with the devil.  The devil went after them probably because they were doing such great work for the Lord.  Whenever we want to grow closer to Christ or do ministry in His name, prepare yourself for a spiritual battle.

How do we prepare for this spiritual battle?

  • Stay close to Jesus in prayer.
  • Frequent the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession.
  • Live a life of virtue and remain in the grace of God.
  • Know your weaknesses and fortify these areas with God’s grace. Keep your eyes open for the tactics and temptations of the evil one.

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Mateo 8:28-34

Cuando Jesús vino al territorio de los Gadarenos,
dos endemoniados que venían de las tumbas se encontraron con él.
Ellos eran tan salvajes que nadie podía viajar por ese camino.
Ellos gritaron, “¿Qué tienes que ver con nosotros, Hijo de Dios?
¿Has venido aquí para atormentarnos antes del tiempo señalado?”
A cierta distancia había una manada de cerdos que se alimentaba.
Los demonios le rogaron,
“Si nos echas fuera, mándanos entrar en la manada de cerdos.”
Y él les dijo, “¡Vayan, entonces!”
Ellos salieron y entraron en los cerdos,
y toda la manada se precipitó por un despeñadero al mar
donde se ahogaron.
Los criadores de cerdos huyeron,
y cuando llegaron a la ciudad informaron todo,
incluyendo lo que había pasado con los endemoniados.
Luego toda la ciudad salió al encuentro de Jesús,
y cuando lo vieron, le rogaron que se fuera de su distrito.

___________________________________________________________

Siempre me parece muy interesante que los demonios reconocen a Jesús por lo que Él es  el Hijo de Dios. Nosotros, los cristianos a menudo perdemos a Jesús cuando Él está justo en frente de nosotros.

Otra cosa que capto mi atención fue la línea, ¿Has venido aquí para atormentarnos antes del tiempo señalado?” Ellos están insinuando que vendrá un tiempo en el que Dios va a atormentar a los demonios. Jesús va a ganar la victoria y ellos lo saben.

Estaban tan asustados que pidieron ser enviados dentro de los cerdos. Piensa en eso. Ellos ni siquiera dieron la batalla. Sabían el poder de Jesús, el Hijo de Dios, y voluntariamente se fueron en los cerdos y luego se ahogaron en el mar.

¿Por qué es esto importante? Debemos darnos cuenta de dos cosas importantes:
1) El diablo es real. Esto es importante porque el diablo quiere que creamos que él no existe. Cuando esto sucede, somos fácilmente engañados y caemos en la tentación. Sin embargo, cuando nos damos cuenta de que el diablo es real y estudiamos sus tácticas, lo reconocemos por lo que es. Nos preparamos al pedir la gracia de Dios, especialmente en nuestras áreas de debilidad.

 2) El diablo no es igual a Jesús. El diablo no es nada que debamos temer cuando tenemos a Jesús. Si nos quedamos cerca de Jesús, el diablo se ejecutará en el miedo como escuchamos en el Evangelio de hoy. El diablo no es una fuerza igual y oponente a Jesús; pero el diablo es una creación de Dios – una criatura. Esto no quiere decir que debemos jugar con el diablo. Ni siquiera deberíamos jugar con las tablas de Ouija, sesiones de espiritismo, lectura de palma, etc. Esto no es un juego; es una batalla espiritual. Pero Jesús ha ganado la victoria y debemos permanecer cerca de él.

Hay muchas historias de los santos luchando con el diablo. San Padre Pío y San Juan María Vianney son ejemplos famosos de unos hombres santos que tienen batallas físicas con el diablo. El diablo fue tras ellos, probablemente porque estaban haciendo un gran trabajo para el Señor.  Cada vez que queremos acercarnos más a Cristo o hacer ministerio en Su nombre, prepárate para una batalla espiritual.

¿Cómo nos preparamos para esta batalla espiritual? 
1) Permanece cerca de Jesús en la oración.
2) Frecuenta los Sacramentos de la Eucaristía y la Confesión.
3) Vive una vida de virtud y permanece en la gracia de Dios.
4) Conoce tus debilidades y fortalece estas áreas con la gracia de Dios. Mantén tus ojos abiertos para las tácticas y las tentaciones del maligno.

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 29, 2015

Thought for Tuesday, 13th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 8:23-27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

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

Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” 

How often do we lose faith?  How often do we say, “Lord, where are you?  Why have you abandoned me?”   How often do the daily trials and crosses that we carry overwhelm us and we feel that we can’t go on?

