Posted by: frburke23 | June 5, 2019

Thursday of the 7th Week of Easter (June 6, 2019)

Thursday of the 7th Week of Easter (June 6, 2019)
 
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.
Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
“We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome.”
================
Today was our second full day in Nazareth and we spent the day around the Sea of Galilee. We began the day at the Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus gave His sermon on the mount (Matthew, chapter 5-7). It was a very hot day, but a beautiful one to see the glory of the day. The flowers were in full bloom and our pictures should be amazing with the contrast of the blue sky, green trees and shrubs, and the colorful flowers. We read the Beatitudes outside the chapel. We then went inside the chapel to sing praises to God.
 
Next. we drove down to Magdala, which continues to be excavated. It is believed that Magdala was a town of about 3,000-4,000 people during the time of Jesus. Mary Magdalene would be one of those citizens and she became a faithful follower of Jesus. A beautiful church dedicated to women was built in this place. We celebrated Mass in the church there, which has an altar shaped like a boat. I preached about God calling each one of us to be His faithful disciples. He calls us to trust Him and to cast into the deep water. God sends us all to be fishers of men.
 
We had a prayer service, thanking God for the amazing women of faith in our Church history and our family history. One of the highlights for me is a stunning painting of the woman who was hemorrhaging reaching out and touching the cloak of Jesus. As we know, her faith healed her as she touched Jesus. I now have a print of this painting in my office and have used it in healing retreats.
 
We then went to Capernaum where Jesus centered much of His public ministry. We saw the ruins of the house of Peter’s mother-in-law and the two synagogues that were built next to this house. A church was built above the ruins of Peter’s mother-in-law’s house. It was in the synagogue that Jesus taught His disciples, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” (John, chapter 6) This is always very emotional for me because the Eucharist brought me into the Catholic Church, drew me into the priesthood through Eucharistic adoration, and sustains me as a priest.
 
We drove down the coast on the west side to have lunch. We had the choice of eating a typical fish dinner from the sea, called St. Peter’s fish, which is tilapia. We could also order chicken or kabob. After lunch, we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We read the Scripture of Jesus walking on water and asking us to trust Him. The theme of trusting God completely has been prominent these first two days.
 
When we got off the boat, we visited a museum that houses a boat that was recovered from the sea recently, but it dates back to the 1st century, the time of Jesus. It is amazing to see things that date back to the time of Jesus.
 
We drove down the coast of the Sea of Galilee and visited the basilica that commemorates the place where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish to feed thousands. I remember kneeling in this church, asking the Lord to increase my faith that He can do anything in and through me. “Lord, please do not let my lack of faith be a limiting factor, but let me be your instrument of big and small things in this world.
 
We then went to the church of the Primacy of Peter where we read John 21:1-19, where Jesus invited Peter back to the charcoal fire. Peter denied Jesus at a charcoal fire outside the praetorium. After the resurrection, Jesus made a charcoal fire on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He invited Peter back to the wound of his denial, not to condemn him, but to heal him. Jesus calls each one of us back to our charcoal fire, not to condemn us, but to heal us. An interesting note that we learned here from our guide was that John notes that they caught 153 fish that day. In Hebrew numerology (a=1, b=2, etc.), the number 153 translates to “I am God.”
 
We prayed the rosary on the way back to the hotel and had a meeting among the 53 pilgrims and two guides. We shared who we are as well as what brought us to this pilgrimage. I was brought to tears many times as people shared very openly how the Lord called them specifically by name to be on this pilgrimage.
 
We then ate dinner and shared more highlights from the day. Most the pilgrims feel overwhelmed by the graces of the first two days. We can’t wait to visit Mt. Tabor and Mt. Carmel tomorrow.
 
Blessings,
Fr Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 4, 2019

Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter (June 5, 2019)

Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter (June 5, 2019)
 
Acts 20:28-38
At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.
======================
We arrived very late to our hotel in Nazareth Monday evening, so after a few hours of sleep, we were excited to celebrate Mass at 8am in the Basilica of the Annunciation right across the street from our hotel. Deacon Tom Thiltgen preached about having no fear after we read the Gospel of the Annunciation. God told Mary, “Do not be afraid,” even though she didn’t completely understand the plan. We too are chosen and loved by God and should not be afraid, for our heavenly Father is always with us.
 
I never get tired of visiting these holy sites as God touches something deep in me every time. Watching the faces of the pilgrims visit these sites for the first time feels like a parent on Christmas morning watching their children open the best gifts possible. There is nothing better than connecting people to their spiritual roots.
 
After Mass, we returned to the hotel for breakfast and a short nap for those who needed to catch up on sleep. At 11am we were back on the bus on our way to Cana to renew the wedding vows of 14 couples in our group, along with two couples who joined our group for the ceremony. I am always moved to see the tears in couples’ eyes as they renew their views, especially when they say, “in sickness and in health, in good times and bad….” Only they know all that they have been through and how the grace of God has helped them persevere in their vocation of holy matrimony.
 
From Cana we drove north near the border with Lebanon and Syria to a place called Caesarea Philippi. This is near the source of the Jordan River where the Romans had built a temple to the pagan gods during the time of King Herod. It is the place where Jesus said to Peter, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18) This location is not easy to get to, so Jesus may have gone there to counter the pagan influence by saying, “The gates of the netherworld shall not prevail over the Church.” (Matthew 16:18) It is also interesting that the water seemingly flows from the rocks. Jesus is the Living Water that flows from the Church through the Sacraments, just as water and blood flowed from His side while on the cross. The prophet Ezekiel talked about water flowing from the four sides of the Temple in Ezekiel 47.
 
Then we traveled eastward and upward as we scaled the mountains to the Golan Heights, which is now controlled by Israel. We were able to see Syria, including Damascus in the distance. It was quite a view of Syria, Israel and Lebanon.
 
We returned to the hotel for dinner and then participated in a special rosary celebration at the Basilica of the Annunciation, which will be shown on EWTN they said. It was a powerful experience for the group. As we left the Basilica tonight around 9:30pm, we encountered a parade for Ramadan in the streets. Today their 30-day fast ended and there is a huge celebration going on outside. The celebration is very family-oriented and peaceful.
 
Time for bed to be ready for a big day tomorrow! Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 3, 2019

Tuesday of the 7th Week of Easter (June 4, 2019)

Tuesday of the 7th Week of Easter (June 4, 2019)
 
Acts 20:17-27
 
From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.
 
“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
================
We just arrived safely in the Holy Land and it is time for bed. I will be posting updates each day about our pilgrimage. Our first Mass tomorrow is at the Basilica of the Annunciation.
 
In today’s reading, St. Paul is saying goodbye to the leaders of the Church in Ephesus. In his farewell speech, he tells the leaders that he has served the Lord in humility and has not shrunk from the task. He preached the Good News of Jesus Christ, despite the “tears and trials that came to me” from people who were trying to kill him.
 
Now Paul is feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, even though he anticipates “that imprisonment and hardships await” him. Jesus too went to Jerusalem knowing that death awaited Him. Jerusalem was the place where salvation would occur. That is why Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan” when Peter wanted to deny Jesus’s mission to Jerusalem. Nothing should get in the way of God’s plan. Do I trust the Father enough to go to Jerusalem, even if there is suffering involved?
 
