Posted by: frburke23 | May 28, 2016

Thought for Saturday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

MARK 11:27-33
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
Then Jesus said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
They were always tried to trap Jesus. There is something about our fallen human nature that does not want to believe. We doubt. We make excuses in order not to believe.
What does this look like in 2016? Some might ask, “There cannot be a God if there is such violence in the world.” Others may say, “I’m not going to Church because it is full of hypocrites.” Still others may say, “Jesus is just a crutch for weak people.” I’m sure that you have heard other reasons why people do not believe.
What will help us believe that Jesus is the Son of God? There are so many things that point to this truth:
1) Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
2) Jesus told His followers that He would be arrested, tortured, killed and He would rise again after three days.
3) He did rise from the dead and appeared to His followers, whose lives were changed completely by seeing Jesus alive after the crucifixion.
4) The Scriptures are full of wisdom and truth. They make sense and bring light, peace and joy to our lives.
At some point in life we have to make a leap of faith. The facts can take us to the edge of the cliff and at some point we have to make the leap of faith into the arms of God. This leap of faith can be frightening, but is so freeing once we finally trust God with our whole heart, mind and soul.
What is keeping you from completely trusting in Jesus as the Son of God?
What excuses have you made to not practice your faith?
Have a blessed weekend!
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 27, 2016

Thought for Friday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 11:11-26
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.
They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written:
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”
The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him
because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.
Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions.”
As I pray with this reading, three lessons stand out to me:
1) We should be ready at all times for the coming of the Lord, and
2) Our prayers are powerful especially when we pray in faith, and
3) Forgive your neighbor.
Jesus came upon a fig tree and “it was not time for figs.” So naturally it was not time for the tree to produce fruit. And yet Jesus came and asked for the figs, and when He found none, He cursed the tree and it withered.
I have done many funerals for people who were in the prime of their lives and Jesus called them home. It was not their time, according to the world, and yet the Lord called them. Were they ready to meet the Lord Jesus and give an account of their lives? I pray that each and every one would be able to say yes. Am I ready to meet the Lord today, even though it may not be according to my time? What are the fruits of my life today?
Secondly, when they came upon the withered fig tree, Jesus took the opportunity to teach the disciples about the importance of asking in faith. “Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.” So often in Scripture the Lord teaches the importance of faith, to believe that all things are possible with God. Of course, if our will is not aligned with the will of the Father, we may not be asking for the right things. Ask God, “I want what you want when you want it.”
Finally, Jesus teaches them that we must forgive our neighbor so that our heavenly Father will forgive us. Holding a grudge blocks us from receiving God’s mercy. God always wants to forgive us, but we put a wall around ourselves when we do not forgive others. Is there anyone that you need to forgive? Ask God, “Help me to see, love and forgive that person like you see, love and forgive him/her.”
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Spanish translation:
MARCOS 11:11-26
Después de haber sido aclamado por la multitud, Jesús entró en Jerusalén, fue al templo y miró todo lo que en él sucedía; pero como ya era tarde, se marchó a Betania con los Doce.
Al día siguiente, cuando salieron de Betania, sintió hambre. Viendo a lo lejos una higuera con hojas, Jesús se acercó a ver si encontraba higos; pero al llegar, sólo encontró hojas, pues no era tiempo de higos. Entonces le dijo a la higuera: “Que nunca jamás coma nadie frutos de ti”. Y sus discípulos lo estaban oyendo.
Cuando llegaron a Jerusalén, entró en el templo y se puso a arrojar de ahí a los que vendían y compraban; volcó las mesas de los que cambiaban dinero y los puestos de los que vendían palomas; y no dejaba que nadie cruzara por el templo cargando cosas. Luego se puso a enseñar a la gente, diciéndoles: “¿Acaso no está escrito: ¿Mi casa será casa de oración para todos los pueblos? Pero ustedes la han convertido en una cueva de ladrones”.
Los sumos sacerdotes y los escribas se enteraron de esto y buscaban la forma de matarlo; pero le tenían miedo, porque todo el mundo estaba asombrado de sus enseñanzas. Cuando atardeció, Jesús y los suyos salieron de la ciudad.
A la mañana siguiente, cuando pasaban junto a la higuera, vieron que estaba seca hasta la raíz. Pedro cayó en la cuenta y le dijo a Jesús: “Maestro, mira: la higuera que maldijiste se secó”.
Jesús les dijo entonces: “Tengan fe en Dios; les aseguro que si uno le dice a este monte: ‘Quítate de ahí y arrójate al mar’, sin dudar en su corazón y creyendo que va a suceder lo que dice, lo obtendrá. Por eso les digo: Cualquier cosa que pidan en la oración, crean ustedes que ya se la han concedido, y la obtendrán. Y cuando se pongan a orar, perdonen lo que tengan contra otros, para que también el Padre, que está en el cielo, les perdone a ustedes sus ofensas; porque si ustedes no perdonan, tampoco el Padre, que está en el cielo, les perdonará a ustedes sus ofensas”.
Al orar con esta lectura, tres lecciones destacan:
1) Debemos estar preparados en todo momento para la venida del Señor, y
2) Nuestras oraciones son poderosas especialmente cuando oramos con fe, y
3) Perdona a tu prójimo.
Jesús se encontró con una higuera y “no era tiempo de higos.” Así que, naturalmente, no era tiempo para que el árbol produjera frutos. Y sin embargo, Jesús vino y pidió higos, y cuando no encontró nada, maldijo el árbol y se secó.
He hecho muchos funerales para personas que se encontraban en el mejor momento de sus vidas y Jesús los llamó a casa. No era su tiempo, de acuerdo con el mundo, y sin embargo el Señor los llamó. ¿Estaban listos para reunirse con el Señor Jesús y dar cuenta de sus vidas? Rezo para que todos y cada uno sea capaz de decir que sí. ¿Estoy listo para reunirme con el Señor hoy, a pesar de que pueda que no de acuerdo con mi tiempo? ¿Cuáles son los frutos de mi vida hoy?
En segundo lugar, cuando se encontraron con la higuera seca, Jesús tomó la oportunidad para enseñar a los discípulos sobre la importancia de pedir con fe. “Por eso les digo: Cualquier cosa que pidan en la oración, crean ustedes que ya se la han concedido, y la obtendrán.” Muy a menudo en las Escrituras el Señor enseña la importancia de la fe, de creer que todas las cosas son posibles con Dios. Por supuesto, si nuestra voluntad no está alineada con la voluntad del Padre, puede que no estemos pidiendo las cosas correctas. Pídele a Dios: “Quiero lo que tú quieres cuando tú lo quieres.”
Por último, Jesús les enseña que debemos perdonar a nuestro prójimo para que nuestro Padre celestial nos perdone. Guardar rencor nos bloquea de recibir la misericordia de Dios. Dios siempre quiere perdonarnos, pero ponemos un muro a nuestro alrededor cuando no perdonamos a los demás. ¿Hay alguien a quien necesitas perdonar? Pídele a Dios, “Ayúdame a ver, amar y perdonar a esa persona como tú ves, amas y perdonas a él / ella.”
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 26, 2016