Jesus invites us to the cross with Him.  It was at the cross that Jesus was completely dependent of the Father.  He trusted His entire self to the Father at that moment and the Father did not let Him down.   Some say that Jesus despaired of the Father’s presence when He said, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”  And yet that is the beginning of Psalm 22.  In Jesus’ day, everyone knew the psalms by heart.  Even though this psalm begins with the author crying out to God, it finishes with resolute trust and faith in God.  By praying the first line, Jesus was praying the entire psalm.  Even though things seem to be desperate Jesus trusted in the Father.

Life is challenging for everyone.  Each person that I meet is carrying a heavy cross.  But Jesus invites us to the cross with Him, to that place of complete and total dependence on the Father.  As Jesus promised before He ascended into heaven, “I will never abandon you.  I will be with you until the end of time.”  This is the truth. 

The lie that the evil wants us to believe is that we are alone.  Another lie is that God has abandoned us and will never love us, save us or forgive us.  Dismiss these lies because they do not come from God.  The evil one is the “father of lies”.  We need to turn to our true Father, who loves us and tells us that we are His beloved sons/daughters.

What are the waves and storms that surround me right now?

What are the crosses that am I carrying?

Do I trust that the Father will never abandon me?

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Mateo 8:23-27

Cuando Jesús subió a una barca, sus discípulos lo siguieron.
De repente una violenta tormenta se levanto en el mar,
de modo que la barca estaba siendo inundada por las olas;
pero él estaba dormido.
Vinieron y lo despertaron, diciendo,
“¡Señor, sálvanos! ¡Estamos pereciendo!”
Él les dijo, “¿Por qué están aterrorizados, hombres de poca fe?”
Entonces se levantó, reprendió a los vientos y al mar,
y vino una gran calma.
Los hombres estaban asombrados y decían, “¿Qué clase de hombre es éste,
que incluso los vientos y el mar lo obedecen?”

___________________________________________________

¿Por qué están aterrorizados, hombres de poca fe?

¿Con qué frecuencia perdemos la fe? ¿Con qué frecuencia decimos, “Señor, dónde estás? ¿Por qué me has abandonado? “¿Con qué frecuencia las pruebas diarias y las cruces que llevamos nos agobian y sentimos que no podemos seguir adelante?

Jesús nos invita a la cruz con él. Fue en la cruz que Jesús era completamente dependiente del Padre. El confió todo Su ser al Padre en ese momento y el Padre no lo defraudó. Algunos dicen que Jesús perdió la esperanza de la presencia del Padre cuando dijo, “Dios mío, Dios mío, ¿por qué me has abandonado?” Y sin embargo, ese es el comienzo del Salmo 22. En tiempos de Jesús, todos sabían los salmos de memoria. A pesar de que este salmo comienza clamando a Dios, termina con entera confianza y fe en Dios. Al rezar la primera línea, Jesús estaba rezando todo el salmo. A pesar de que las cosas parecían estar desesperantes Jesús confiaba en el Padre.

La vida es desafiante para todos. Cada persona que me encuentro está cargando una cruz pesada. Pero Jesús nos invita a la cruz con Él, a ese lugar de completa y total dependencia en el Padre. Como Jesús prometió antes de ascender al cielo, “Nunca los abandonaré. Voy a estar con ustedes hasta el fin de los tiempos.” Esta es la verdad.

La mentira que el maligno quiere que creamos es que estamos solos. Otra mentira es que Dios nos ha abandonado y nunca nos amara, nos salvará o nos perdonara. Descarten estas mentiras porque no vienen de Dios. El maligno es el “padre de las mentiras”. Tenemos que volver a nuestro verdadero Padre, que nos ama y nos dice que somos sus hijos / hijas amados.

¿Cuáles son las olas y las tormentas que me rodean ahora mismo? 
¿Cuáles son las cruces que estoy cargando?
¿Confío en que el Padre nunca me abandonará?

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 29, 2015

Catholic Family Night

Please join us for Catholic Family Night

When:  Sunday July 19th from 7-9p

Where: Providence Catholic High School Football Stadium (in the gym if it rains)

1800 W. Lincoln Highway

New Lenox, IL 60451

Mike Sweeney,  5-time All-Star and outstanding Catholic evangelist, will be our featured speaker at this event.  This will be a night full of great talks, adoration, praise, worship and fellowship. Bring your whole family. There is no cost for this event and no tickets are required.

You do not have to be registered for the baseball camp to attend this event.  It is open to everyone.  It promises to be a special night for families!

If you have questions about the Catholic Family Night, please call Joe O’Donnell at 630-968-2420.

