Posted by: frburke23 | May 26, 2015

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.”


We arrived safely in Mexico today.  The plane actually arrived a few minutes early, but then we stood in the immigration line for about two hours.  We are now at the Seminario Hispano in Mexico City.  Tomorrow we will meet with the formation team of the seminary, interview a possible new seminarian and spend time with Emmanuel, our current seminarian.

I love this passage from Mark.  We have all felt like Peter at one time or another.  He is wondering, “What’s in it for me?”  He has 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!

I can relate to this so much in my current vocation.  I remember thinking that I would have to sacrifice so much to be a priest – wife, children, wealth, family, etc.  However, after almost 13 years of priesthood, I don’t often think of the things that I have given up because the Lord has blessed me beyond my imagination.  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.

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 we ready to follow Christ? 

Are we doing it for the rewards, or are we doing it because He first loved us, and our only response is to give up everything to follow Him? 

Let us not count the costs to follow Jesus because He will carry us through any trial, any suffering, and He will also give us peace and joy that we never experienced from things of this world.  The Lord loves you and keeps His promises.

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation…

Evangelio según San Marcos 10,28-31.

Pedro le dijo: “Tú sabes que nosotros lo hemos dejado todo y te hemos seguido”.
Jesús respondió: “Les aseguro que el que haya dejado casa, hermanos y hermanas, madre y padre, hijos o campos por mí y por la Buena Noticia,
desde ahora, en este mundo, recibirá el ciento por uno en casas, hermanos y hermanas, madres, hijos y, campos, en medio de las persecuciones; y en el mundo futuro recibirá la Vida eterna.
Muchos de los primeros serán los últimos y los últimos serán los primeros”.


Llegamos con bien hoy en México.  Actualmente el avión llegó temprano pero esperamos casi dos horas en la línea de inmigración.  Ahora estamos en el Seminario Hispano en D.F.  Mañana tenemos una reunión con los formadores del seminario.  Después vamos a entrevistar un muchacho que puede ser un futuro seminarista.  Y después vamos a pasar tiempo con Emmanuel, nuestro seminarista de Joliet. 

Me encanta este pasaje de Marcos.  Todos nos hemos sentido como Pedro en un momento u otro.  Él se pregunta, “¿Que hay para mí en todo esto?” Él ha renunciado tanto para seguir a Jesús, y ahora quiere saber lo que él recibirá a cambio.   Jesús responde  diciéndole que él que sacrifica mucho en esta vida será recompensado cien veces ahora y recibirá la vida eterna por siempre. ¡WOW! Esa es una promesa increíble.

Yo puedo relacionar mucho de esto mi vocación actual.  Recuerdo el pensar que tenia que sacrificar tanto para ser un sacerdote – esposa, hijos, riqueza, familia, etc…  Sin embargo, después de casi 13 años de sacerdocio, ni pienso en las cosas que he sacrificado porque el Señor me ha bendecido más allá de mi imaginación.  He conocido personas tan extraordinarias, muchos de los cuales se han convertido en amigos por toda la vida. Quizás no tenga una esposa e hijos, pero mi familia espiritual es más grande de lo que me pudiera ver  imaginado.  Y ahora entiendo por qué llamamos a los sacerdotes “Padre” – es porque somos padres espirituales de muchas personas.  Pudiera ver hecho millones de dólares en una carrera de béisbol profesional, pero yo no cambiaría ser un sacerdote por cualquier cantidad de dinero del mundo.

El señor siempre cumple sus promesas.  Cuando realmente sacrificamos cosas con el fin de seguir a El, El nos bendecirá.  Pero no debemos mirar más allá de las dos palabras que Jesús pronuncia – “con las persecuciones”.  El seguir a Jesús no significa que toda preocupación se nos quitara y que nosotros nunca sufriremos.  Jesús nunca nos prometió esto.  De hecho, El nos dice que para seguirlo a El debemos levantar  nuestra Cruz diariamente.  He experimentado unas de las cosas más difíciles en mi vida desde que entré al seminario y me ordené sacerdote, pero de alguna manera estas dificultades con la ayuda de Jesucristo. 

¿Estamos dispuestos a seguir a Cristo? 

¿Lo estamos haciendo por las recompensas, o lo hacemos porque El primero nos amó, y nuestra única respuesta es el renunciar  todo lo posible para seguirlo a El? 

No contemos lo que cuesta seguir a Jesús porque él nos cargará durante cualquier juicio, cualquier sufrimiento y El también nos dará paz y alegría que nunca hemos experimentado de cosas de este mundo. El Señor te Ama y cumple sus promesas.

¡Que tengas un buen día!

Fr. Burke



  1. From the heart, Burke. Great message. Safe and bountiful travels. E

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. This spoke directly to my heart today. Thank you, Father.

  3. Fr. Burke,
    Your reflection today has really got me thinking.
    Blessings to you on your very purpose filled mission to Mexico. Say hi to Deacon Lupe’ for me. Could you please give me a call when you return to the states and have a free few minutes? I have some thoughts and ideas I’d like to run by you.
    Your friend in Christ,
    De Colores,
    Bob Larkin
    Best way to reach me is my cell phone – 630-267-2458

  4. May the good Lord continue to bless your precious life, Father Burke…. 1997 is about the same time I started having to deal with my many trials (literally) in my life as well, and it continued on and off for the next 12 years.  I too, recognize that God alone through His mercy and grace, brought me through the fire.

    I first met you when you came to St. Anne’s in Oswego, years ago (I now belong to St. Patrick’s in Yorkville) to tell your story as our new vocational priest for Joliet… I think I mentioned before how you touched my former husband who is no longer with us (he took his life 11/30/13), but I still pray for his poor soul….

    Thank you once again Father Burke for sharing your thoughts and spiritual experiences, even on your missions…  May God continue to go with you… and know that you are very much loved and prayed for by your church family…


    Sincerely in Christ,


    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”Fr. Burke Masters” Date:Mon, May 25, 2015 at 10:10 PM Subject:[New post] Thought for Tuesday, 8th Week in Ordinary Time

    frburke23 posted: “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 “

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