Thought for Thursday, 8th Week of Ordinary Time

Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.
Imagine how large the crowd was following Jesus. They saw His miracles, heard His teaching, and felt His compassion. Word was spreading everywhere about Jesus. They came from everywhere to see Him, hear Him and be near Him.
When I was playing baseball in front of large crowds of over 10,000 people I seldom heard individual voices. They all blended together. How could Jesus notice this one blind man calling out to Him? He was just one among many, right? Wrong.
Jesus heard that lone voice among the crowd and clatter, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.” Sometimes we feel that the Lord doesn’t notice us. We are just one little person among the billions in the world. Why would Jesus pay attention to me?
But when we cry out to Jesus in faith, like Bartimaeus, He always hears us. No matter how small we may feel, we are beloved sons and daughters of God the Father. We are important to God. Jesus looks upon us with eyes of love. He asks us, “What do you want me to do for you?”
This reminds me of a story that relates to St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars. A woman’s husband committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. She was distraught, not only because her husband was dead, but she didn’t know if he believed in Jesus. So her friends encouraged her to go visit Fr. John Vianney, who had special gifts and was known to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. When she arrived in Ars at 1:00am there was a long line in the church waiting to go to confession to Fr. John Vianney. She didn’t know what to do in her despair, so she knelt down to pray to God.
At that moment, Fr. John Vianney walked out of the confessional, past the long line of people waiting for him, and he went directly to the woman. He lifted her up and said to her, “Don’t worry, your husband was converted as he jumped off the bridge.” God answered her prayers amidst the large crowd of people there. God spoke through that humble saintly priest that night. God continues to speak to us today in so many ways.
What do you need from Jesus today?
Do you realize how much God loves you personally?
Do you believe that Jesus can do anything?
Don’t be afraid to cry out to Him. Express your joy, sorrow, despair, etc. Whatever is in your heart – share it with Jesus today. He is listening for your voice. He is seeking you among the crowd. “What do you need my little child? I want to give you all that I have…” Ask Him… Seek Him… Knock on His door…
God bless,
Fr. Burke
Here is the Spanish translation…
Marcos 10:46-52
Cuando Jesús salía de Jericó con sus discípulos y una multitud considerable,
Bartimeo, un hombre ciego, hijo de Timeo,
se sentó por el camino mendigando.
Al enterarse de que era Jesús de Nazaret,
comenzó a gritar y a decir,
“Jesús, hijo de David, ten compasión de mí.”
Y muchos lo reprendían diciéndole que se quedara en silencio.
Sin embargo, siguió diciendo en voz alta, “Hijo de David, ten compasión de mí.”
Jesús se detuvo y dijo: “Llámenlo”.
Así que llamaron al ciego, diciéndole:
“¡Ánimo, levántate, Jesús te está llamando.”
Echó a un lado su manto, se levantó y vino a Jesús.
Jesús le respondió: “¿Qué quieres que haga por ti?”
El ciego le respondió: “Señor, yo quiero ver.”
Jesús le dijo: “Ve, sigue tu camino, tu fe te ha salvado”.
Inmediatamente el recobró la vista
y lo siguió por el camino.
Imagínate qué tan grande era la multitud que seguía a Jesús. Ellos vieron sus milagros, escucharon sus enseñanzas, y sintieron su compasión. Venían de todas partes para estar cerca de él.
¿Cómo puede darse cuenta Jesús de este hombre ciego pidiéndole a Él? El solo era uno entre muchos, ¿cierto? Falso.
Jesús escuchó esa voz solitaria entre la multitud y el ruido: “Jesús, Hijo de David, ten compasión de mí.” A veces sentimos que el Señor no nos nota. Sólo somos una pequeña persona entre los billones en el mundo. ¿Por qué Jesús me prestaría atención a mí?
Pero cuando clamamos a Jesús como Bartimeo, Él siempre nos escucha. No importa que tan pequeños nos sintamos, somos hijos e hijas amados de Dios Padre. Jesús nos mira con ojos de amor. Él nos pregunta: “¿Qué quieres que haga por ti?”
Esto me recuerda a una historia que se relaciona con St. John Vianney, el Cura de Ars. El marido de una mujer se suicidó saltando de un puente. Ella estaba angustiada, no sólo porque su marido había muerto, pero no sabía si él creía en Jesús. Así que sus amistades la animaron a ir a visitar al Padre John Vianney, quien tenía dones especiales y se sabe que tenía una relación íntima con Jesús. Cuando ella llegó a Ars a la 1:00am había una larga fila en la iglesia en la espera de ir a confesarse con el Padre John Vianney. Ella no sabía qué hacer en su desesperación, por lo que ella se arrodilló para orar a Dios.
En ese momento, el Padre John Vianney salió el confesionario, pasando la larga fila de gente esperando por él, y se fue directamente a la mujer. Él la levantó y le dijo: “No te preocupes, tu marido se convirtió al saltar desde el puente.” Dios respondió a sus oraciones en medio de la gran multitud de gente que estaba allí. Y estoy seguro de que Dios respondió a las oraciones de toda la gente que esperaba en esa línea al confesionario.
¿Qué necesitas de Jesús hoy?
¿Te das cuenta de lo mucho que Dios te ama personalmente?
No tengas miedo de clamarlo. Expresa tu alegría, tristeza, desesperación, etc. Lo que está en tu corazón – compártelo hoy con Jesús. Él está escuchando por tu voz. Él te está buscando entre la multitud. “¿Qué necesitas mi pequeño hijo? Quiero darte todo lo que tengo…” Pídele… Búscalo hoy…
Dios los bendiga,
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 25, 2016