Posted by: frburke23 | June 29, 2015

Thought for June 29 – Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

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

June 29th is the feast day of Saints Peter & Paul.  Peter was the apostle to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles.  These two great disciples of Christ are largely responsible for the Christian faith spreading throughout the world.

In Rome last year we went on the Scavi Tour which goes underneath this historic basilica of St. Peter.  Directly below the main altar in the basilica is the tomb of St. Peter.  What a powerful experience that was for our group to be near the remains of this great man.  We could only imagine the number of people that came to that spot to pay respect to the greatest of the apostles.  He is the rock and upon him Jesus built His church.

Then we went to visit the Basilica of St. Paul.  We read in the Scriptures how St. Paul traveled all over the world preaching the Gospel despite many arrests, beatings and injuries.  Paul kept his eyes on the goal – eternal life with Jesus Christ.

Both men were convinced that Jesus had died and rose again from the dead.   Do we believe it?  Does this give us hope in the midst of pain, suffering, trials and tribulations?  It says in Scripture so often, “Do not be afraid”.  May we keep our eyes focused on the goal of eternal life and share our reason for hope with everyone that we meet.  And may people hundreds of years from now know Christ because of our actions today.  Think about that – someone centuries from now could possibly be a Christian because of your witness today. 

God bless,

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 25, 2015

Thought for Friday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him
and said: “I am God the Almighty.
Walk in my presence and be blameless.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.
This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you
that you must keep:
every male among you shall be circumcised.”

God further said to Abraham:
“As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai;
her name shall be Sarah.
I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her.
Him also will I bless; he shall give rise to nations,
and rulers of peoples shall issue from him.”
Abraham prostrated himself and laughed as he said to himself,
“Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?
Or can Sarah give birth at ninety?”
Then Abraham said to God,
“Let but Ishmael live on by your favor!”
God replied: “Nevertheless, your wife Sarah is to bear you a son,
and you shall call him Isaac.
I will maintain my covenant with him as an everlasting pact,
to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.
As for Ishmael, I am heeding you: I hereby bless him.
I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly.
He shall become the father of twelve chieftains,
and I will make of him a great nation.
But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac,
whom Sarah shall bear to you by this time next year.”
When he had finished speaking with him, God departed from Abraham.

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

Is anything impossible with God?  Are you in a situation that seems impossible?  Do you feel that there is no way out?  Read this story from Genesis.  God promises Abraham and Sarah, who are elderly, that they will bear a child and name him Isaac.  And Isaac will “give rise to nations, and rulers of people shall issue from him.” Abraham laughed because it seemed impossible, but with God nothing is impossible.

We also see how God reaches out continuously in the Old Testament to His people.  He makes a covenant and promises them His fidelity.  Every male was to be circumcised and they were to keep God’s commandments.  But did they?  No.  This is the story of mankind.  God established covenants with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David.  Continually man turned his back on God.

Finally God sent His only Son to save the world and to give the “new and everlasting covenant”.  This is what we celebrate in every Mass.  “This is my body given up for you.  This is my blood poured out for you as the sign of the new and everlasting covenant.” 

God remains faithful to us.  He promised David that his kingdom would last forever.  That is why Jesus comes from the house of David and one of His titles is “Son of David”.  Jesus is the King of the Universe that reigns forever!  What an amazing God we have!  He wants to have a relationship with us. What is our response?  Are we going to continue to turn our backs on Him?

Remember, nothing is impossible with God.  We cannot give up hope for the conversion of the world, one person at a time.  It begins with me and you, daily turning over our lives to Jesus and being living witnesses of His love and mercy.

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

www.frburke23.wordpress.com

Spanish translation: 

GENESIS 17:1, 9-10, 15-22

Cuando Abram tenía noventa y nueve años, se le apareció el Señor y le dijo: “Yo soy el Dios todopoderoso. Camina en mi presencia y séme fiel. Cumple mi alianza tú y tu posteridad, de generación en generación. La alianza que hago contigo y tus descendientes, y que tienen que cumplir, consiste en que todos sus hijos varones serán circuncidados”.

Saray, tu esposa, ya no se llamará Saray, sino Sara. La bendeciré y ella te dará un hijo, y yo lo bendeciré; de él nacerán pueblos y reyes de naciones’’.

Abraham se postró en tierra y se puso a reír, diciendo en su interior: “¿Podrá un hombre de cien años tener un hijo, y Sara, a sus noventa, podrá dar a luz?”

