Posted by: frburke23 | September 28, 2015

Thought for September 29, Feast of the Archangels

John 1:47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Today was an amazing day in Rome! We left Assisi this morning and arrived in the early afternoon to go directly to the catacombs of St. Calixtus, where over 500,000 people were buried between the 2nd and 5th century. Everyone had to be buried outside the city walls. Many popes and St. Cecelia were buried there.

Between the 5th and 8th centuries the barbarians trashed the cemetery, opening graves to steal any precious treasures there. Then for about 1000 years the catacombs were left abandoned until a scientist came and restored the catacombs. The remains of the popes and saints were taken to churches in Rome. It is a fascinating tour if you are in Rome.

Then we went to St. Paul Outside the Walls, the 2nd oldest church (after St. John Lateran) in Christendom and the 2nd largest church (after St. Peter’s Basilica). We had time to pray near the tomb of St. Paul and then we celebrated Mass in one of the side chapels.

St. Paul is one of my favorites because he risked everything, even his very life to share the Gospel with the world. I pray that he inspires me and people around the world to lay down their lives for Christ. He probably is the reason that most of us are Christians today.

Then we had dinner and four of our Joliet seminarians joined us as they are in Rome for the semester. It was great to catch up with them! The people in our group really enjoyed meeting the seminarians and want to attend their 2020 ordination, God willing.

Today the Church celebrates the Archangels – Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Angel means “messenger” and God has sent these messengers throughout history to speak to His people. Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive and bear a Son, for example. May we be open to the messages of God through all of His angels.

How can I let St. Paul’s zeal affect the way I live my life?
Do I believe that God tries to communicate with me through His angels?

Have a blessed day! St. Paul, pray for us!
Fr. Burke

Spanish translation:

Juan 1:47-51

En aquel tiempo, cuando Jesús vio que Natanael se acercaba, dijo: “Éste es un verdadero israelita en el que no hay doblez”. Natanael le preguntó: “¿De dónde me conoces?” Jesús le respondió: “Antes de que Felipe te llamara, te vi cuando estabas debajo de la higuera”. Respondió Natanael: “Maestro, tú eres el Hijo de Dios, tú eres el rey de Israel”. Jesús le contestó: “Tú crees, porque te he dicho que te vi debajo de la higuera. Mayores cosas has de ver”. Después añadió: “Yo les aseguro que verán el cielo abierto y a los ángeles de Dios subir y bajar sobre el Hijo del hombre”.


¡Hoy fue un día increíble en Roma! Salimos de Asís esta mañana y llegamos temprano en la tarde para ir directamente a las catacumbas de San Calixto, donde más de 500,000 personas fueron enterradas entre el 2º  y 5º siglo. Todos tenían que ser enterrados fuera de las murallas de la ciudad. Muchos papas y Santa Cecilia fueron enterrados allí.

Entre los siglos 5º y 8º los bárbaros destrozaron el cementerio, abriendo tumbas para robar cualquier tesoro precioso de allí. Luego por alrededor de unos 1000 años las catacumbas fueron abandonadas hasta que un científico vino y restauró las catacumbas. Los restos de los papas y santos fueron llevados a las iglesias en Roma. Es un recorrido fascinante si estás en Roma.

Luego fuimos a San Pablo Extramuros, la segunda iglesia más antigua (después de San Juan de Letrán) en la Cristiandad y la segunda iglesia más grande (después de la Basílica de San Pedro). Tuvimos tiempo para orar cerca de la tumba de San Pablo y luego celebramos Misa en una de las capillas laterales.

San Pablo es uno de mis favoritos porque arriesgó todo, hasta su propia vida para compartir el Evangelio con el mundo. Pido a Dios que me inspire a mí y a la gente alrededor del mundo para dar sus vidas por Cristo. Probablemente él es la razón por la que la mayoría de nosotros somos cristianos hoy en día.

Luego tuvimos cena y cuatro de nuestros seminaristas de Joliet nos acompañaron ya que están en Roma para el semestre. ¡Fue genial ponernos al día con ellos! Las personas en nuestro grupo realmente disfrutaron mucho conocer a los seminaristas y quieren asistir a su ordenación 2020, primero Dios.

Hoy la Iglesia celebra los Arcángeles – Miguel, Gabriel y Rafael. Ángel significa “mensajero” y Dios ha enviado a estos mensajeros a lo largo de la historia para hablar a Su pueblo. Gabriel le anunció a María que ella concebiría y daría a luz un hijo, por ejemplo. Que podamos estar abiertos a los mensajes de Dios a través de todos Sus ángeles.

¿Cómo puedo permitir que el celo de San Pablo afecte la manera en que vivo mi vida?

¿Creo que Dios intenta comunicarse conmigo a través de Sus ángeles?

¡Tengan un día bendecido! ¡San Pablo, ruega por nosotros!

Padre Burke



  1. Fr. Burke Masters,

    You are truly blessed by the Angels and Saints. May the love of Jesus be with you and your travelers. And God bless the Joliet seminarians.

    Douglas True

  2. Father, I think it’s interesting that Saint Paul resonates with you and so many others. I think the saints we are influenced by–may tell us something about ourselves. As I got older, it was St. Patrick that spoke to me. St. Paul is so smart and his verses are so full of words that you have to read him quickly or you lose track of your thoughts. Someone told me a long time ago that so much of Christianity comes to us through St. Paul–he is a giant. St. Patrick was a kind of over-achiever. Not very good with Latin and not very well educated when compared with others like St. Augustine, but his influence was great even if some was mythological. What we get from his writing is a faith that has a desperate edge to it–he is a saint who speaks to those who are insecure. He wants God to cover him on all sides and protect him. He spent most of his life serving those people who frightened him the most. Thank you Father for your posts.

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