Neither Jesus nor Paul worried about death because their mission was to be obedient to the Father and bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace, love and mercy, despite impending dangers. Paul had shared the Good News with everyone – now it was up to them to act upon it. “I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.” His conscience was clean because he completed the mission that God had given him.
 
Wouldn’t it be great if we could echo these words of St. Paul near the end of our lives? Will we be able to say, “I have completed the mission that God has given me?” Will we have any regrets on our death bed? Life is short. Let us live every day to the full. Let us preach the Gospel to everyone that the Lord places in our path.
 
Can we say, like Paul, “I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God?” It is very difficult to watch someone die when they have deep regrets. Grieving is more challenging for families when they wish they had said or done certain things.
 
Am I living out the plan God has for me?
Do I have any regrets about the way I have lived my life?
 
It is not too late to change. Start over today asking God for the grace to live out the mission He has given to you.
 
God bless,
Fr. Burke
==============================================
Martes de la 7a Semana de Pascua (4 de junio 2019)
 
Hechos 20:17-27
En aquellos días, hallándose Pablo en Mileto, mandó llamar a los presbíteros de la comunidad cristiana de Éfeso. Cuando se presentaron, les dijo:
 
“Bien saben cómo me he comportado entre ustedes, desde el primer día en que puse el pie en Asia: he servido al Señor con toda humildad, en medio de penas y tribulaciones, que han venido sobre mí por las asechanzas de los judíos. También saben que no he escatimado nada que fuera útil para anunciarles el Evangelio, para enseñarles públicamente y en las casas, y para exhortar con todo empeño a judíos y griegos a que se arrepientan delante de Dios y crean en nuestro Señor Jesucristo.
 
Ahora me dirijo a Jerusalén, encadenado en el espíritu, sin saber qué sucederá allá. Sólo sé que el Espíritu Santo en cada ciudad me anuncia que me aguardan cárceles y tribulaciones. Pero la vida, para mí, no vale nada. Lo que me importa es llegar al fin de mi carrera y cumplir el encargo que recibí del Señor Jesús: anunciar el Evangelio de la gracia de Dios.
 
Por lo pronto sé que ninguno de ustedes, a quienes he predicado el Reino de Dios, volverá a verme. Por eso declaro hoy que no soy responsable de la suerte de nadie, porque no les he ocultado nada y les he revelado en su totalidad el plan de Dios”.
=======================
Acabamos de llegar sanos y salvos a Tierra Santa y es hora de dormir. Estaré publicando actualizaciones cada día sobre nuestra peregrinación. Nuestra primera misa de mañana es en la Basílica de la Anunciación.
 
En la lectura de hoy, San Pablo le está diciendo adiós a los líderes de la Iglesia de Éfeso. En su discurso de despedida, les dice a los líderes que ha servido al Señor en humildad y no se ha rehuido de la tarea. Él predicó la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo en medio de “penas y tribulaciones que han venido sobre mí” de personas que trataban de matarlo.
 
Ahora Pablo se siente obligado por el Espíritu Santo para ir a Jerusalén, a pesar de que siente que “le aguardan “cárceles y tribulaciones”. Jesús también fue a Jerusalén, sabiendo que la muerte lo esperaba. Jerusalén era el lugar donde se produciría la salvación. Es por eso que Jesús le dijo a Pedro: “Apártate de mí, Satanás”, cuando Pedro quiso negar la misión de Jesús a Jerusalén. Nada debe interponerse en el camino del plan de Dios. ¿Tengo suficiente confianza en el Padre para ir a Jerusalén, aunque haya sufrimiento?
 
Ni Jesús ni Pablo se preocuparon por la muerte porque su misión era ser obedientes al Padre y dar testimonio del Evangelio de la gracia, amor y misericordia de Dios, a pesar de los peligros inminentes.
Pablo había compartido la Buena Nueva con todos – ahora dependía de ellos actuar. “No soy responsable de la suerte de nadie, porque no les he ocultado nada y les he revelado en su totalidad el plan de Dios. Su conciencia estaba limpia porque había completado la misión que Dios le había dado.
 
¿No sería magnífico si pudiéramos resonar estas palabras de San Pablo cerca del final de nuestras vidas? ¿Podríamos decir: “He completado la misión que Dios me ha dado”? ¿Tendremos algún remordimiento en nuestro lecho de muerte? La vida es corta. Vivamos cada día al máximo. Prediquemos el Evangelio a todos los que el Señor pone en nuestro camino.
 
¿Podemos decir, como Pablo, “No he rehuido de anunciarles todo el designio de Dios?” Es muy difícil ver a alguien morir cuando desearía haber hecho las cosas de manera diferente. El duelo es más desafiante para las familias cuando desean haber dicho o hecho ciertas cosas.
 
¿Estoy viviendo el plan que Dios tiene para mí?
¿Me arrepiento de la forma en que he vivido mi vida?
No es demasiado tarde para cambiar. Comienza el día de hoy pidiéndole a Dios la gracia de vivir la misión que Él te ha dado.
 
Dios los bendiga,
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 1, 2019

Ascension of our Lord (June 2, 2019)

Ascension of our Lord (June 2, 2019)
 
ACTS 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
 
When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
=================
In some dioceses in the US, the feast of the Ascension of our Lord is celebrated on Thursday (Ascension Thursday); however, in most dioceses it is celebrated on Sunday.
 
POWERFUL Last Words…
The last words that people speak before leaving this earth are typically very POWERFUL statements!
 
The last words I said to my dad before he passed away were, “I love you,” and “If I had the opportunity to choose my father, I would choose you every time.”
 
I have talked to other people on their death beds. They often say these or similar words to their family as they take their last breaths, “Love one another” or “Take care of one another.”
 
As Saint Pope John Paul II lay on his deathbed in 2005, his lasts words were “Let me go to the house of the Father.” These POWERFUL words show the depth of his faith and the assurance of where he was going.
 
The last words Jesus spoke before his death are written in John 19:30 when He said, “It is finished.” Jesus accomplished the mission that His Father had given Him.
 
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spoke with many people. His last words before leaving this earth are POWERFUL and found in Acts 1:8, just before His Ascension. Jesus said, “You will have POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the world.” These are important words for us to hear. Through the power of the Holy
Spirit you and I are called to be His witnesses. He sends us into the world. We are called to “go and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
 
Do you realize that the POWER of the Holy Spirit lives inside of you by your baptism?
Do you realize that this POWER is not an earthly power or a human power but a GODLY POWER? This is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, healed the blind man and made the cripple walk. This POWER is inside of you!
 
These were the last words of Jesus before he left this earth! “You will have POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” He told us that we will do the same things He did and even greater things through the power of the Holy Spirit. In this feast of the Ascension, we celebrate Jesus opening the doors of heaven for us and we prepare to receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit next Sunday on Pentecost.
 
The Ascension is not a sad day in which we lament Jesus leaving the earth. It is a joyful day because He has taken His seat at the right hand of the Father and now the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, has been unleashed upon the earth. Will you cooperate with the Holy Spirit and what God wants to do through you?
 
What will your last words be on this earth?
What do you want to say to your loved ones before they die?
How are you responding to Jesus’s last words to go and make disciples?
 