Entonces Abraham le dijo a Dios: “Me conformo con que le conserves la vida a Ismael”. Dios le respondió: “Sara, tu esposa, te dará un hijo y le pondrás por nombre Isaac. Con él y con sus descendientes estableceré mi alianza, una alianza perpetua.

En cuanto a Ismael, también te he escuchado. Lo bendeciré, lo engrandeceré y haré que su descendencia sea muy numerosa; engendrará doce príncipes y será padre de un gran pueblo. Pero mi alianza la estableceré con Isaac, el que Sara te dará a luz el año que viene, por estas fechas’’.

Y cuando Dios terminó de hablar con Abraham, se retiró.

__________________________________________

¿Hay algo imposible para Dios? ¿Estás en una situación que parece imposible? ¿Sientes que no hay salida? Lee esta historia de Génesis. Dios les promete a Abraham y a Sara, que son de edad avanzada, que van a tener un hijo y lo nombraran Isaac. Y de Isaac “nacerán pueblos y reyes de naciones.” Abraham se rió porque parecía imposible, más para Dios nada es imposible.

También vemos cómo Dios continuamente llega a Su pueblo en el Antiguo Testamento. Él hace un pacto y les promete Su fidelidad. Todo varón debía ser circuncidado y debían guardar los mandamientos de Dios. ¿Pero lo hicieron? No. Esta es la historia de la humanidad. Dios estableció pactos con Adán y Eva, Noé, Abraham, Moisés y David. Continuamente el hombre dio la espalda a Dios.

Finalmente Dios envió a Su único Hijo para salvar al mundo y dar la “alianza nueva y eterna”. Esto es lo que celebramos en cada misa. “Esto es mi cuerpo que será entregado por ustedes. Esta es mi sangre que será derramada por ustedes como el signo de la alianza nueva y eterna”.

Dios sigue siendo fiel a nosotros. Él le prometió a David que su reino duraría para siempre. Es por eso que Jesús viene de la casa de David y uno de sus títulos es “Hijo de David”. ¡Jesús es el Rey del Universo que reina para siempre! ¡Qué Dios tan increíble tenemos! Él quiere tener una relación con nosotros. ¿Cuál es nuestra respuesta? ¿Vamos a continuar dándole la espalda?

Recuerda, nada es imposible para Dios. No podemos renunciar a la esperanza para la conversión del mundo, una persona a la vez. Comienza conmigo y contigo, entregando diariamente nuestra vida a Jesús y ser testigos vivos de Su amor y misericordia.

¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
www.frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 24, 2015

Thought for Thursday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

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

Jesus is telling His disciples that the Christian life is not just about words – it is about action.  It is about doing the will of God the Father.  It is easy to proclaim to others that Jesus is your savior.  It is much more difficult to show that He is your savior by your actions.

For example, I can say that you are a good friend.  But if I never take time to visit you, speak to you, or listen to you, then my actions show that you are not my friend.  Our actions speak louder than words.

We can say that Jesus is our friend and savior.  We can wear crosses around our necks and put bumper stickers on our cars.  However, if we do not show our love for Jesus by visiting Him, speaking to Him and listening to Him, our words are empty.  If we do not love our neighbor, even our enemy, then our words are empty. 

Granted we are all sinners.  We do not love perfectly.  There are days when we fail to love God and our neighbor.  There are days when we are hypocrites – our actions do not coincide with the faith that we profess.  It is so important to do an examen at the end of each day, reflecting on the graces of the day and the times when we failed to love.  When I realize that I have failed to love, that is when I should drop to my knees and ask for mercy and start over again.  This Christian life is about daily conversion.

The foundation of our Christian life is solid if we listen to the Word of God and act on it.  Where is the Lord asking me to put my faith into action?  Where do I need more conversion in my life?  Am I investing in my relationship with the Lord daily?  Does this relationship with the Lord pour out in love to my neighbor?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Mateo 7:21-29

Jesús dijo a sus discípulos:
“No todo el que me dice ‘Señor, Señor’
entrará en el Reino de los cielos,
sino sólo el que hace la voluntad de mi Padre que está en los cielos.
Muchos me dirán aquel día:
‘Señor, Señor, ¿Acaso no profetizamos en tu nombre?
¿Acaso no expulsamos demonios en tu nombre?
¿Acaso no hicimos milagros en tu nombre? ‘
Entonces yo les declararé solemnemente,
‘Jamás los conocí. Apártense de mí, malhechores.’
“Todo el que escuche estas palabras mías y las pone en práctica
será como un hombre sabio que edificó su casa sobre roca.
Cayó la lluvia, vinieron los torrentes,
y los vientos soplaron y abofetearon la casa.
Pero no se derrumbó; estaba cimentada sólidamente sobre la roca.
Y todo el que escuche estas palabras mías
pero no las pone en práctica
será como un hombre imprudente que edificó su casa sobre arena.
Cayó la lluvia, vinieron los torrentes,
y los vientos soplaron, y abofetearon la casa.
Y se derrumbó y quedó completamente arruinada”.
Cuando Jesús terminó estas palabras,
las multitudes quedaron asombradas de su enseñanza,
porque les enseñaba como quien tiene autoridad,
y no como los escribas.

