Posted by: frburke23 | October 9, 2015

Thought for Friday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time

Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
all who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the LORD, your God,
and cry to the LORD!

Alas, the day!
for near is the day of the LORD,
and it comes as ruin from the Almighty.

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all who dwell in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming;
Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom,
a day of clouds and somberness!
Like dawn spreading over the mountains,
a people numerous and mighty!
Their like has not been from of old,
nor will it be after them,
even to the years of distant generations.


The prophet Joel is warning the Israelites about their impending doom and destruction unless they change their ways.  He calls for fasting and prayer “for near is the day of the Lord”.

This could easily be addressed to our nation and world today.  And it makes me think about Pope Francis’ recent address to Congress and the United Nations.  He called all of us to be Christ for the world.  He reminded us of our dignity as human beings and our call to love our brothers and sisters.  He reminded us that we are to care for our neighbor.

Our country needed a wakeup call.  Many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, tell me they were moved to tears by his words and presence.  He reminded us of who we are and why we are here.

We are so focused on the material goods of this world.  We work 15 hours a day so that we can have nice things and expensive vacations.  We are honored for our achievements and strive to be noticed for what we do.  We seek pleasure in the many different ways that it is offered to us.  We find our identity and refuge in power, pleasure, honor and wealth.

And the Lord is going to come for each one of us in our time.  Are we ready for Him to come for us?  If you were to die today, would you be ready to come face to face with Jesus?  In the words of the prophet Joel, spend time in prayer and fasting for the day of the Lord is near.  May we change our lives today so that Jesus is our top priority.  May His light shine brightly in our hearts.  May we know our identity as His beloved sons and daughters and not seek our identity from others.

Am I ready for the Lord’s coming?

Can I dedicate myself to prayer and fasting for my own conversion and the conversion of the world?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Spanish translation:

JOEL 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Hagan penitencia y lloren, sacerdotes;

giman, ministros del altar;
vengan, acuéstense en el suelo vestidos de sayal,
ministros de mi Dios,
porque el templo del Señor
se ha quedado sin ofrendas y sacrificios.

Promulguen un ayuno,
convoquen la asamblea,
reúnan a los ancianos
y a todos los habitantes del país
en el templo del Señor, nuestro Dios,
y clamen al Señor:
“¡Ay de nosotros en aquel día!”
Porque ya está cerca el día del Señor,
y llegará como el azote del Dios todopoderoso.

Toquen la trompeta en Sión,
den la alarma en mi monte santo;
que tiemblen los habitantes del país,
porque ya viene, ya está cerca el día del Señor.
Es un día de oscuridad y de tinieblas,
día de nubes y de tormenta;
como la aurora se va extendiendo sobre todos los montes,
así se extenderá el poderoso ejército que viene:
nunca hubo uno como él
ni habrá otro igual a él por muchas generaciones.


El profeta Joel está advirtiendo a los israelitas acerca de su muerte y destrucción inminente a menos que cambien sus formas. Él llama al ayuno y la oración “porque ya está cerca el día del Señor”.

Esto podría ser fácilmente dirigido a nuestra nación y el mundo de hoy. Y me hace pensar en el discurso reciente del Papa Francisco ante el Congreso y las Naciones Unidas. Nos llamó a todos nosotros a  ser Cristo para el mundo. Nos recordó de nuestra dignidad como seres humanos y nuestro llamado para amar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas. Él nos recordó que debemos cuidar de nuestro prójimo.

Nuestro país necesitaba un llamado de atención. Muchas personas, católicas y no católicas por igual, me dicen que fueron conmovidos hasta las lágrimas por sus palabras y su presencia. Él nos recordó quiénes somos y por qué estamos aquí.

Estamos tan concentrados en los bienes materiales de este mundo. Trabajamos 15 horas al día para que podamos tener cosas buenas y vacaciones costosas. Nos sentimos honrados por nuestros logros y nos esforzamos para ser notados por lo que hacemos. Buscamos placer en las muchas maneras distintas que se nos ofrecen. Encontramos nuestra identidad y refugio en el poder, placer, honor y riqueza.

Y el Señor vendrá por cada uno de nosotros en nuestro tiempo. ¿Estamos listos para que venga por nosotros? Si fueras a morir hoy, ¿estaría listo para encontrarte cara a cara con Jesús? En las palabras del profeta Joel, pasa tiempo en oración y ayuno porque ya está cerca el día del Señor. Que podamos cambiar nuestras vidas hoy para que Jesús sea nuestra prioridad. Que Su luz brille en nuestros corazones. Que podamos conocer nuestra identidad como Sus hijos e hijas amados y no buscar nuestra identidad de los demás.

¿Estoy listo para la venida del Señor?

¿Puedo dedicarme a la oración y el ayuno para mi propia conversión y la conversión del mundo?

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Padre Burke



  1. Jesus came to me in my dreams last night…

    I wanted to write this dream down someplace and I thought well it was so cool why not share it…

    So I have been praying so hard … Especially right before I went to sleep for Mary on the emergency prayer email … From the Cursillo prayer chain..l

    I decided not to take my a Immaculate Heart of Mary Scapula off … This is the first time I slept in it…

    I woke at 3:30 and heard Geoff take the puppies out …

    I haven’t dreamt very much … I begged the Holy Spirit to protect me
    Mary and St. Michael too … So as I’m discerning this dream I have to believe they wouldn’t let evil into my dreams …

    I saw the Pope … He then turned into Jesus when he took his white beanie off … I couldn’t believe it was Jesus in normal clothes …

    I asked Jesus for an ID … Just to be sure ( lol I ID’d Jesus!!!)

    He showed me his Passport … Which was VERY impressive … He was SO beautiful … His eyes were Hazel … His hair medium length … Not at all what I’ve seen in art…

    I asked to kiss his ring … It was on his right hand … Looked VERY sold it was near the tip of his index finger … It was the color of ivory and a small stone … with beads of garnets attached … I almost thought it looked like a Rosary instead of a ring but I kissed it…

    He spoke normally … My mom and brother were there too and I kept trying to change my clothes to be more modest …

    When I woke up I didn’t want to forget all this detail and kept asking the Holy Spirit if that was really Jesus… I believe it was.

    This whole journey has been very intense …

  2. I’ve heard all my life that we should fast but no one has ever explained how that helps us spiritually. It says in the Bible you shouldn’t flail your body, but I’ve heard that past popes have. Tattoos were supposed to be verboten but even priests have them. As I grow older I’m as confused as I’ve ever been. Please pray for me as well as all of us who are so easily confused.

    • I think we’re all confused … I’m reading this cool book ( fiction ) it’s got some profound thoughts … Like … Mystery builds trust … Time is God’s playground …

      We will never truly be able to grasp meanings … That’s where faith and trust come in … You receive answers to your prayers but the Holy Spirit knows what you need better than you do … I pray the rosary a lot and have very long conversation with God … I pray while driving … Sometimes my rosary can last five hours… It’s very healing …

      I will pray for you Arlene… xxx

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