Posted by: frburke23 | October 3, 2013

Thought for October 4 – St. Francis of Assisi

Luke 10:1-12

Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”
_____________________________________________________

Today the Church remembers the great St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), the great medieval saint who was born in a wealthy family.  One day he came upon a leper and was repulsed.  He fought against his inner feelings and embraced the leper.  This began his conversion.  Later, as Francis was meditating with the crucifix, he heard the voice of God say, “Francis, go and rebuild my Church”.  He first thought God meant to rebuild the church physically, but later he realized that God was asking him to rebuild the Church spiritually.

It has happened throughout history that the Lord raises up saints who are willing to go against the popular culture and live a radical life of holiness for the Lord.  Francis was just one man, but look at the impact he has made on millions of people over the last 800 years.  His life of simplicity and poverty has inspired so many people to follow Jesus with their whole lives.

I have had the opportunity to visit Assisi twice in my life.  It is the most peace-filled place I have ever visited.

Jesus invites all of us in a very particular way….”Follow me.”  The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.  So many of us make excuses for why we can’t follow Jesus today.  Yet, following Jesus requires a radical YES, making Him our top priority in life.  Many people thought Francis was crazy because his YES was so radical.  Yet at the time of his death, Francis had 5000 men following his rule of life.

That is similar to today where many people think that priests and religious who take a vow of celibacy and chastity are crazy.  How can you live a life without being married or without sexual relations?  Our lives point to a reality beyond this world.  St. Francis’ life pointed to a reality beyond this world.  Following Christ with our WHOLE lives gives us a peace that this world cannot give us.

Where is my heart today?  Is Jesus my top priority?  Is Jesus the guiding principle for every decision that I make for myself and my family?  Am I afraid to stand out against society today?  St. Francis was not – they thought he was crazy.  Yet now he is remembered as an incredible follower of Christ, living a very simple life.

If Jesus is not my top priority, it is time to reevaluate my life and my priorities.  What excuses am I offering the Lord today to keep from following Him?  St. Francis left everything behind and found great joy, the pearl of great price.  I have to say, I feel the same way following the Lord as a priest.  Where is the Lord calling you?

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

Lucas 10:1-12
Jesús designó otros setenta y dos discípulos
a quienes envió por delante de él en parejas
a cada ciudad y lugar que él tenía la intención de visitar.

Él les dijo:
“La cosecha es abundante, pero los obreros son pocos;
Así que pregunten al dueño de la cosecha
que envíe obreros para su cosecha.
Sigan su camino;
he aquí, yo los envío como corderos entre lobos.
No lleven bolsa, ni saco, ni sandalias;
y no saluden a nadie por el camino.
En cualquier casa donde entren, primero digan:
“Paz en esta casa.”

Si una persona pacífica vive allí,
tu paz reposará sobre ella;
pero si no, se volverá a ustedes.
Permanezcan en la misma casa y coman y beban lo que se les ofrezca,
porque el obrero merece su salario.
No se muevan de casa en casa.
A cualquier ciudad que entren y los reciban,
coman lo que les pongan delante,
curen a los enfermos en ella y les dirán:
“El Reino de Dios está cerca de ustedes.
A cualquier ciudad que entren y no los reciban,
salgan a la calle y digan:
“El polvo de su ciudad que se pega a nuestros pies,
hasta eso sacudimos contra ustedes.”
Pero sepan esto: el Reino de Dios está cerca.
Yo les digo que será más tolerable para Sodoma en ese día, que para esa ciudad. ”

________________________________________________

Hoy la Iglesia recuerda el gran San Francisco de Asís (1182-1226), el gran santo medieval quien nació en una familia adinerada. Un día se encontró con un leproso y fue rechazado. Luchó contra sus sentimientos y abrazó al leproso. Esto comenzó su conversión. Más tarde, mientras Francisco estaba meditando con el crucifijo, el escucho la voz de Dios decir: “Francisco, ve y reconstruye mi Iglesia”. El primero pensó que Dios quiso decir que reconstruyera la iglesia físicamente, pero más tarde se dio cuenta de que Dios le estaba pidiendo que reconstruyera la Iglesia espiritualmente.

Ha sucedido a través de la historia que el Señor levanta a los santos que están dispuestos a ir en contra de la cultura popular y vivir una vida radical de santidad para el Señor. Francisco era solo un hombre, pero mira el impacto que él ha hecho a millones de personas en los últimos 800 años. Su vida de sencillez y pobreza ha inspirado a muchas personas a seguir a Jesús con toda su vida.

He tenido la oportunidad de visitar a Asís dos veces en mi vida. Es el lugar más lleno de paz que he visitado.

Jesús invita a todos nosotros de una manera muy particular…. “Sígueme.” La cosecha es abundante, pero los obreros son pocos. Muchos de nosotros hacemos excusas de por qué no podemos seguir a Jesús hoy. Sin embargo, el seguimiento de Jesús requiere un radical SI, haciéndolo a EL nuestra prioridad en la vida. Mucha gente pensó que Francisco estaba loco porque su SI era tan radical. Sin embargo, en el momento de su muerte, Francisco tenía 5.000 hombres siguiendo su regla de vida.

Esto es similar a hoy, donde muchas personas piensan que los sacerdotes y religiosos que toman un voto de celibato y la castidad están locos. ¿Cómo se puede vivir una vida sin estar casado ​​o sin relaciones sexuales? Nuestras vidas apuntan a una realidad más allá de este mundo. La vida de San Francisco apunto hacia una realidad más allá de este mundo. Seguir a Cristo con TODA nuestra vida nos da una paz que este mundo no puede darnos.

¿Dónde está mi corazón hoy? ¿Es Jesús mi prioridad? ¿Es Jesús el principio rector de cada decisión que hago para mí y mi familia? ¿Tengo miedo de destacarme frente a la sociedad de hoy? San Francisco no estaba – ellos pensaban que estaba loco. Sin embargo, ahora el es recordado como un increíble seguidor de Cristo, viviendo una vida muy simple.

Si Jesús no es mi prioridad, es hora de reevaluar mi vida y mis prioridades. ¿Qué excusas estoy ofreciendo al Señor hoy para no seguirlo? San Francisco dejó todo atrás y encontró gran gozo, la perla de gran precio. Tengo que decir, me siento de la misma manera siguiendo al Señor como sacerdote. ¿Dónde te está llamando el Señor?

Tengan un día bendecido,

Fr. Burke


Responses

  1. Fr. Burke

    I need some advice for my 15 year old niece Makenzie. My sister told me yesterday that she will not go to church because Makenzie says the Catholic Church will not allow gays to marry or to be in sexual relationships. What can I do or say to her to persuade her to return to church? She goes to a very expensive private school and most of her friends and parent do not practice any religion. Her parents (my sister) are going through a divorce and my sister’s husband does not attend church. My sister is Catholic but has been transformed very much by the culture. Is there anything I can do or should I just stay out of it.

    Thanks

    Christopher

    • Depending on your relationship with Makenzie, you might sit down and speak to her about her feelings. At that age, she might not understand why the Church teaches what it does about homosexual relationships, especially with our relativistic, over-sexualized culture. The Church loves all people, and because we love people, we want what is best for them. This is not something that we created – the teaching on homosexuality – it comes from God. We are only try to teach what God has taught us. It is meant for our good. But I would hear her out and meet her where she is and try to talk to her about the beauty of what the Church and God intend.

  2. In everything; to Jesus, for Jesus, and with Jesus.

    In everything.

    Sent from my iPhone


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