___________________________________________________

Jesús está diciendo a Sus discípulos que la vida Cristiana no se trata sólo de palabras – se trata de acción. Se trata de hacer la voluntad de Dios Padre. Es fácil proclamar a los demás que Jesús es tu salvador. Es mucho más difícil demostrar que Él es tu salvador por tus acciones.

Por ejemplo, yo puedo decir que eres un buen amigo. Pero si nunca me tomo el tiempo para visitarte, hablarte, o escucharte, entonces mis acciones demuestran que no eres mi amigo. Nuestras acciones hablan más que las palabras.

Podemos decir que Jesús es nuestro amigo y salvador. Podemos usar cruces alrededor del cuello y poner pegatinas en los coches. Sin embargo, si no mostramos nuestro amor por Jesús visitándolo, hablándole y escuchándolo, nuestras palabras están vacías. Si no amamos a nuestro prójimo, incluso a nuestro enemigo, entonces nuestras palabras están vacías.

Por supuesto que todos somos pecadores. No amamos a la perfección. Hay días en que fallamos en amar a Dios y a nuestro prójimo. Hay días en que somos hipócritas  nuestras acciones no coinciden con la fe que profesamos. Es muy importante hacer un examen al final de cada día, reflexionando sobre las gracias del día y los momentos en los que fallamos en amar. Cuando me doy cuenta de que he fallado en amar, ahí es cuando debo caer de rodillas y pedir misericordia y comenzar de nuevo. Esta Vida Cristiana es sobre la conversión diaria.

El fundamento de nuestra vida Cristiana es sólido si escuchamos la Palabra de Dios y la ponemos en práctica. ¿Dónde está pidiéndome el Señor a poner mi fe en acción? ¿Dónde necesito más conversión en mi vida? ¿Estoy invirtiendo en mi relación con el Señor diariamente? ¿Esta relación con el Señor derrama en amor a mi prójimo?

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com 

Posted by: frburke23 | June 23, 2015

Thought for June 24 – Birth of John the Baptist

Acts of the Apostles  13:22-26

In those days, Paul said:
“God raised up David as king;
of him God testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

“My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.”

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

Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, who was conceived about six months before Jesus in a miraculous way to Zechariah and Elizabeth.  From the moment of his conception to his death, John the Baptist’s life directed people to Jesus Christ.

He leapt in the womb of his mother Elizabeth when Mary, who recently had conceived Jesus miraculously in her womb, went to visit her cousin.  Even in the womb John sensed the presence of the Savior of the world in the womb of Mary.

As he grew older many people began to follow John because they thought he might be the Messiah.  He spoke with authority and lived an austere life preaching about God.  And yet he did not want the attention.  When he saw Jesus, John directed his followers to pursue Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”  (John 1:29)  We repeat these words in every Mass as we elevate the Eucharist, pointing people to Jesus, the Lamb of God.

In another display of humility, John says in today’s reading, “I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.”  Then in John 3:30, John says in reference to Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease.”

We too are called like John the Baptist to direct others to Jesus by our lives.  We were conceived and given life to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ with our lives.  Unfortunately, through our wounds we draw the attention to ourselves.  When we are not grounded in our fundamental identity as a beloved daughter/son of God, we look to get our identity in other places.  We look to draw the praise of others and focus the attention on ourselves.

You were conceived in the image and likeness of God.  You have dignity because you are.  Let God love you and heal the wounds in your life.  And then let your life proclaim the glory of Jesus Christ.  Point others to Him, not yourself.

Do I seek the approval, attention and praise of others?

Am I grounded in my identity as a beloved son/daughter of God the Father?

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
Fr. Burke

http://frburke23.wordpress.co

The Spanish translation:

HECHOS DE LOS APOSTOLES  13:22-26

En aquellos días, Pablo les dijo a los judíos: “Hermanos: Dios les dio a nuestros padres como rey a David, de quien hizo esta alabanza: He hallado a David, hijo de Jesé, hombre según mi corazón, quien realizará todos mis designios.