Thought for Wednesday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

1 PETER 1:18-25
Realize that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious Blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished Lamb.
He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.
Since you have purified yourselves
by obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love,
love one another intensely from a pure heart.
You have been born anew,
not from perishable but from imperishable seed,
through the living and abiding word of God, for:
“All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like the flower of the field;
the grass withers,
and the flower wilts;
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
The line that caught my attention as I prayed with this Scripture is “love one another intensely from a pure heart.” I began to think what it means to love intensely. As I gazed at the crucifix I had my answer. Jesus showed us what it means to love intensely – on purpose, intentionally and with passion.
We cannot love intensely until we first have allowed ourselves to be loved by Jesus intensely. Spend time each day reflecting on how much God loves you as His beloved daughter/son. Let His words of love penetrate your heart. Contemplate the extent of His love for you by dying on the cross.
Once we receive this type of love we can then give it away. How many of us love intensely – on purpose, intentionally and with passion? And how many of us just wander through life without passion, without deep friendships, with no purpose or mission in life?
My life has been incredibly enriched when I have let my walls down, been vulnerable and allowed myself to love and be loved. It is scary to let those walls down because we can get hurt. Jesus knows what that pain is like to love unconditionally and be rejected. And yet He continued to love. I have been hurt and I imagine you have been hurt also. But the Lord will never hurt us. Go to Him, let Him love you and keep loving others.
What does it look like for us to love intensely? Be intentional with your relationships. Just as we should give the Lord time throughout each day, spend quality time each day with people that you love. Talk about things that matter. Go beyond sports and weather and talk about the things that are going on in your life. Share your joys and sorrows, dreams and plans. Seek opportunities to serve your friends. Practice laying aside your own desires and seeking the good of your friends. Ironically if everyone sought the good of their friends, our own needs would be met along the way, and the bonds of friendship would grow so deep.
In the Gospel today, James and John were seeking their own benefit by desiring the seats at the right and left of Jesus. They were focused on themselves. However, Jesus’ death and resurrection changed their hearts and moved them from selfishness to selflessness. They went on to love so intensely that they gave their lives for Christ. May that same movement happen in each of our lives as well.
Do I allow the love of God to enter my heart so that I know I am His beloved son/daughter?
Do I love others intensely – on purpose, intentionally and with passion?
Am I a selfish or selfless person?
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Spanish translation:
1 PEDRO 1:18-25
Hermanos: Bien saben ustedes que, de su estéril manera de vivir, heredada de sus padres, los ha rescatado Dios, no con bienes efímeros, como el oro y la plata, sino con la sangre preciosa de Cristo, el cordero sin defecto ni mancha, al cual Dios había elegido desde antes de la creación del mundo y, por amor a ustedes, lo ha manifestado en estos tiempos, que son los últimos. Por Cristo, ustedes creen en Dios, quien lo resucitó de entre los muertos y lo llenó de gloria, a fin de que la fe de ustedes sea también esperanza en Dios.
Así pues, purificados ya internamente por la obediencia a la verdad, que conduce al amor sincero a los hermanos, ámense los unos a los otros de corazón e intensamente. Porque han vuelto ustedes a nacer, y no de una semilla mortal, sino inmortal, por medio de la palabra viva y permanente de Dios. En efecto, todo mortal es hierba y toda su belleza es flor de hierba: se seca la hierba y cae la flor; en cambio, la palabra del Señor permanece para siempre. Y ésa es la palabra que se les ha anunciado.
La línea que me llamó la atención mientras oraba con esta Escritura es “ámense los unos a los otros de corazón e intensamente.” Comencé a pensar en lo que significa amar intensamente. Mientras miraba el crucifijo tuve mi respuesta. Jesús nos mostró lo que significa amar intensamente – a propósito, intencionalmente y con pasión.
No podemos amar intensamente hasta que primero nos hallamos permitido ser amados intensamente por Jesús. Pasa tiempo cada día reflexionando sobre lo mucho que Dios te ama como Su hija / hijo amado. Deja que Sus palabras de amor penetren tu corazón. Contempla la magnitud de Su amor por ti al morir en la cruz.
Una vez que recibimos este tipo de amor entonces podemos darlo. ¿Cuántos de nosotros amamos intensamente – a propósito, intencionalmente y con pasión? ¿Y cuantos de nosotros simplemente paseamos por la vida sin pasión, sin amistades profundas, sin ningún propósito o misión en la vida?
Mi vida ha sido muy enriquecida cuando he dejado mis paredes abajo, cuando he sido vulnerable y cuando me he permitido a amar y ser amado. Da miedo dejar esas paredes abajo porque podemos ser lastimados. Jesús sabe cómo es ese dolor de amar incondicionalmente y ser rechazado. Y sin embargo, Él continuó amando. He sido herido y me imagino que tú también has sido herido. Pero el Señor nunca nos hará daño. Ve a Él, permite que Él te ame y sigue amando a los demás.
¿Cómo es para nosotros de amar intensamente? Se intencional con tus relaciones. Así como debemos darle tiempo al Señor a lo largo de cada día, pasa tiempo de calidad cada día con las personas que amas. Habla de las cosas que importan. Ve más allá de los deportes y el tiempo y habla de las cosas que están sucediendo en tu vida. Comparte tus alegrías y tristezas, sueños y planes. Busca oportunidades para servir a tus amigos. Práctica dejando a un lado tus propios deseos y buscando el bien de tus amigos. Irónicamente si todos buscaran el bien de sus amigos, nuestras propias necesidades serían cumplidas a lo largo del camino, y los lazos de amistad crecerían muy profundo.
En el Evangelio de hoy, Santiago y Juan estaban buscando su propio beneficio al desear los asientos a la derecha e izquierda de Jesús. Ellos estaban enfocados en sí mismos. Sin embargo, la muerte y la resurrección de Jesús cambiaron sus corazones y los movió del egoísmo al desinterés. Ellos siguieron amando tan intensamente que dieron sus vidas por Cristo. Que ese mismo movimiento suceda también en cada una de nuestras vidas.
¿Permito que el amor de Dios entre en mi corazón para que yo sepa que soy Su hijo / hija amado?
¿Amo a los demás intensamente – a propósito, intencionalmente y con pasión?
¿Soy una persona egoísta o desinteresada?
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 23, 2016