Have a blessed weekend!
Fr. Burke
============================
Ascensión del Señor (2 de junio 2019)
 
HECHOS 1:1-11
En mi primer libro, querido Teófilo, escribí acerca de todo lo que Jesús hizo y enseñó, hasta el día en que ascendió al cielo, después de dar sus instrucciones, por medio del Espíritu Santo, a los apóstoles que había elegido. A ellos se les apareció después de la pasión, les dio numerosas pruebas de que estaba vivo y durante cuarenta días se dejó ver por ellos y les habló del Reino de Dios.
 
Un día, estando con ellos a la mesa, les mandó: “No se alejen de Jerusalén. Aguarden aquí a que se cumpla la promesa de mi Padre, de la que ya les he hablado: Juan bautizó con agua; dentro de pocos días ustedes serán bautizados con el Espíritu Santo”.
 
Los ahí reunidos le preguntaban: “Señor, ¿ahora sí vas a restablecer la soberanía de Israel?” Jesús les contestó: “A ustedes no les toca conocer el tiempo y la hora que el Padre ha determinado con su autoridad; pero cuando el Espíritu Santo descienda sobre ustedes, los llenará de fortaleza y serán mis testigos en Jerusalén, en toda Judea, en Samaria y hasta los últimos rincones de la tierra.”
 
Dicho esto, se fue elevando a la vista de ellos, hasta que una nube lo ocultó a sus ojos. Mientras miraban fijamente al cielo, viéndolo alejarse, se les presentaron dos hombres vestidos de blanco, que les dijeron: “Galileos, ¿qué hacen allí parados, mirando al cielo? Ese mismo Jesús que los ha dejado para subir al cielo, volverá como lo han visto alejarse”.
==============
En algunas diócesis de los Estados Unidos, la fiesta de la Ascensión de nuestro Señor se celebró el jueves (Jueves de la Ascensión); sin embargo, en la mayoría de las diócesis se celebra el domingo.
Últimas palabras PODEROSAS…
¡Las últimas palabras que la gente dice antes de irse de esta tierra típicamente son declaraciones muy PODEROSAS!
 
Las últimas palabras que le dije a mi padre antes de que falleciera fueron: “Te amo” y “Si tuviera la oportunidad de elegir a mi padre, te elegiría cada vez.”
He hablado con otros en su lecho de muerte. A menudo le dicen estas palabras o similares a su familia mientras toman sus últimas respiraciones, “Ámense unos a otros”, o “Cuídense unos a otros.”
Mientras el Santo Papa Juan Pablo II estaba en su lecho de muerte en el 2005, sus últimas palabras fueron “Déjenme ir a la casa del Padre”. Estas palabras PODEROSAS muestran la profundidad de su fe y la seguridad de adónde iba.
 
Las últimas palabras que Jesús dijo antes de su muerte están escritas en Juan 19,30 cuando Él dijo: “Todo está cumplido.” Jesús cumplió la misión que su padre le había dado.
Después de que Jesús resucitó de entre los muertos, habló con muchas personas. Sus últimas palabras antes de dejar esta tierra son PODEROSAS y se encuentran en Hechos 1: 8, justo antes de Su Ascensión. Jesús dijo: “Pero cuando el Espíritu Santo descienda sobre ustedes, los llenará de fortaleza y serán mis testigos en Jerusalén, en toda Judea, en Samaria y hasta los últimos rincones de la tierra.” Estas son palabras importantes para que las escuchemos. A través del poder de lo Espíritu Santo, tu y yo estamos llamados a ser sus testigos. Él nos envía al mundo. Estamos llamados a “ir y hacer discípulos de todas las naciones” (Mateo 28:19)
¿Te das cuenta de que el PODER del Espíritu Santo vive dentro de ti por tu bautismo?
¿Te das cuenta de que este PODER no es un poder terrenal o un poder humano sino un PODER DIVINO? Este es el mismo poder que resucitó a Jesús de entre los muertos, curó al ciego e hizo que el lisiado caminara. Este PODER dentro de ti.
¡Estas fueron las últimas palabras de Jesús antes de dejar esta tierra! “Recibirán PODER cuando el Espíritu Santo venga sobre ustedes”. Él nos dijo que haríamos las mismas cosas que Él hizo e incluso cosas mayores a través del poder del Espíritu Santo. En esta fiesta de la Ascensión, celebramos a Jesús abriendo las puertas del cielo para nosotros y nos preparamos para recibir el PODER del Espíritu Santo el próximo domingo de Pentecostés.
La Ascensión no es un día triste en el que lamentamos que Jesús haya dejado la tierra. Es un día alegre porque Él se ha sentado a la diestra del Padre y ahora el Espíritu Santo, que procede del Padre y del Hijo, ha sido desatado sobre la tierra. ¿Cooperarás con el Espíritu Santo y lo que Dios quiere hacer a través de ti?
¿Cuáles serán tus últimas palabras en esta tierra?
¿Qué quieres decirles a tus seres queridos antes de que mueran?
¿Cómo estás respondiendo a las últimas palabras de Jesús para ir y hacer discípulos?
¡Que tengas un fin de semana bendecido!
Padre Burke
Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter (June 1, 2019) Memorial of St. Justin Martyr
 
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 18:23-28
After staying in Antioch some time,
Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence
through the Galatian country and Phrygia,
bringing strength to all the disciples.
 
A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,
an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus.
He was an authority on the Scriptures.
He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and,
with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus,
although he knew only the baptism of John.
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue;
but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside
and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.
And when he wanted to cross to Achaia,
the brothers encouraged him
and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.
After his arrival he gave great assistance
to those who had come to believe through grace.
He vigorously refuted the Jews in public,
establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.
========================================
Today my classmates and I celebrate the 17th anniversary of our ordination to the priesthood. I am so grateful to God for calling me to be His priest, for meeting so many incredible, faith-filled people, and for the opportunity to serve His Church for the salvation of souls. If I could choose all over again, I would be a priest every time!
 
We continue to follow St. Paul’s mission in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles today. We also continue to hear about the prominent role the married couple Priscilla and Aquila played in the early Christian community. There was a Jew named Apollos who was a Scripture scholar and eloquent speaker. Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos about “The Way,” which is what they called the early Christians. Apollos, who knew the Jewish Scriptures well, saw quickly all the connections between Jesus and the Old Testament prophecies and he began to boldly proclaim that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting.
 
Our faith makes sense. Some people try to dismiss faith as a crutch for the weak. Others say Christianity is fabricated; however, I would challenge everyone to study the faith, study the Scriptures and search their hearts. The more you study the Scriptures and spend time in prayer, the more it all fits together like a beautiful puzzle. That is what Apollos discovered. That is what billions of people have discovered throughout history. We were made by God and our hearts recognize the truth when we hear it.
 
Do you study the Scriptures daily so that your faith can be strengthened, and you can put on the mind of Christ?
Do you study your faith so that you become more convinced of the Truth?
 
Once you encounter the living Christ and begin to know Him through prayer and study, you will come to know and embrace the Truth, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
===============================
Sábado de la 6a Semana de Pascua (1 de junio 2019) Memoria de San Justino Mártir
 
HECHOS DE LOS APOSTOLES 18:23-28
En aquellos días, después de haber estado en Antioquía algún tiempo, emprendió Pablo otro viaje y recorrió Galacia y Frigia, confirmando en la fe a los discípulos.
 