Del linaje de David, conforme a la promesa, Dios hizo nacer para Israel un salvador: Jesús. Juan preparó su venida, predicando a todo el pueblo de Israel un bautismo de penitencia, y hacia el final de su vida, Juan decía: ‘Yo no soy el que ustedes piensan. Después de mí viene uno a quien no merezco desatarle las sandalias’.

Hermanos míos, descendientes de Abraham, y cuantos temen a Dios: Este mensaje de salvación les ha sido enviado a ustedes”.

_____________________________________________________

Hoy celebramos el nacimiento de Juan el Bautista, que fue concebido unos seis meses antes de Jesús de una manera milagrosa a Zacarías e Isabel. Desde el momento de su concepción hasta su muerte, la vida de Juan el Bautista dirigió a la gente a Jesucristo.

Saltó en el vientre de su madre Isabel cuando María, quien recientemente había concebido a Jesús milagrosamente en su vientre, fue a visitar a su prima. Incluso en el vientre Juan sintió la presencia del Salvador del mundo en el vientre de María.

A medida que crecía muchas personas comenzaron a seguir a Juan porque creían que podría ser el Mesías. Hablaba con autoridad y vivió una vida austera predicando acerca de Dios. Y sin embargo, él no quería la atención. Cuando vio a Jesús, Juan dirigió a sus seguidores a seguir a Jesús, “He aquí el Cordero de Dios, que quita el pecado del mundo.”(Juan 1:29) Repetimos estas palabras en cada Misa, mientras elevamos la Eucaristía, señalando la gente a Jesús, el Cordero de Dios.

En otra muestra de humildad, Juan dice en la lectura de hoy: “Yo no soy digno de desatar las sandalias de sus pies. “Luego en Juan 3:30, Juan dice en referencia a Jesús, “Es necesario que Él crezca y que yo disminuya”.

También nosotros estamos llamados como Juan el Bautista para dirigir a otros a Jesús por nuestras vidas. Fuimos concebidos y se nos dio vida para proclamar la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo con nuestras vidas. Desafortunadamente, a través de nuestras heridas llamamos la atención a nosotros mismos. Cuando no estamos cimentados en nuestra identidad fundamental como un hijo/hija amado de Dios, buscamos obtener nuestra identidad en otros lugares. Buscamos atraer el elogio de los demás y centrar la atención en nosotros mismos.

Fuiste concebido a imagen y semejanza de Dios. Tienes dignidad porque eres tú. Deja que Dios te ame y sane las heridas en tu vida. Y luego deja que tu vida proclame la gloria de Jesucristo. Señala a otros hacia Él, no a ti mismo.

¿Busco la aprobación, la atención y el elogio de los demás?
¿Estoy cimentado en mi identidad como hijo/hija amado de Dios Padre?

¡San Juan Bautista, ruega por nosotros!
Padre Burke
https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 22, 2015

Thought for Tuesday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”

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

Jesus tells the disciples, “Do not give what is holy to dogs…”  As I was praying with this, the thought came to me that we often give our body and soul away to what is not holy.  The day we were baptized, God the Father laid a claim to us.  “You are mine.  You are my beloved daughter/son.”  We are called to be holy, which means to be “set apart”.  And yet do we treat our bodies and our souls as sacred and holy?

We should guard our bodies and souls as our prized possessions, as sacred.  We should guard what we watch on TV.  We should protect ourselves from things on the internet that will draw us away from purity.  We should care about thoughts, our conversations, our words, and our actions.  Some say that our eyes are the window to the soul.  What do we allow into our soul through our eyes?

As parents, what are we allowing into our homes through the TV, internet, etc.?

Do we treat our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit?

Do our thoughts, words and deeds build up the Kingdom?  Or do they tear it apart?

The Holy Spirit lives deep within each one of us.  The Kingdom of God, the pearl of great price is at our core.  Don’t let anyone trample it underfoot or tear it to pieces, as Jesus says.  Care for this Pearl as if your life depended on it. 

Imagine your greatest treasure in life.  What do you do to protect it, care for it, nurture it?  Do you protect, care for and nurture your relationship with God in the same way?  Do you protect your body and soul from everything that comes to rob them of their dignity?

There are a lot of things in this world clamoring to lead us down the “wide” road that leads to destruction.  Enter the narrow gate that leads to everlasting life.  Guard your relationship with the Lord as sacred.  Invest in that relationship with your whole heart, mind and soul.