Thought for Tuesday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 10:28-31
Peter began to say to Jesus,
‘We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
I remember having a conversation with God the night before my ordination. I told Him, “I’ve given up everything that I love to follow you – wife, children, baseball, money, etc.” And although I did not use these words, I was wondering, “What is in it for me?”
This sounds like what Peter was thinking in this Gospel passage. He had given up so much to follow Jesus, and now he wants to know what he will get in return. Jesus responds by telling him that he who sacrifices much in this life will be rewarded a hundredfold NOW and receive eternal life FOREVER! Wow! That is an amazing promise!
That night before my ordination I felt as if God was telling me, “Just wait. You are going to receive so much more than you can possibly imagine.” Now, after almost 14 years of priesthood, I do not focus on the things I have given up because the Lord has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I have met the most amazing people, many of whom have become friends for a lifetime. I may not have a wife and children, but my spiritual family is larger than I could have ever imagined. That is why we call the priests “Father” – it is because we are spiritual fathers to so many. We generate life, not in a biological way, but in a spiritual way. And I may have been able to make millions of dollars in a career in professional baseball, but I wouldn’t trade being a priest for any amount of money in the world.
And then I received the call about 4 years ago from the Catholic Athletes for Christ to be the Catholic chaplain for the Chicago Cubs! Last September I had the opportunity to be at batting practice with the Cubs while being in uniform on Wrigley Field. Then this March I had the chance to practice with the Cubs for a day during spring training. And while I was practicing with the team, I heard God’s voice deep within me say, “This was your dream. But you are living your dream every day.” I realized that I love being a priest and I do not miss playing baseball. I have the best of both worlds – being a priest and being in the major leagues as the Cubs’ chaplain!
The Lord always keeps His promises. When we truly sacrifice things in order to follow Him, He will bless us. But we must not look past the two words that Jesus pronounces – “with persecutions”. Following Jesus does not mean that every worry will be taken away and that we will never suffer. Jesus never promised us that. In fact, He tells us that to follow Him we must pick up our cross daily. We should not be surprised by crosses and suffering when we follow Jesus. I have experienced some of the most difficult things in my life since I entered seminary in 1997, but somehow I have made it through these trials with the help of Jesus Christ. We cannot outdo the Lord in generosity!
Are you generous with everything you have with the Lord?
Have you experienced God’s abundant generosity in return?
Have you experienced trials while following the Lord?
Let us not count the costs to follow Jesus because He will carry us through any trial or suffering, and He will also give us peace and joy that we never experienced from things of this world. It is impossible to outdo God in generosity, but I dare you to try.
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Here is the Spanish translation…
Evangelio según San Marcos 10,28-31.
En aquel tiempo, Pedro le dijo a Jesús: “Señor, ya ves que nosotros lo hemos dejado todo para seguirte”.
Jesús le respondió: “Yo les aseguro: Nadie que haya dejado casa, o hermanos o hermanas, o padre o madre, o hijos o tierras, por mí y por el Evangelio, dejará de recibir, en esta vida, el ciento por uno en casas, hermanos y hermanas, madres e hijos y tierras, junto con persecuciones, y en el otro mundo, la vida eterna. Y muchos que ahora son los primeros serán los últimos, y muchos que ahora son los últimos, serán los primeros”.
Recuerdo haber tenido una conversación con Dios la noche antes de mi ordenación. Le dije, “He renunciado a todo lo que amo para seguirte – esposa, hijos, béisbol, dinero, etc.” Y aunque yo no utilice estas palabras, me preguntaba: “¿Qué hay para mí? “
Esto suena como lo que Pedro estaba pensando en este pasaje del Evangelio. Había renunciado a tanto para seguir a Jesús, y ahora quiere saber lo que va a obtener a cambio. ¡Jesús responde diciéndole que el que sacrifica mucho en esta vida será recompensado cien veces más AHORA y recibirá la vida eterna PARA SIEMPRE! ¡Wow! ¡Esa es una promesa increíble!
La noche antes de mi ordenación sentí como si Dios me estuviera diciendo, “solo espera. Vas a recibir mucho más de lo que puedas imaginar”. Ahora, después de casi 14 años de sacerdocio, no me enfoco en las cosas a las que he renunciado porque el Señor me ha bendecido más allá de mis sueños más salvajes. He conocido a las personas más increíbles, muchos de los cuales se han convertido en amigos para toda la vida. Quizás no tenga una esposa e hijos, pero mi familia espiritual es más grande de lo que jamás pude haber imaginado. Es por eso que llamamos a los sacerdotes “Padre” – es porque somos padres espirituales de tantas personas. Generamos vida, no de una manera biológica, sino de una manera espiritual. Y yo pude haber hecho millones de dólares en una carrera de béisbol profesional, pero yo no cambiaría ser un sacerdote por cualquier cantidad de dinero del mundo.
¡Y luego recibí la llamada hace unos 4 años de los Atletas Católicos por Cristo para ser el capellán Católico de los Cachorros de Chicago! El pasado septiembre tuve la oportunidad de estar en la práctica de bateo con los Cachorros mientras se está en uniforme en el Wrigley Field. Luego, este mes de marzo tuve la oportunidad de practicar con los Cachorros por un día durante el entrenamiento de primavera. Y mientras estaba practicando con el equipo, oí la voz de Dios muy dentro de mí decir, “Este era tu sueño. Pero estás viviendo tu sueño todos los días.” Me di cuenta de que amo ser sacerdote y no extraño jugar béisbol. ¡Tengo lo mejor de ambos mundos – ser sacerdote y estar en las grandes ligas como capellán de los Cachorros!
El señor siempre cumple Sus promesas. Cuando realmente sacrificamos cosas con el fin de seguirlo a Él, Él nos bendecirá. Pero no debemos ver más allá de las dos palabras que Jesús pronuncia – “con persecuciones”. El seguir a Jesús no significa que toda preocupación se nos quitara y que nunca sufriremos. Jesús nunca nos prometió eso. De hecho, Él nos dice que para seguirlo debemos cargar nuestra Cruz diariamente. No debemos ser sorprendidos por las cruces y sufrimientos cuando seguimos a Jesús. He experimentado unas de las cosas más difíciles en mi vida desde que entré al seminario en 1997, pero de alguna manera he sobresalido de estas pruebas con la ayuda de Jesucristo. ¡No podemos superar a Dios en generosidad!
¿Eres generoso con el Señor con todo lo que tienes?
¿Has experimentado la generosidad abundante de Dios en retorno?
¿Has experimentado pruebas mientras sigues al Señor?
No contemos el costo para seguir a Jesús porque Él nos llevará a través de cualquier prueba o sufrimiento, y Él también nos dará la paz y alegría que jamás hemos experimentado de las cosas de este mundo. Es imposible superar a Dios en generosidad, pero te reto a que lo intentes.
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 23, 2016