Un judío, natural de Alejandría, llamado Apolo, hombre elocuente y muy versado en las Escrituras, había ido a Éfeso. Aquel hombre estaba instruido en la doctrina del Señor, y siendo de ferviente espíritu, disertaba y enseñaba con exactitud lo concerniente a Jesús, aunque no conocía más que el bautismo de Juan.
 
Apolo comenzó a hablar valientemente en la sinagoga. Cuando lo oyeron Priscila y Aquila, lo tomaron por su cuenta y le explicaron con mayor exactitud la doctrina del Señor. Como él deseaba pasar a Grecia, los hermanos lo animaron y escribieron a los discípulos de allá para que lo recibieran bien. Cuando llegó, contribuyó mucho, con la ayuda de la gracia, al provecho de los creyentes, pues refutaba vigorosamente en público a los judíos, demostrando, por medio de las Escrituras, que Jesús era el Mesías.
====================
Hoy mis compañeros y yo celebramos el 17 aniversario de nuestra ordenación al sacerdocio. Estoy muy agradecido a Dios por llamarme a ser su sacerdote, por conocer a tanta gente increíble y llena de fe, y por la oportunidad de servir a su Iglesia para la salvación de las almas. ¡Si pudiera elegir todo de nuevo, sería un sacerdote cada vez!
También seguimos escuchando acerca del papel prominente que la pareja casada de Priscilla y Aquila jugaron en la comunidad cristiana primitiva. Había un judío llamado Apolos que era un estudioso de las Escrituras y un hablante elocuente. Priscila y Aquila enseñaron a Apolo acerca de “El Camino,” que es lo que llamaron los primeros cristianos. Apolos, que conocía bien las Escrituras judías, vio rápidamente todas las conexiones entre Jesús y las profecías del Antiguo Testamento y comenzó a proclamar con valentía que Jesús era el Cristo, el Mesías por el que los judíos habían estado esperando.
 
Nuestra fe tiene sentido. Algunas personas tratan de desestimar la fe como una muleta para los débiles. Otros dicen que el cristianismo es fabricado; sin embargo, me gustaría desafiar a todos a estudiar la fe, estudiar las Escrituras y buscar sus corazones. Cuanto más se estudia las Escrituras y se pasa tiempo en oración, todo encaja como un hermoso rompecabezas. Y eso es lo que Apolo descubrió. Eso es lo que millones de personas han descubierto a lo largo de la historia. Fuimos hechos por Dios y nuestros corazones reconocen la verdad cuando la escuchamos.
 
¿Estudias las Escrituras diariamente para que tu fe pueda fortalecerse y puedas poner en la mente de Cristo?
¿Dónde está llamándome Dios a difundir la Buena Nueva?
 
Una vez que te encuentres con el Cristo vivo y comiences a conocerlo a través de la oración y el estudio, llegarás a conocer y abrazar la Verdad, porque Jesús es el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida.
 
¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 31, 2019)
 
Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
=========================
Imagine you were present that day when Mary arrived to visit her cousin Elizabeth. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel? I had the opportunity last year to visit the Church of the Visitation in this picturesque place on the side of a mountain. As we walked up the big incline, I was thinking about Mary making this journey. The mountain is not easy to climb. As I prayed with this Gospel, I was struck with the activity of Mary, Elizabeth, and John, while Jesus remained silent.
 
Mary has just received the greatest gift a human being has ever received – the Son of God in her womb. What would be your response to this Gift? Would you want to hide in your room so that you keep the Gift safe? Would you think, “Wow! I must be special in the eyes of God?” Would you think about making a difficult journey while pregnant?
 
When we receive great gifts, we often become very selfish with them. We see this especially with children on Christmas day. Many children have a very hard time sharing their toys with brothers and sisters. We sometimes act like selfish children with the gifts that God gives us. No gift is meant for us alone. Gifts are meant to be shared.
 
Mary had the proper response – she shared the Gift with others. She realized that this Gift was not meant for her alone, but for the entire world. It was not an easy trip to travel the hill country to Judah, but she wanted to share the Gift with her cousin Elizabeth. Mary was always thinking of others before herself. That is LOVE – wanting the best for the other person without expecting anything in return.
 
She went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who herself had conceived a miracle baby – John the Baptist. Both Elizabeth and her baby John, still in the womb, recognized the presence of Jesus right away. John leaped for joy in his mother’s womb. John would literally spend his life preparing the world for his cousin Jesus. He would be a voice crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” John received this mission from the womb. In the same way, God loves us and calls us from the womb of our mother.
 
Elizabeth’s words show her recognition of the Gift right away. She says the words that have become part of the “Hail Mary” – “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” She calls Mary “the mother of my Lord.” Immediately she senses the presence of God in the womb of her cousin! Wow! Do we have that sensitivity of the presence of God around us, in each person, in the Eucharist?
 
Mary’s soul “proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” Another translation says, “my soul magnifies the Lord.” A soul that is pure and open has the capability to magnify the Lord because it is not full of other things. It is as if our souls are chambers where the glory of God gains momentum and then shines forth to the world when our hearts are pure and focused on God. Mary could have bragged to Elizabeth about how she was the chosen one to bear the Son of God; however, in humility Mary gave the glory to the Father. How do we respond when we have been blessed with a great gift? Pride? “This is mine.” “I worked hard for this gift.” Or can I say in humility, “I want to magnify and glorify the Lord with this gift I have been given?”
 
Finally, I am struck by the silent presence of Jesus. Even though He isn’t “doing” anything in the Scripture passage, His presence is impacting everyone else around Him. He has a powerful effect on Mary, Elizabeth and John.
 
This is so true today, right? We may wonder at times where the Lord is. We want to see Him perform miracles or manifest Himself in some great way; yet, He remains silent, apparently doing nothing. It seems that He does not hear our prayers. It reminds me of the story in which Jesus is asleep in the boat while the storms swirled around them. They couldn’t believe Jesus was sleeping, but He was in control of the situation the whole time. The Lord is asking us to trust Him, even when it appears that He is silent or absent or asleep. He works in the silence, even when we think He is nowhere to be found. He works powerfully, yet silently, in the Eucharist and the other sacraments. He transforms the hearts of believers. He is alive and active despite what our senses tell us.
 
I remember wondering if God heard my cries when my mom died or when I felt alone or abandoned. Looking back on those situations, I realize God was closer to me than I ever imagined, carrying me through the storms and protecting me from even worse situations. Jesus, I trust in You.
 