God bless,

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Mateo 7:6, 12-14

Jesús dijo a sus discípulos:
“No den lo que es santo a los perros, o tiren sus perlas a los cerdos,
no sea que las pisoteen, y se vuelvan y los despedacen.
“Traten a los demás como quieren que ellos los traten a ustedes.
Esta es la Ley y los Profetas.
“Entren por la puerta estrecha;
porque ancha es la puerta y amplio el camino que lleva a la perdición,
y los que entran por el son muchos.
Pero que estrecha es la perta, y que angosto el camino que lleva a la vida.
Y los que lo encuentran son pocos”.

____________________________________________________________

Jesús dice a los discípulos: “No den lo que es santo a los perros…” Mientras oraba con esto, el pensamiento me vino que a menudo damos nuestro cuerpo y alma a lo que no es santo. El día que fuimos bautizados, Dios el Padre nos puso una reclamación. “Tú eres mío. Tú eres mi hija/ hijo amado. “Estamos llamados a ser santos, que significa ser “apartado”. Y sin embargo, ¿tratamos a nuestros cuerpos y nuestras almas como sagrado y santo?

Debemos cuidar nuestros cuerpos y almas como nuestros bienes preciados, como algo sagrado. Debemos cuidar lo que vemos en la televisión.  Debemos protegernos de cosas en Internet que nos alejaran de la pureza. Nos deben preocupar los pensamientos, nuestras conversaciones, nuestras palabras y nuestras acciones. Algunos dicen que los ojos son la ventana del alma. ¿Qué permitimos entrar en nuestra alma a través de nuestros ojos?

Como padres, ¿qué estamos permitiendo entrar en nuestros hogares a través de la televisión, internet, etc.?
¿Tratamos a nuestros cuerpos como templos del Espíritu Santo?
¿Nuestros pensamientos, palabras y obras construyen el Reino? ¿O lo destrozan?

El Espíritu Santo vive en lo profundo de cada uno de nosotros. El Reino de Dios, la perla de gran precio está en nuestro núcleo. No dejes que nadie la pisotee o la rompa en pedazos, como dice Jesús. Cuida de esta perla como si tu vida dependiera de ella.

Imagina tu mayor tesoro en la vida. ¿Qué haces para protegerlo, cuidarlo, nutrirlo? ¿Proteges, cuidas y nutres tu relación con Dios de la misma manera? ¿Proteges tu cuerpo y alma de todo lo que viene a robarles su dignidad?

Hay muchas cosas en este mundo clamando guiarnos por el camino “ancho” que lleva a la perdición. Entra por la puerta estrecha que conduce a la vida eterna. Protege tu relación con el Señor como algo sagrado. Invierte en esa relación con todo tu corazón, mente y alma.

Dios los bendiga,

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 22, 2015

Thought for Monday, 12th Week in Ordinary Time

Genesis 12:1-9

The LORD said to Abram:
“Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.

“I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you.”

Abram went as the LORD directed him, and Lot went with him.
Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.
Abram took his wife, Sarai, his brother’s son Lot,
all the possessions that they had accumulated,
and the persons they had acquired in Haran,
and they set out for the land of Canaan.
When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land
as far as the sacred place at Shechem,
by the terebinth of Moreh.
(The Canaanites were then in the land.)

The LORD appeared to Abram and said,
“To your descendants I will give this land.”
So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.
From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel,
pitching his tent with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east.
He built an altar there to the LORD and invoked the LORD by name.
Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb.

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

This reading about our Father in Faith, Abraham, is combined with a wonderful Gospel today (Matthew 7:1-5 “the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you…”).  At the age of 75, Abram was asked by God to leave his home country and everything dear to him.  He was promised a great nation, numerous descendants and a dynasty.  Abram had every right to be skeptical because he and Sarai (also old and barren) had no hopes to have children and start a new nation, yet he followed in faith, generosity and obedience.

Abram and Sarai had a son named Isaac, which means “he laughs”, because his parents laughed at the idea of having a son.  Abram was then asked to sacrifice this son to God, and Abram followed in faith, generosity and obedience.  Abram did not have to kill his son, but God saw how obedient Abram was willing to be.

God fulfilled all of His promises to Abram (who became Abraham).  God fulfills all of His promises to us.  Do we respond in faith, generosity and obedience?  “The measure with which you measure out will be measured out to you….”  When we are faithful, God is even more faithful.  When we are generous, God is even more generous.  When we are obedient, God blessed us beyond out wildest imagination.