Thought for Monday, 8th Week of Ordinary Time

Mark 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good?
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.”
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men it is impossible, but not for God.
All things are possible for God.”
We rejoice here in the Diocese of Joliet with five new priests ordained on Saturday. It was a wonderful celebration! We now have 5 new men to consecrate the Eucharist, hear confessions and bring the presence of Jesus into a world so in need.
There is a great deal involved in this gospel passage. Jesus is asked, “What must I do to enter eternal life?” This is a question that we all would like to ask the Lord.
There has been some controversy regarding Jesus’ answer, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Some claim this is proof that Jesus was not God. However, we can read this in another way. Jesus could be questioning the young man as to how he knew that Jesus was God. God alone is good – how did you know that was me?
Then Jesus begins to answer the question of gaining eternal life by listing the Ten Commandments. These are the basics. Jesus wants us to begin by turning away from sin in our lives. The man was excited because he had kept the commandments. Can you say that you are keeping the commandments of God?
Then Jesus looked upon the man, loved him…. Notice, that Jesus loved the man. This is so important – Jesus always looks lovingly upon us and invites us to deeper intimacy with Him. His love is transformative. Let Him love you.
Then Jesus raised the bar. He asked the man to sell everything he had, give everything to the poor and come follow Him. The man’s face dropped because he was not willing to sell everything because he had many possessions. After asking the man to cut sin out of his life, Jesus asked Him to strive for perfection and give everything away for God. How would I respond to Jesus’ invitation to sell everything for His sake?
Jesus says that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God if the wealth possesses them. It doesn’t mean that we literally have to get rid of all of our possessions, but if our material things keep us from giving our hearts completely to God, then we have a problem.
If Jesus tells you today, “Go sell everything you have and follow me,” how would you respond? What is the first material possession that comes to mind that you are not willing to sell or give away? What is indispensable in your life? If we are filled with something else, there is no room for God.
Do I trust the Lord? He promises that all things are possible with Him. He can change our hearts, our desires, our attachments and our sinfulness. Allow your heart to be free by releasing your attachment to the things of this world. Surrender your heart to Jesus and He will provide for you. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all other things will be added unto you.”
Many in our culture have become minimalists. We might ask Jesus today, “What is the minimum that I have to do to get to heaven?” Christianity is not about being a minimalist; it is about giving everything. Jesus tells us that if we want to save our lives we should give it away. How generous am I with my time, talent and treasure? What keeps me from laying down everything for the Lord?
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 20, 2016