What gifts have you received from God?
How are you sharing these gifts for the good of the world?
Do you realize that you, like Mary, can bring Christ to others because the Holy Spirit lives within you?
Do you have faith, even when it appears that God is silent or absent or asleep?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
============================================
Fiesta de la Visitación de la Santísima Virgen María (31 de Mayo de 2019)
Lucas 1:39-56
María partió
y viajo a la región montañosa de prisa
a una ciudad de Judá;
donde entró en casa de Zacarías
y saludó a Isabel.
Cuando Isabel oyó el saludo de María,
saltó la criatura en su vientre,
e Isabel, llena del Espíritu Santo,
clamado a gran voz, y dijo:
“¡Bendita tú entre las mujeres,
y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre.
Y ¿cómo me sucede esto a mí,
que la madre de mi Señor venga a mí?
Porque en el momento en que la voz de tu saludo llegó a mis oídos,
el niño en mi vientre saltó de gozo.
Bendita eres tú que creíste
que lo que te fue dicho de parte del Señor
se cumpliría”.
Y María dijo:
“Mi alma proclama la grandeza del Señor;
mi espíritu se alegra en Dios mi Salvador,
porque ha mirado con fervor su humilde siervo.
Desde el día de hoy todas las generaciones me llamarán bienaventurada:
porque el Poderoso ha hecho obras grandes por mí,
y santo es su Nombre.
Su misericordia llega a sus fieles
en cada generación.
Él ha mostrado la fuerza de su brazo;
dispersa a los soberbios de corazón.
Derribó a los potentados de sus tronos,
y ha levantado a los humildes.
Él ha llenado a los hambrientos de cosas buenas,
y a los ricos los despide vacíos.
Él ha venido en ayuda de su siervo Israel
porque se acordó de su promesa de misericordia,
la promesa que le hizo a nuestros padres,
a Abrahán y su descendencia por siempre”.
María permaneció con ella unos tres meses
y luego regresó a su casa.
======================
Imagínese que usted estuvo presente ese día cuando la virgen María llegó a visitar a su prima Isabel. ¿Qué escucharías? ¿Qué verías? ¿Qué sentirías? El año pasado tuve la oportunidad de visitar la Iglesia de la Visitación en este pintoresco lugar en la ladera de una montaña en Israel. Mientras caminábamos por la gran inclinación, estaba pensando en María haciendo este viaje. La montaña no es fácil subir. Mientras oraba con este evangelio, me llamó la atención acerca de lo que pasó entre María, Isabel, y Juan, mientras que Jesús permaneció en silencio en ese momento.
 
María acaba de recibir el Regalo más grande que un ser humano ha recibido en toda su vida – el Hijo de Dios en su vientre. ¿Cuál sería tu respuesta a este Regalo de Dios? ¿Te gustaría que lo escondieras en tu habitación para que se mantenga seguro el Regalo? ¿Te parece, increíble? “¿Tengo que ser especial a los ojos de Dios?” ¿Tú pensarías en hacer un viaje difícil durante el embarazo?
Cuando recibimos grandes regalos, a menudo nos volvemos muy egoístas con ellos. Vemos esto especialmente con los niños el día de Navidad. A muchos niños les es difícil compartir sus juguetes con sus hermanos. A veces actuamos como niños egoístas con los dones que Dios nos da. Ningún regalo de Dios es para nosotros solos. Los regalos que Dios nos da están destinados a ser compartidos
María tiene la respuesta correcta – ella compartió el regalo de Dios con los demás. Se dio cuenta de que este regalo no era para ella sola, sino para todo el mundo. No fue un viaje fácil de realizar por el país montañoso de Judá, pero quería compartir el Regalo con su prima Isabel. María siempre estaba pensando en los demás antes de sí misma. Eso es AMOR – queriendo lo mejor para la otra persona sin esperar nada a cambio.
Ella fue a visitar a su prima Isabel, quien había concebido un bebé de forma milagrosamente – Juan Bautista. Tanto Elizabeth como su bebé Juan (todavía en el vientre) reconocieron la presencia de Jesús inmediatamente. Juan saltó de alegría en el vientre de su madre. Juan literalmente pasó su vida preparando el camino en el mundo para su primo Cristo Jesús. Sería una voz que clama en el desierto: “Preparen el camino del Señor!” Juan recibió esta misión desde el vientre. De la misma manera, Dios nos ama y nos llama desde el vientre de nuestra madre.
 
Las palabras de su prima Isabel muestran su reconocimiento de la presencia de Dios de forma inmediata. Ella dice las palabras que han pasado a formar parte del “Ave María” – ” Bendita tú entre todas las mujeres y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre.” Ella llama a María “la Madre de mi Señor.” ¡Inmediatamente ella detecta la presencia de Dios en el vientre de su prima! ¡Esto es increíble! ¿Descubrimos la presencia de Dios que está con nosotros, en cada persona, o en la Eucaristía?
El alma de María “proclama la grandeza del Señor.” Otra traducción dice: “Mi alma magnifica al Señor.” Un alma que es pura y abierta tiene la capacidad de magnificar al Señor porque no está llena de otras cosas. Es como si nuestras almas fueran cámaras donde la gloria de Dios cobra impulso y luego brille en el mundo cuando nuestros corazones están puros y enfocados en Dios. Maria podría haberse sentido superior a Elizabeth acerca de cómo ella fue la elegida para llevar el Hijo de Dios; sin embargo, en la humildad María dio la gloria al Padre. ¿Cómo respondemos cuando hemos sido bendecidos con un gran regalo? ¿Siendo orgullosos? “Esto es mío.” “Trabajé mucho por este regalo.” ¿O puedo decir con humildad: “Quiero magnificar y glorificar al Señor con este regalo que me ha dado?”
 
Por último, me llama la atención la presencia silenciosa de Jesús. A pesar de que Jesús no “hace” nada en este pasaje de las Escrituras, su presencia está impactando a todos los demás a su alrededor. Él tiene un poderoso efecto sobre María, Isabel y Juan.
Esto es tan cierto hoy en día, ¿verdad? Podemos preguntarnos algunas veces donde está el Señor. Queremos verle hacer milagros o manifestarse de manera grandiosa y extraordinaria; sin embargo, Él permanece en silencio, al parecer, no hace nada. Parece que no oye nuestras oraciones. Me recuerda la historia en la que Jesús está dormido en la barca mientras las tormentas se arremolinaban a su alrededor. No podían creer que Jesús estaba durmiendo, pero estuvo en control de la situación todo el tiempo. El Señor nos está pidiendo que confiemos en Él, incluso cuando parece que Él está en silencio o ausente o dormido. Él trabaja en el silencio, incluso cuando pensamos que no está en ninguna parte. Trabaja poderosamente, pero en silencio, en la Eucaristía y en los otros sacramentos. Él transforma los corazones de los creyentes. Él está vivo y activo a pesar de lo que nuestros sentidos nos dicen.
 
Recuerdo pensando si Dios escuchó mi llanto cuando murió mi madre o cuando me sentí solo o abandonado. Mirando hacia atrás en esas situaciones, me doy cuenta de que Dios estaba más cerca de mí de lo que nunca imaginé, llevándome a través de las tormentas y protegiéndome de situaciones aún peores. Jesús, en ti confío.
 
¿Qué dones has recibido de Dios?
¿Cómo estás compartiendo estos dones para el bien del mundo?
¿Te das cuenta de que tú, como María, puedes llevar a Cristo a otros porque el Espíritu Santo vive dentro de ti?
¿Tienes fe, incluso cuando parece que Dios está en silencio o ausente o dormido?
 
