Posted by: frburke23 | March 5, 2014

Thought for Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”

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

As we enter this holy season of Lent, we are reminded of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  We are asked to deny ourselves and take up our cross.  This is easier said than done.  It is easier to be selfish that it is to be selfless.  Our world teaches us to live in comfort and take care of every desire that we have – physical, emotional, psychological, etc.  And yet Pope Emeritus Benedict told us, “You are not made for comfort.  You are made for greatness.”  And greatness comes from pouring out our lives for others.

Archbishop Sartain used to say regularly, “I have never met a selfish person that is happy.”  And I agree.  The most joyful people that I have ever met are also the most generous.  And I’m not just talking financially; it is the way that they live their lives.  They are selfless.  They put others’ needs before their own. 

Jesus tells us “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”  What does He mean?  I believe the Lord is telling us that this life is not our own.  We each have a vocation, a calling.  God has a beautiful plan for each one of us, which includes building up the Kingdom of God here on earth.  To do this, we are asked to deny our own selfish desires and seek the best for others.  That is what true love is – seeking the best for the other person without expecting anything in return.

I believe that Jesus is trying to teach me how to be more selfless in my actions.  There are certainly times that I want to be selfish and just do my own thing.  And when I do my own thing, there is never any lasting satisfaction.  However, when I pour out my life for others in loving service, I may end the day physically tired, but my spirit is soaring. 

I must say that we have to find a healthy balance.  We have to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but sometimes we take care of ourselves to an extreme at the expense of serving others.

How generous am I with the gifts God has given me?

Do I willingly take up my cross to be a disciple of Jesus?

What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

LUCAS 9:22-25

Jesús dijo a sus discípulos:
“El Hijo del hombre debe sufrir mucho, y ser rechazado
por los ancianos, los sumos sacerdotes y los escribas,
y ser asesinado, y resucitar al tercer día”.
Después le dijo a todos,
“Si alguno desea venir en pos de mí, debe negarse a sí mismo
y tome su cruz cada día y sígame.
Porque el que quiera salvar su vida, la perderá;
pero el que pierda su vida por mi causa, la salvará.
¿De qué le sirve al hombre ganar el mundo entero
si se pierde o se destruye a sí mismo?”

________________________________________________________

A medida que entramos en este tiempo santo de Cuaresma, se nos recuerda de lo que significa ser un discípulo de Jesús. Se nos pide que nos neguemos a nosotros mismos y tomar nuestra cruz. Esto es más fácil decirlo que hacerlo. Es más fácil ser egoísta que ser desinteresado. Nuestro mundo nos enseña a vivir en comodidad y cuidar cada deseo que tengamos – físico, emocional, psicológico, etc. Y sin embargo el Papa Benedicto Emérito nos dijo: “No estás hecho para la comodidad. Tú estás hecho para la grandeza.” Y la grandeza viene de derramar nuestras vidas por los demás.

Arzobispo Sartain solía decir regularmente, “Nunca he conocido a una persona egoísta que sea feliz.” Y estoy de acuerdo. Las personas más alegres que he conocido son también las más generosas. Y no estoy hablando sólo financieramente, es la forma en que viven sus vidas. Son desinteresados. Ellos ponen las necesidades de los demás antes que las suyas.

Jesús nos dice: “el que quiera salvar su vida la perderá, pero el que pierda su vida por mi causa, la salvará.” ¿Qué quiere decir El? Creo que el Señor nos está diciendo que esta vida no es nuestra. Cada uno de nosotros tiene una vocación, un llamado. Dios tiene un hermoso plan para cada uno de nosotros, lo que incluye construir del Reino de Dios aquí en la tierra. Para hacer esto, se nos pide que neguemos nuestros propios deseos egoístas y buscar lo mejor para los demás. Eso es lo que es el amor verdadero – buscando lo mejor para la otra persona sin esperar nada a cambio.

Creo que Jesús está tratando de enseñarme como ser más desinteresado en mis acciones. Ciertamente hay veces que quiero ser egoísta y sólo hago lo mío. Y cuando hago lo mío, nunca hay ninguna satisfacción duradera. Sin embargo, cuando derramo mi vida por los demás en el servicio amoroso, puedo terminar el día físicamente cansado, pero mi espíritu esta altísimo.

Debo decir que tenemos que encontrar un equilibrio saludable. Tenemos que cuidarnos físicamente, emocionalmente y espiritualmente, pero a veces cuidamos de nosotros mismos hasta el extremo, a expensas de servir a los demás.

¿Qué tan generoso soy con los dones que Dios me ha dado?
¿Tomo mi cruz de buena gana para ser un discípulo de Jesús?
¿De qué le sirve al hombre ganar el mundo entero si se pierde o se destruye a sí mismo?

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke


Responses

  1. Greetings Fr. Burke! I have replied in the past that I so enjoy your posts. I really believe your writings have deepened in thought over the years you have been doing them. I always feel I am sitting in a class with the best teacher when I finish your reflections. Thank you. I have had the pleasure of meeting you at various retreats, but yesterday my son, Marty, met you at the Diocesan office with my brother-in-law, Ed Flavin, as he was filming Bishop Conlon. He enjoyed meeting you and hearing a little about your journey tot the priesthood.
    I hope we have an opportunity to meet in person again. God bless.
    Karen Flavin

  2. This means so much to me as my 101 year old husband is in a nursing home after miss treatment by a doctor. I know God works all things together for good so I know something will come out of this for good. I can’t wait to see what! I use your messages as part of my responsibility in our Serra Club meetings and everyone is blessed even our priest! God bless you and your ministry. Gail Miller

  3. Thank you for your encouraging words you are a true Desciple of Jesus,have a blessed Lent.

  4. Fr. Burke,

    “You are not made for comfort.  You are made for greatness.”  What a great quote!  I’m going to hang it up in my kitchen.  Not only is it a reminder to me, but also to my children who for some reason think that life is all about having fun (and therefore don’t want to go to school, do chores, do homework, clean their rooms because “it’s not fun.”)  Now when I tell them that God didn’t put us on this earth just to have fun — that He has more important plans for us, I’ve got the Pope Emeritus backing me up!

    Thanks for another wonderful reflection.  Have a great day! Jessica

    >________________________________ > From: Fr. Burke Masters >To: jwardfelice@yahoo.com >Sent: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 1:34 PM >Subject: [New post] Thought for Thursday after Ash Wednesday > > WordPress.com >frburke23 posted: ” luke 9:22-25 Jesus said to his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to c” >


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