Thought for Saturday, 7th Week in Ordinary Time

MARK 10:13-16
People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them,
for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced the children and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.
Thank you for your prayers. The funeral Mass went very well. In fact, I used part of this reading to describe my Aunt Judi. “Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Aunt Judi had many characteristics there were childlike – simplicity, honesty, innocence, faith, joy and trust. She told me once, “Burke, I don’t know much theology, but I just believe in Jesus.” Her simple faith inspired me and is one of the reasons I became Catholic and am now a priest.
On Saturday, Bishop Conlon will be ordaining five men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Joliet. Please pray for Shaun, Chris, Juan Jose, Michael and Keith that they be good and holy priests all the days that God gives them. May they lead many souls to Christ through their priestly ministry. It is such a privilege to walk with these men from the time they feel called to the day of their ordination.
How are you living like a child?
Have a blessed weekend.
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 20, 2016

Thought for Friday, 7th Week in Ordinary Time

JAMES 5:9-12
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered.
You have heard of the perseverance of Job,
and you have seen the purpose of the Lord,
because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath,
but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,”
that you may not incur condemnation.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of my dear Aunt Judi Masters (she was married to my dad’s brother). She passed away on Saturday and her funeral will be Friday morning at 10am. Our families grew up together and she was like a second mother to me. She and my mother were best friends. She had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, but we were not expecting her passing. They believe she had a heart attack in the middle of the night. She was an amazing person with a deep faith. She was the only Catholic in our family for a while and was instrumental in bringing many of our family members into the Catholic Church. May she rest in peace in the loving arms of God.
St. James has a way of calling us to holiness without mincing words. “Do not complain… about one another,” he tells us, “that you may not be judged”. How many times a day do we complain about those around us – our family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends, enemies, etc.? Several times in Scripture we are told not to judge others. God is the judge, not us.
What causes us to judge others?
Maybe the person hurt us and we want them to feel how we feel.
Maybe we are jealous.
Maybe we want to feel better about ourselves.
Maybe we are insecure.
Whatever the situation may be, judging others is not of God.
Self-reflection is challenging in these situations. We may quickly blow off this Scripture saying, “This doesn’t pertain to me.” And yet it pertains to each one of us. The more we receive our identity from the Lord as His beloved sons and daughters, the less we feel the need to judge or hurt others. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and the Lord calls us to love one another in perfect charity.
Take a few moments to reflect on the people that I have judged recently.
How is the Lord calling me to love that person?
Ask God, “Help me to see this person as you see them.”
You might see that this person has been hurt and is acting out of their own woundedness.
Am I called to forgive this person?
Is God calling me to let go of some hurt that has happened to me?
Jesus understands our suffering and pain. He was judged, beaten, tortured and crucified. And yet He said from the cross, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Lord, help me to love and forgive as you do. Humanly speaking, this is very difficult. But with God all things are possible!
God bless,
Fr. Burke
Here is the Spanish translation:
Hermanos míos: No murmuren los unos de los otros, para que en el día del juicio no sean condenados. Miren que el juez ya está a la puerta. Tomen como ejemplo de paciencia en el sufrimiento a los profetas, los cuales hablaron en nombre del Señor. Llamamos dichosos a los que supieron soportar el sufrimiento. Ustedes han oído hablar de la paciencia de Job y ya ven el final que le dio el Señor, porque el Señor es compasivo y misericordioso.
Pero, sobre todo, hermanos míos, no juren ni por el cielo ni por la tierra, ni por ninguna otra cosa; que el sí de ustedes sea sí, y el no de ustedes sea no, para que no queden expuestos a ser condenados en el juicio.
Por favor, oren por el descanso del alma de mi querida tía Judi Masters (ella estaba casada con el hermano de mi padre). Ella falleció el sábado y su funeral será el viernes a las 10:00 de la mañana. Nuestras familias crecieron juntas y ella era como una segunda madre para mí. Ella y mi madre eran mejores amigas. Ella había estado sufriendo de la enfermedad de Parkinson, pero no esperábamos su muerte. Creen que tuvo un infarto en medio de la noche. Ella era una persona maravillosa con una fe profunda. Ella era la única católica por un tiempo en nuestra familia y jugo un papel decisivo en traer a muchos miembros de nuestra familia a la Iglesia Católica. Que descanse en paz en los brazos amorosos de Dios.
Santiago tiene una manera de llamarnos a la santidad, sin pelos en la lengua. “No murmuren los unos de los otros”, él nos dice, “para que no sean condenados”. ¿Cuántas veces al día nos quejamos sobre aquellos a nuestro alrededor – miembros de nuestra familia, compañeros de trabajo, vecinos, amigos, enemigos, etc.? Varias veces en la Escritura se nos dice que no juzguemos a los demás. Dios es el juez, no nosotros.
¿Qué nos hace juzgar a los demás?
Tal vez la persona nos lastimo y queremos que sientan lo que sentimos.
Tal vez estamos celosos.
Tal vez queremos sentirnos mejor con nosotros mismos.
Tal vez estamos inseguros.
Cualquiera que sea la situación, juzgar a los demás no es de Dios.
La auto-reflexión es un reto en estas situaciones. Podemos volar rápidamente de esta Escritura diciendo, “Esto no se refiere a mí.” Y sin embargo, se refiere a cada uno de nosotros. Cuanto más recibimos nuestra identidad del Señor como Sus amados hijos e hijas, cuanto menos sentimos la necesidad de juzgar o lastimar a los demás. Todos somos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo, y el Señor nos llama a amarnos unos a otros en la caridad perfecta.
Toma un momento para reflexionar sobre las personas que has juzgado recientemente.
¿Cómo me está llamando el Señor a amar a esa persona?
Pídele a Dios, “Ayúdame a ver a esta persona como tú la ves.”
Es posible que veas que esta persona ha sido lastimada y está actuando por sus propias heridas.
¿Estoy llamado a perdonar a esta persona?
¿Está Dios llamándome para dejar ir alguna herida que me ha sucedido?
Jesús entiende nuestro sufrimiento y dolor. Fue juzgado, golpeado, torturado y crucificado. Y sin embargo, Él dijo desde la cruz, “Perdónalos Padre, porque no saben lo que hacen.” (Lucas 23:34)
Señor, ayúdame a amar y perdonar como tú. Humanamente hablando, esto es muy difícil. ¡Pero con Dios todo es posible!
Dios los bendiga,
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 18, 2016