¡Tengan un día bendecido!
P. Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 30, 2019

THURSDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (MAY 30, 2019)

THURSDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (MAY 30, 2019)
 
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 18:1-8
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade,
stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue,
attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia,
Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word,
testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
When they opposed him and reviled him,
he shook out his garments and said to them,
“Your blood be on your heads!
I am clear of responsibility.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
So he left there and went to a house
belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God;
his house was next to a synagogue.
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord
along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians
who heard believed and were baptized.
=============================
Today is Ascension Thursday, 40 days after Easter Sunday, commemorating the time that Jesus walked the earth between His resurrection and ascension into heaven. Most dioceses have moved the Ascension to Sunday. The readings chosen today are for Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter and I will be reflecting on the Ascension this Sunday.
 
We continue to follow the travels of St. Paul. Today we find him in Corinth staying with fellow tentmakers, Aquila and Priscilla. This was the couple featured in the movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ.” They lived in Rome, but had to leave the city and flee to Corinth because of the persecution of the Jews. Paul worked with them to earn his keep, while he spent his free time preaching about Jesus to the Jews and Greeks. When his companions Timothy and Silas arrived, Paul focused all his time on preaching. I can only imagine what my heart would have experienced hearing the Good News of Jesus from St. Paul, someone who preached with such passion, conviction and authenticity.
 
Paul did not take it personally when people opposed his teaching. In fact, he took Jesus’s advice and shook the sand off his sandals and moved to the next town. He did what he could to share the Good News and left the decision up to the listeners. This is a good lesson for us. We cannot control how other people respond to our sharing of the Good News, but we are responsible for sharing it using the gifts that God has given each one of us. Many people in Corinth did come to believe in Jesus and were baptized.
 
We see the importance of the kerygma in Paul’s preaching. “Kerygma” is a Greek word that means “preaching” or proclamation of the Good News. I have written about the three points of the kerygma before, but it is critical to missionary discipleship:
 
1) Good News – God loves you and has a special plan for your life.
 
2) Bad News – We are all sinners and we have fallen short of the glory of God. Sin separates us from God and we cannot save ourselves. There is a large chasm between us and God.
 
3) Better News – Jesus died for our sins to bridge the gap between us and God. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection, the gates of heaven have been opened to us who believe in Him and follow His way.
 
The human heart knows the Truth when it is preached well. Think about how you can incorporate these three points into your own testimony of faith. How can you share the kerygma with others through your own story?
 
St. Paul lit the fire of faith wherever he went, and those fires are still being passed on today. Our world today would be completely different had St. Paul not preached 2000 years ago. What will be the lasting effects of your life on this earth?
 
Has my heart been lit on fire with the Gospel?
Am I willing to share the flame of faith with others?
What kind of spiritual legacy do I want to leave in this world?
 
Don’t let the flame of faith go out. Preach the name of Jesus when it is convenient and not so convenient. Do not rely on the results of your ministry; just plant the seeds and let the Lord water it and gather in the fruit. Don’t let the negative reactions of others dissuade you from sharing your faith.
 
Peace,
Fr. Burke
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Jueves de la 6ª Semana de Pascua (10 de mayo 2018)
 
Hechos de los Apóstoles 18, 1-8
En aquellos días, Pablo salió de Atenas y se fue a Corinto. Allí encontró a un judío, llamado Aquila, natural del Ponto, que acababa de llegar de Italia con su mujer, Priscila, en acatamiento a las órdenes de Claudio, que expulsó de Roma a todos los judíos. Pablo se acercó a ellos, y como eran del mismo oficio, se quedó a vivir y a trabajar con ellos. Su oficio era fabricar tiendas de campaña. Cada sábado Pablo discutía en la sinagoga y trataba de convencer a judíos y griegos.
 
Cuando Silas y Timoteo llegaron de Macedonia, Pablo se dedicó por completo a la predicación y afirmó delante de los judíos que Jesús era el Mesías. Como éstos lo contradecían y lo insultaban, se rasgó las vestiduras y dijo: “Que la sangre de ustedes caiga sobre su propia cabeza: yo soy inocente. De ahora en adelante, iré a hablar a los paganos”.
 
Salió de allí y entró en la casa de Tito Justo, que adoraba a Dios, y cuya casa estaba al lado de la sinagoga.
 
Crispo, el jefe de la sinagoga, creyó en el Señor, junto con toda su familia. Asimismo, al oír a Pablo, muchos de los corintios creyeron y recibieron el bautismo.
=======================
Hoy es el jueves de la Ascensión del Señor, 40 días después del domingo de Pascua, que conmemora el momento en que Jesús caminó por la tierra entre Su resurrección y ascensión al cielo. La mayoría de las diócesis han trasladado la Ascensión al domingo. Las lecturas elegidas hoy son para el jueves de la 6ª semana de Pascua y reflexionaré sobre la Ascensión este domingo.
 
Continuamos siguiendo los viajes de San Pablo. Hoy lo encontramos en la ciudad de Corinto quedándose con sus compañeros de tiendas de campaña, Aquila y Priscila. Esta fue la pareja que aparece en la película “Pablo, Apóstol de Cristo”. Vivieron en Roma, pero tuvieron que abandonar y huir a Corinto a causa de la persecución de los judíos. Pablo trabajó con ellos para ganarse el sustento, mientras en su tiempo libre predicaba acerca de Jesús a los judíos y a los griegos. Cuando llegaron sus compañeros Timoteo y Silas, Pablo enfocó todo su tiempo en la predicación. Solo puedo imaginar lo que mi corazón hubiera experimentado al escuchar la Buena Nueva de Jesús de San Pablo, alguien que predicó con tanta pasión, convicción y autenticidad.
 
Pablo no lo tomó personal cuando la gente se opuso a su enseñanza. De hecho, él tomó el consejo de Jesús y se sacudió el polvo de sus sandalias. Hizo lo que pudo para compartir la Buena Nueva y les dejó la decisión a los oyentes. Esta es una buena lección para nosotros. No podemos controlar cómo otras personas responden cuando compartimos la Buena Nueva, pero estamos para compartirla con los dones que Dios nos ha dado a cada uno de nosotros. Muchas personas llegaron a creer en Jesús y fueron bautizadas en Corinto.
 
Vemos la importancia del kerygma en la predicación de Pablo. “Kerygma” es una palabra griega que significa “predicación” o proclamación de la Buena Nueva. He escrito sobre los tres puntos del kerygma antes, pero es fundamental para el discipulado misionero:
1) Buena Nueva: Dios te ama y tiene un plan especial para tu vida.
 
2) Malas noticias: todos somos pecadores y no alcanzamos la gloria de Dios. El pecado nos separa de Dios y no podemos salvarnos a nosotros mismos. Hay un gran abismo entre nosotros y Dios.
3) Mejores noticias: Jesús murió por nuestros pecados para cerrar la brecha entre nosotros y Dios. A través de la muerte y resurrección de Jesús, las puertas del cielo se nos han abierto para nosotros que creemos en Él y seguimos Su camino.
El corazón humano conoce la Verdad cuando se predica bien. Piense en cómo puede incorporar estos tres puntos en su propio testimonio de fe. ¿Cómo puede compartir el kerygma con otros a través de su propia historia?
San Pablo encendió el fuego de la fe donde quiera que iba, y esos incendios aún se están transmitiendo hoy. Nuestro mundo de hoy sería completamente diferente si San Pablo no hubiera predicado hace 2000 años. ¿Cuáles serán los efectos duraderos de la vida de usted en esta tierra?
 