We cannot outdo God in generosity, but I dare you to try.  God asks us to give Him everything.  In return He gives us everything.  And His capacity to give is much greater than ours.  Offer to the Lord all that you are and all that you have and watch what He does with it.

God bless,

Fr. Burke 

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Posted by: frburke23 | June 19, 2015

Thought for Friday, 11th Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”

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

Where is the deepest desire of your heart?

Our world offers us many things to fill the void in our hearts.  We look to wealth, power, pleasure and honor to fill this void.  However, only God can fill it.  These things of the earth may give us a temporary “high” or good feeling, but they leave us empty.  And often the emptiness is greater than when we began.  So we return to the thing again for the “high”.  This is how addictions happen in our lives.

Actually, the deepest desire of our heart is for God.  This is an infinite desire.  Yet, we try to fill this infinite desire with finite things.  These things can never satisfy us.  Even in the best marriage, your spouse cannot fill the deepest desire of your heart.  Place God first in your life and your marriage will be enriched.

So what are you storing up?  Are you gathering things of this world to give you a sense of security?  This security is fleeting because these things will fade away.  However, if we store up treasure in heaven, nobody can take this away from us.  And we will find peace along the journey.

How do we store up treasure in heaven?

  • Love God. Develop a daily prayer life.  Take time in silence each day to foster union with God.  We were meant to live in unceasing union with God.  Receive God’s love so that you can give it away.
  • Love your neighbor. Thomas Aquinas says that love is “willing the good for the other”.  We encounter our true self as we pour out ourselves for others.  Our world teaches us to be selfish.  God teaches us to be selfless.  This includes how we treat others, care for them, pray for them and talk about them.  Do I perceive everyone as my brother or sister in Christ?

Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven.

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

Here is the Spanish translation:

Mateo 6:19-23

Jesús dijo a sus discípulos:
“No acumulen ustedes tesoros en la tierra,
donde la polilla y la decadencia destruyen, y los ladrones entran y roban.
Más bien, acumulen tesoros en el cielo,
donde ni la polilla ni la decadencia destruye, ni los ladrones entran y roban.
Porque donde esté su tesoro, allí también estará su corazón.
“La lámpara del cuerpo es el ojo.
Si tu ojo está sano, todo tu cuerpo estará lleno de luz;
pero si tu ojo está enfermo, todo tu cuerpo estará en oscuridad.
Y si la luz en ti es oscuridad, cuán grande será la oscuridad”.

____________________________________________________________

¿Dónde está el deseo más profundo de tu corazón?

Nuestro mundo nos ofrece muchas cosas para llenar el vacío en nuestros corazones. Buscamos la riqueza, el poder, el placer y el honor para llenar este vacío. Sin embargo, sólo Dios puede llenarlo. Estas cosas de la tierra pueden darnos una sensación temporal “máxima” o buena, pero nos dejan vacíos. Y a menudo el vacío es más grande que cuando empezamos. Así que volvemos a la cosa de nuevo por lo “máximo”. Así es como las adicciones suceden en nuestras vidas.

En realidad, el deseo más profundo de nuestro corazón es para Dios. Este es un deseo infinito. Sin embargo, tratamos de llenar este deseo infinito con cosas finitas. Estas cosas nunca nos pueden satisfacer. Incluso en el mejor matrimonio, tu cónyuge no puede llenar el deseo más profundo de tu corazón. Pon a Dios primero en tu vida y tu matrimonio se enriquecerá.

¿Entonces qué estás acumulando? ¿Estás reuniendo cosas de este mundo para darte una sensación de seguridad? Esta seguridad es fugaz porque estas cosas se desvanecerán. Sin embargo, si acumulamos tesoros en el cielo, nadie no los puede quitar. Y vamos a encontrar paz a lo largo del camino.

¿Cómo podemos acumular tesoros en el cielo? 
1) Ama a Dios. Desarrolla una vida de oración diaria. Toma tiempo en silencio cada día para fomentar la unión con Dios. Estamos destinados a vivir en unión incesante con Dios. Recibir el amor de Dios para que lo puedas dar.
2) Ama a tu prójimo. Santo Tomás de Aquino dice que el amor es “querer el bien para el otro”. Nos encontramos con nuestro verdadero yo al derramarnos por los demás. Nuestro mundo nos enseña a ser egoístas. Dios nos enseña a ser desinteresados. Esto incluye la forma en que tratamos a los demás, cuidar de ellos, orar por ellos y hablar de ellos. ¿Percibo a todos como mi hermano o hermana en Cristo?

Acumulen para ustedes mismos tesoro en el cielo.

Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

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