Posted by: frburke23 | July 24, 2014

Thought for Thursday, 16th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:10-17

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?”
He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven
has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.
To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because
they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.
Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”


I write today’s reflection from Seattle after the second day of our Catholic Baseball Camp with Mike Sweeney.  This has been an amazing experience and I hope to bring a camp like this to Joliet in the summer of 2015!  We begin each day with Mass at 8am.  And then we have baseball drills for the 150 kids (ages 8-16) until noon.  The coaching staff if made up of former major and minor league players, current college and high school players – all wonderful men.

After lunch we play scrimmage games with the kids that are very fun.  Then we have a talk on the rosary and beauty of walking hand in hand with the mother of God.  We then pray all or part of the rosary.  We finish the day with a talk on the mercy of God and invite the kids to go to confession.  Priests go to the pitcher’s mound, first base, second base and third base and the kids line up to go to confession.  It is such a beautiful thing to see the young people with the desire to go to confession, pray the rosary and attend Mass 

In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”  What is Jesus trying to tell us?  Why would He take away what little we have?

I believe that God gives each one of us special gifts and talents.  When we use these gifts and talents for God’s greater glory, the Lord blesses us with even more gifts to be given away.  We become like a clearing house of God’s blessings.  The Lord floods us with grace and as long as we continue to pour it out for others, He gives us more and more.

The opposite is true also.  When we either don’t use our gifts at all or use them for selfish purposes, the Lord takes them away and gives them to someone who will use them for His glory.

Mike Sweeney and the other coaches here are using their gifts and talents to spread the Gospel.  God is abundantly blessing their efforts and good work.  What are you doing with your gifts and talents?  How are you using them to bring others closer to Jesus Christ?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

Mateo 13:10-17

Los discípulos se acercaron a Jesús y le dijeron:
“¿Por qué les hablas en parábolas a la multitud?”
Él les dijo en respuesta,
“Porque el conocimiento de los misterios del Reino de los cielos
se les ha otorgado a ustedes, pero a ellos no les ha sido otorgado.
Al que tiene, se le dará más y le sobrará;
Al que no tiene, aun lo que tiene le será quitado.
Por eso les hablo en parábolas, porque
miran pero no ven y oyen pero no escuchan ni entienden.
La profecía de Isaías se cumple en ellos, lo cual dice:

Ustedes oirán pero no entenderán,
en verdad miraran, pero nunca verán.
Endurecido es el corazón de este pueblo,
apenas escucharan con sus oídos,
han cerrado sus ojos,
para que sus ojos no vean
y escuchar con sus oídos
y su corazón no comprenda y no se conviertan
y yo los sanare.

“Dichosos sus ojos, porque ven,
y sus oídos, porque oyen.
En verdad les digo que muchos profetas y justos
desearon ver lo que ustedes ven, pero no lo vieron,
y oír lo que ustedes oyen, pero no lo oyeron”.


Escribo la reflexión de hoy desde Seattle después de nuestro segundo día de  Campamento de Béisbol Católico con Mike Sweeney. ¡Esta ha sido una increíble   experiencia y espero traer un campamento como este para Joliet en el verano de 2015! Comenzamos cada día con una misa a las 8 am. Y luego tenemos ejercicios de béisbol para los 150 niños (de edades 8-16) hasta el mediodía. El personal de entrenamiento está formado por ex jugadores de la liga mayor y menor, jugadores actuales del colegio y escuela secundaria – todos  hombres maravillosos.

Después del almuerzo  jugamos juegos de contacto con los niños que son muy divertidos. Luego tenemos  una charla sobre el rosario y la belleza de caminar mano a mano con la  madre de Dios. Luego oramos todo o parte del rosario. Terminamos el día con una charla sobre la misericordia de Dios e invitamos a los niños a ir a la confesión. Los sacerdotes van al montículo del lanzador, primera base, segunda base y tercera base y los niños hacen fila para  ir a la confesión. ¡Es una cosa tan hermosa ver a los jóvenes con el deseo de ir a la confesión, rezar el rosario y asistir a la misa!

En el  Evangelio de hoy Jesús dice, “Al que tiene, se le dará más y le sobrará; Al que no tiene, aun lo que tiene le será quitado.” ¿Qué está Jesús tratando de decirnos? ¿Por qué Él  querría quitarnos lo poco que tenemos?

Yo creo que Dios nos da a cada uno de nosotros dones y talentos especiales. Cuando utilizamos estos dones y talentos para la mayor gloria de Dios, el Señor nos bendice  con aún más dones para ser regalados. Nos convertimos  como un centro de intercambio de las bendiciones de Dios.  El Señor nos inunda con la gracia y mientras continuamos derramándola para los demás, El nos da más y más.

Lo contrario también es cierto. Cuando  no utilizamos nuestros dones en absoluto, o los utilizamos con fines egoístas, el Señor se los lleva y se los da a alguien que los utilizará para Su gloria.

Mike Sweeney y los otros entrenadores  de aquí están utilizando sus dones y talentos para difundir el Evangelio. Dios está bendiciendo abundantemente sus esfuerzos y buen trabajo. ¿Qué estás haciendo  con tus dones y talentos? ¿Cómo los  estás usando para acercar a otros a Jesucristo?

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke



  1. Awesome!!! Much needed! Love that you sit at bases to hear confessions!!!!!!!And this is a perfect time of year in Joliet diocese to do this kind of camp as most leagues have finished for the year and kids are getting into football end of July.

    Still would love to so something simple with you and boys (homeschool and others) –Wiffle ball, picnic and testimonial about how you became a ball player then priest. Confession And mercy talk sounds cool too!

    Cheri Hill St Patrick Yorkville 630-552-7774

    Blessings, Cheri Hill.630.552.7774 Sent from my iPhone


  2. Fr. Burke, I’ve struggled for a long time, and continue to struggle to this day, with trying to figure out what gifts / talents God has given me to share with others. Could you please help in guiding me to find out what gifts / talents I have to share with others? I pray to God every day asking for his love, mercy, kindness, understanding, as well as a stronger faith in His love. What more can I do? Thank you Fr. Burke. God bless! Mike McIntire PS – I’m friends with another priest you may know, Fr. Al from LaCrosse. If you can remember, please mention my name to him if you would like to know a little more of who I am, and my connection with Fr. Al. He’s an amazing priest and friend! Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:17:50 +0000 To:

  3. Great Job Father good luck with the baseball camp.



  4. Thank you Father for what you do, especially with the kids! For the rest, possibilities are endless. I will reflect on my gifts for others.

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