¿Mi corazón se ha encendido con el Evangelio?
¿Estoy dispuesto a compartir la llama de la fe con los demás?
¿Qué tipo de legado espiritual quiero dejar en este mundo?
No dejes que la llama de la fe se apague. Predica el nombre de Jesús cuando sea conveniente y no tan conveniente. No cuentes con los resultados de tu ministerio; solo planta las semillas y deja que el Señor las riegue y recoja el fruto. No permita que las reacciones negativas de los demás lo disuadan de compartir su fe.
 
Paz,
Padre Burke
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Posted by: frburke23 | May 28, 2019

WEDNESDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (MAY 29, 2019)

WEDNESDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (MAY 29, 2019)
 
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 17:15, 22-18:1
After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.
 
Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world
with justice’ through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead.”
 
When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
“We should like to hear you on this some other time.”
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
 
After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
=================================
I am inspired by the fact that every fiber of Paul’s being was dedicated to serving Jesus Christ. Everything he did and said was directed to the salvation of every person he encountered. He did not water down the message so that people would like him. He told the truth and left it up to the listeners whether they were going to repent from their sins and decide to follow the Lord.
 
In today’s reading, Paul was in the Areopagus, an area full of statues, temples and shrines. You can imagine him touring the area much like tourists do today. He was struck by the pagan idolatry and their shrines to numerous gods. He was struck by one shrine to the “Unknown god”. He told them that they were unwittingly worshipping the God of gods, the One who created the universe. They were worshiping Jesus, he told them.
 
Paul used this as an opportunity to preach to them about Jesus, who created the world, but also is very close to us. “In him we live and move and have our being.” This is not a distant God, but one who is intimately involved in every aspect of my life. This is a God who wants to have a personal relationship with you, who wants to give you a life of abundance through His Holy Spirit.
 
Paul tried to get them to see the power of God, the immanence of God and the love of God. The person of Jesus Christ had changed world history and putting our faith in Him will change our lives, our history, our family and our future. He was so convinced of this truth that he tirelessly traveled the ancient world seeking the salvation of souls.
 
Have I encountered the living God in a deep, personal way?
How much do I focus on sharing Christ with others for the purpose of saving souls?
Do I know my faith and am I convinced of the truth of Jesus Christ?
 
Peace,
Fr. Burke
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=========================
Miércoles de la 6a Semana de Pascua (29 de mayo 2019)
 
HECHOS DE LOS APOSTOLES 17:15, 22-18:1
En aquellos días, los cristianos que ayudaron a Pablo a escapar de Berea, lo llevaron hasta la ciudad de Atenas. Pablo los envió de regreso con la orden de que Silas y Timoteo fueran a reunirse con él cuanto antes.
 
Un día, mientras los esperaba en Atenas, Pablo sentía que la indignación se apoderaba de él, al contemplar la ciudad llena de ídolos. Entonces se presentó en el Areópago y dijo:
 
“Atenienses: Por lo que veo, ustedes son en extremo religiosos. Al recorrer la ciudad y contemplar sus monumentos, encontré un altar con esta inscripción: ‘Al Dios desconocido’. Pues bien, yo vengo a anunciarles a ese Dios que ustedes veneran sin conocerlo.
 
El Dios que hizo el mundo y todo cuanto hay en él, siendo el Señor del cielo y de la tierra, no habita en templos hechos por hombres, ni es servido por mano de hombres, como si necesitara de algo o de alguien; porque él es quien da a todos la vida, el aliento y cuanto tienen.
 
De un solo hombre sacó todo el género humano para que habitara toda la tierra, determinó las épocas de su historia y estableció los límites de sus territorios. Dios quería que lo buscaran a él y que lo encontraran, aunque fuera a tientas, pues en realidad no está lejos de nosotros, ya que en él vivimos, nos movemos y somos. Como lo ha dicho alguno de los poetas de ustedes: ‘Somos de su mismo linaje’.
 
Por lo tanto, si somos linaje de Dios, no debemos pensar que Dios es como una imagen de oro, plata o mármol, labrada artísticamente por los hombres según su imaginación. Dios no tomó en cuenta la ignorancia de la gente en tiempos pasados, pues ahora quiere que todos los hombres se conviertan, porque tiene determinado un día en el cual ha de juzgar al universo con justicia, por medio de un hombre designado por él, y ha dado a todos la prueba de esto, resucitándolo de entre los muertos’’.
 
Al oír hablar de la resurrección de los muertos, algunos se burlaron y otros dijeron: “De esto te oiremos hablar en otra ocasión”. Entonces Pablo se retiró. Sin embargo, algunos se adhirieron a él y creyeron. Entre ellos se contaban Dionisio, el areopagita; una mujer, que se llamaba Dámaris, y algunos más. Después de esto, Pablo salió de Atenas y se fue a Corinto.
================
Estoy inspirado por el hecho de que cada fibra del ser de Pablo se dedicó a servir a Jesucristo. Todo lo que hizo y dijo fue dirigido a la salvación de cada persona que encontró. No diluyó el mensaje para que la gente lo quisiera. Él dijo la verdad y la dejó en manos de los oyentes si iban o no a arrepentirse de sus pecados y decidio seguir al Señor.
 
 
En la lectura de hoy, Pablo estaba en el Areópago, una zona llena de estatuas, templos y santuarios. Puedes imaginarlo recorrer la zona al igual que los turistas hacen hoy en día. Le sorprendió la idolatría pagana y sus santuarios a numerosos dioses. Le sorprendió un santuario al “dios desconocido”. Él les dijo que estaban, sin saberlo, adorando al Dios de dioses, el que creó el universo. Ellos estaban adorando a Jesús, les dijo.
 
Pablo utilizó esto como una oportunidad para predicarles acerca de Jesús, quien creó el mundo, pero también quien está muy cerca de nosotros. “En él vivimos, nos movemos y tenemos nuestro ser”. Este no es un Dios distante, sino uno que está íntimamente involucrado en todos los aspectos de mi vida. Este es un Dios que quiere tener una relación personal contigo, que quiere darte una vida de abundancia a través de Su Espíritu Santo.
 
Pablo trató de conseguir que vieran el poder de Dios, la inmanencia de Dios y el amor de Dios. La persona de Jesucristo había cambiado la historia del mundo y poner nuestra fe en Él cambiará nuestras vidas, nuestra historia, nuestra familia y nuestro futuro. Él estaba tan convencido de esta verdad que él viajó incansablemente por el mundo antiguo buscando la salvación de las almas.
 
¿He encontrado al Dios vivo de una manera profunda y personal?
¿Cuánto me enfoco en compartir a Cristo con otros con el propósito de salvar almas?
 
¿Conozco mi fe y estoy convencido de la verdad de Jesucristo?
 
Paz,
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 27, 2019

TUESDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (MAY 28, 2019)

TUESDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK OF EASTER (MAY 28, 2019)
 
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 16:22-34
The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.
 
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.
============================
Men of all ages are welcome to our annual Men’s Conference at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL this Saturday, June 1, 2019. I am the MC for the event and will be speaking, along with national speakers Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Francisco Gavrilides. You will be inspired to be a better disciple of Christ and will be encouraged by being with many other men trying to be better husbands, fathers and disciples. For more information and to order tickets, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rise-up-sons-of-god-fishers-of-men-6th-annual-joliet-diocese-mens-conference-tickets-56287498423. Check-in begins at 7am and the day ends with Mass in the early afternoon.
 