Thought for Thursday, 7th Week of Ordinary Time

JAMES 5:1-6
Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.
St. James does not hold anything back. Today he directs his attention upon the rich who have “lived on earth in luxury and pleasure” while the people who have worked for them were neglected. All of the gold, silver, and fine clothes will fade away, but the Lord hears the “cries of the harvesters”, those who toiled and were neglected while here on earth.
This reminds me of the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. Lazarus was a poor beggar outside the door of the rich man. Each day the rich man stepped over Lazarus and ignored him, while the rich man dined on fine foods and lived the good life. When they died, the rich man went to hell and poor Lazarus went to heaven.
I recently spoke to someone who was turned off by the Gospel because he wanted to be rich and he did not like what Jesus had to say about rich people. I explained to him that money is not bad in and of itself, but if money becomes the center of your life and you neglect the poor and relegate God to the margins, then you have a problem. However, there are a lot of wealthy people who do amazing things for the Lord in this world with their wealth. In fact, I believe that is why the Lord blesses people financially; we are meant to help the less fortunate. I am not talking about socialism; I am simply talking loving our brothers and sisters because we are one family in Christ.
There is a fundamental attitude that James is asking us to reflect upon today. Am I a selfish person, only seeking my own good? Or am I a generous and loving person, seeking the good of others? True love is seeking the best for others.
And Jesus has taught us that we should have a preferential option for the poor. From the earliest time in our Church, the poor were valued. In St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians (1:13-2:10), we hear how Paul, Barnabas and Titus went to Rome to make sure that the gospel that he was preaching was correct. He spoke to the pillars of the Church, Peter, James and John. Paul and his companions were encouraged to continue to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. The only stipulation was that they should be “mindful of the poor.” (Galatians 2:10)
My friends the poor are all around us and we have been blessed so much. Some are poor financially. Others are poor spiritually. We are all part of the Mystical Body of Christ. And when one member of the Body suffers, we all do.
What am I doing to care for the spiritual and material poverty of my neighbor?
Do I see all of my blessings as a gift from God to share with others?
How is God calling me to share my gifts with others?
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Here is the Spanish translation:
Lloren y laméntense, ustedes, los ricos, por las desgracias que esperan. Sus riquezas se han corrompido; la polilla se ha comido sus vestidos; enmohecidos están su oro y su plata, y ese moho será una prueba contra ustedes y consumirá sus carnes, como el fuego. Con esto ustedes han atesorado un castigo para los últimos días.
El salario que ustedes han defraudado a los trabajadores que segaron sus campos está clamando contra ustedes; sus gritos han llegado hasta el oído del Señor de los ejércitos. Han vivido ustedes en este mundo entregados al lujo y al placer, engordando como reses para el día de la matanza. Han condenado a los inocentes y los han matado, porque no podían defenderse.
Santiago no oculta nada. Hoy él dirige su atención sobre los ricos que han “vivido en este mundo entregados al lujo y al placer” mientras que las personas que han trabajado para ellos eran descuidadas. Todo el oro, plata, y ropas finas se desvanecerán, pero el Señor escucha los “gritos de los segadores”, aquellos que trabajaron y fueron descuidados mientras que estaban aquí en la tierra.
Esto me recuerda la historia del hombre rico y Lázaro en Lucas 16. Lázaro era un pobre mendigo afuera de la puerta del hombre rico. El rico pasaba por encima de Lázaro cada día y lo ignoraba, mientras que el rico cenaba alimentos de excelente calidad y vivía la buena vida. Cuando murieron, el hombre rico fue al infierno y el pobre Lázaro fue al cielo.
Recientemente hablé con alguien que fue apagado por el Evangelio, porque quería ser rico y no le gustó lo que Jesús tenía que decir acerca de la gente rica. Le expliqué que el dinero no es malo, pero si el dinero se convierte en el centro de tu vida y descuidas al pobre y relegas a Dios a los márgenes, entonces tienes un problema. Sin embargo, hay una gran cantidad de gente rica que hace cosas increíbles para el Señor en este mundo con sus riquezas. De hecho, creo que es por eso que el Señor bendice a la gente financieramente; estamos para ayudar a los menos afortunados. No estoy hablando de socialismo; Simplemente estoy hablando de amar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas porque somos una sola familia en Cristo.
Hay una actitud fundamental que Santiago hoy nos está pidiendo sobre la cual reflexionar. ¿Soy una persona egoísta, buscando sólo mi propio bien? ¿O soy una persona generosa y amorosa, buscando el bien de los demás? El verdadero amor es buscar lo mejor para los demás.
Y Jesús nos ha enseñado que debemos tener una opción preferencial por los pobres. Desde el tiempo primitivo de nuestra Iglesia, los pobres fueron valorados. En la carta de San Pablo a los Gálatas (1: 13-2: 10), escuchamos cómo Pablo, Bernabé y Tito fueron a Roma para asegurarse de que el evangelio que él predicaba era correcto. Habló con los pilares de la Iglesia, Pedro, Santiago y Juan. Pablo y sus compañeros se les animó a continuar predicando el Evangelio a los Gentiles. La única condición era que debían “acordarse de los pobres.” (Gálatas 2:10)
Mis amigos los pobres están a nuestro alrededor y hemos sido muy bendecidos. Algunos son pobres económicamente. Otros son pobres espiritualmente. Todos somos parte del Cuerpo Místico de Cristo. Y cuando un miembro del Cuerpo sufre, todos sufrimos.
¿Qué estoy haciendo para cuidar de la pobreza espiritual y material de mi prójimo?
¿Veo todas mis bendiciones como un regalo de Dios para compartir con los demás?
¿Cómo Dios me está llamando para compartir mis dones con los demás?
¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 17, 2016

Thought for Wednesday, 7th Week of Ordinary Time

JAMES 4:13-17
Come now, you who say,
“Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town,
spend a year there doing business, and make a profit”–
you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.
Instead you should say,
“If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.”
But now you are boasting in your arrogance.
All such boasting is evil.
So for one who knows the right thing to do
and does not do it, it is a sin.
Do you have your life planned out? Do you have it all figured out? That was me many years ago. I had my life planned. I was going to be a professional baseball player, get married, have a large family, make a lot of money and live happily ever after. That was the plan. I asked God to bless my plan. I’m sure we have all done that.
And yet…St. James tells us today, “you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.” We should be saying, “If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.” In other words, we should be seeking the will of God in our lives above all else.
And this reading reminds me to live in the present moment. Some people live in the past, always thinking of the “good old days”. Some people live in the future, always thinking about the next project, the next goal, the next promotion. Few people live in the present moment, enjoying the gift that God gives us in the person right in front of us.
When I read the lives of the saints, one thing they have in common is the ability to live in the present. When I am in the presence of holy people, I feel like I’m the only person alive at that moment. They give me their total attention. Many people have commented how St. John Paul II and Blessed Mother Theresa were able to do give their total attention to the present moment and the person in front of them. I’m sure that anyone that encountered Jesus had this same experience.
Pay attention to your thoughts. Are you living in the past? Or are you living in the future? Is the present moment passing you by? I have to make a conscious effort to give my full attention to each person that crosses my path. And I notice that when I am dedicating time to prayer and giving the Lord my full attention, I am better able to give that attention to the people the Lord send my way.
Learn from the past. Plan for the future. But live in the present.
God bless,
Fr. Burke
Here is the Spanish translation:
SANTIAGO 4:13-17
Hermanos míos: Consideremos ahora a los que dicen: “Hoy o mañana saldremos para tal ciudad, ahí viviremos unos años, pondremos un negocio y nos haremos ricos”. Ésos no tienen idea de lo que será el mañana. Pues ¿qué cosa es la vida de ustedes? Una nubecilla que se ve un rato y luego se desvanece.
Lo que ustedes deberían decir es esto: “Si el Señor nos presta vida, haremos esto y aquello”. En lugar de eso, presumen de ser autosuficientes; y toda esa clase de presunciones es mala.
En resumen, el que sabe cómo portarse bien y no lo hace, está en pecado.
¿Tienes tu vida planeada? ¿Lo tienes todo resuelto? Ese era yo hace muchos años. Yo tenía mi vida planeada. Yo iba a ser un jugador profesional de béisbol, casarme, tener una familia grande, hacer mucho dinero y vivir feliz para siempre. Ese era el plan. Le pedí a Dios que bendiga mi plan. Estoy seguro que todos hemos hecho eso.
Y sin embargo… Santiago nos dice hoy, “no tienen idea de lo que será el mañana.” Deberíamos estar diciendo: “Si el Señor nos presta vida, haremos esto y aquello.” En otras palabras, deberíamos estar buscando la voluntad de Dios en nuestras vidas por encima de todo.
Y esta lectura me recuerda a que viva en el momento presente. Algunas personas viven en el pasado, siempre pensando en los “buenos viejos tiempos”. Algunas personas viven en el futuro, siempre pensando en el próximo proyecto, la próxima meta, la próxima promoción. Pocas personas viven en el momento presente, disfrutando el regalo que Dios nos da en la persona justo en frente de nosotros.
Cuando leí la vida de los santos, una cosa que tienen en común es la capacidad de vivir en el presente. Cuando estoy en la presencia de personas santas, siento como si yo fuera la única persona viva en ese momento. Ellos me dan toda su atención. Muchas personas han comentado cómo San Juan Pablo II y la Beata Madre Teresa podían dar toda su atención al momento presente y a la persona en frente de ellos. Estoy seguro de que cualquier persona que se encontró con Jesús tuvo esta misma experiencia.
Presta atención a tus pensamientos. ¿Estás viviendo en el pasado? ¿O estás viviendo en el futuro? ¿El momento presente se te está pasando? Tengo que hacer un esfuerzo consciente de darle toda mi atención a cada persona que se cruza en mi camino. Y noto que cuando estoy dedicando tiempo a la oración y dando al Señor toda mi atención, soy más capaz de dar esa atención a las personas que el Señor envía en mi camino.
Aprende del pasado. Planea para el futuro. Pero vive en el presente.
Dios te bendiga,
Padre Burke

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