This Gospel story from the Acts of the Apostles has so many wonderful elements. We see the response of Paul and Silas after they were beaten and imprisoned for preaching the name of Jesus. They were singing hymns and sharing the Good News with their fellow prisoners.
 
Am I able to praise God openly, even after I have been punished for my faith?
 
While Paul and Silas were singing hymns to the Lord, there was an earthquake that opened the doors to the jail and freed all the prisoners. Normally people would run for freedom if the doors to the prison were opened. Instead, they showed their concern for the jailer because he was going to commit suicide, thinking all the prisoners escaped. Paul and Silas, however, ministered to the jailer to the point that he and his whole family were baptized. Wow!
 
Do I believe that God can deliver me from any situation?
Is my heart so on fire for the Lord that I’m willing to share my faith with anyone?
If not, what do I need to do to deepen my faith and spark my heart to evangelize more?
 
Although we don’t know the ages of the children of the jailer, this is one area of the Bible where we think that infants and children were baptized. It says, “He and all his family were baptized at once.” Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” In other words, the faith of the father was enough for his whole family to be baptized. This is one of the reasons we baptize infants still today. They receive the divine life of the Holy Spirit with them and become children of God, their lifelong identity.
 
Lord, we thank you for the gifts of Paul and Silas, who shared their love for you to all they met. Thank you also for the people you have sent into our lives that have inspired us to be better disciples. Increase my faith, Lord. Help my heart to burn with zeal and love for you so that I want to share you with everyone I meet. I want to be a catalyst for others coming to know and serve you. I want to be your instrument that brings others to faith and baptism.
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
==========================
Martes de la 6a Semana de Pascua (28 de mayo 2019)
 
HECHOS DE LOS APOSTLES 16:22-34
En aquellos días, la gente de la ciudad de Filipos se alborotó contra Pablo y Silas, y los magistrados ordenaron que los desnudaran y los azotaran. Después de azotarlos mucho, los metieron en la cárcel y le ordenaron al carcelero que los vigilara bien. Siguiendo esta orden, él los metió en el calabozo de más adentro y les aseguró los pies en el cepo.
 
A eso de la medianoche, Pablo y Silas estaban en oración, cantando himnos al Señor, y los otros presos los escuchaban. De pronto sobrevino un temblor tan violento, que se sacudieron los cimientos de la cárcel, las puertas se abrieron de golpe y a todos se les soltaron las cadenas.
 
El carcelero se despertó, y al ver las puertas de la cárcel abiertas de par en par, pensó que los presos se habían fugado y sacó su espada para matarse. Pero entonces Pablo le gritó: “No te hagas ningún daño; aquí estamos todos”. El carcelero pidió una lámpara, se precipitó hacia dentro, y temblando, se arrojó a los pies de Pablo y Silas. Después los sacó de allí y les preguntó: “¿Qué debo hacer para salvarme?” Ellos le contestaron: “Cree en el Señor Jesús y te salvarás, tú y tu familia”. Y les explicaron la palabra del Señor a él y a todos los de su casa.
 
El carcelero se los llevó aparte, y en aquella misma hora de la noche les lavó las heridas y enseguida se bautizó él con todos los suyos. Después los invitó a su casa, les preparó la mesa y celebraron una fiesta familiar por haber creído en Dios.
====================
Hombres de todas las edades son bienvenidos a nuestra Conferencia Anual de Hombres en la Universidad Benedictina en Lisle, IL, este sábado 1 de junio de 2019. Soy el coordinador del evento y hablaré, junto con los oradores nacionales, el diácono Harold Burke-Sivers y Francisco Gavrilides. Serás inspirado para ser un mejor discípulo de Cristo y serás alentado al estar con muchos otros hombres que tratan de ser mejores esposos, padres y discípulos. Para obtener más información y para solicitar boletos, visite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rise-up-sons-of-god-fishers-of-men-6th-annual-joliet-diocese-mens-conference-tickets-56287498423. La inscripción comienza a las 7:00 am y el día termina con la misa temprano en la tarde.
 
 
Esta historia del Evangelio de los Hechos de los Apóstoles tiene tantos elementos maravillosos. Vemos la respuesta de Pablo y Silas después de que fueron golpeados y encarcelados por predicar el nombre de Jesús. Ellos estaban cantando himnos y compartiendo la Buena Nueva con sus compañeros de prisión.
 
 
¿Soy capaz de alabar a Dios abiertamente, incluso después de haber sido castigado por mi fe?
 
Mientras Pablo y Silas cantaban himnos al Señor, hubo un terremoto que abrió las puertas de la cárcel y liberó a todos los prisioneros. Normalmente las personas correrían por la libertad si se abrieran las puertas de la prisión. En cambio, ellos mostraron su preocupación por el carcelero porque iba a suicidarse, pensando que todos los prisioneros escaparon. Pablo y Silas, sin embargo, sirvieron al carcelero hasta el punto de que él y toda su familia fueron bautizados. ¡Wow!
 
¿Creo que Dios puede liberarme de cualquier situación?
¿Está mi corazón tan encendido por el Señor que estoy dispuesto a compartir mi fe con cualquier persona?
Si no, ¿qué debo hacer para profundizar en mi fe y encender mi corazón para evangelizar más?
 
Aunque no se sabe la edad de los hijos del carcelero, esta es una parte de la Biblia donde pensamos que bebés y niños fueron bautizados. Dice: “Se bautizó él con todos los suyos.” Pablo y Silas dijeron: “Cree en el Señor Jesús y te salvarás, tú y tu familia”. En otras palabras, la fe del padre era suficiente para que su familia entera fuera bautizada. Esta es una de las razones por las que bautizamos a los infantes-bebes hasta todavía hoy. Reciben la vida divina del Espíritu Santo con ellos y se convierten en hijos de Dios, su identidad de por vida.
 
Señor, te damos gracias por los dones de Pablo y Silas, quienes compartieron su amor por ti con todos los que conocieron. Gracias también por la gente que has enviado en nuestras vidas que nos han inspirado a ser mejore discípulos. Aumenta mi fe, Señor. Ayuda a que mi corazón arda con celo y amor por ti para que quiera compartirte con todos los que conozca. Quiero ser un catalizador para otros que vienen a conocerte y a servirte. Quiero ser tu instrumento que trae a otros a la fe y al bautismo.
 
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | May 26, 2019

Monday of the 6th Week of Easter (May 27, 2019)

Monday of the 6th Week of Easter (May 27, 2019)
 
Acts 16:11-15
 
We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.
=================
Scripture challenge – Book of Revelation, chapter 22. Congratulations to all who prayed with the entire New Testament with me. Something new will be coming soon.
 
Happy Memorial Day!
 
What a beautiful reading we have today from the Acts of the Apostles. The disciples were traveling around the countryside seeking opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Imagine what that kind of life was like. They didn’t have the internet where they could just send out a “thought for the day” to share the message of Jesus. There were no cell phones, Twitter, Facebook or any other means of communication, but they had the Word of God to share person to person.
 
They were walking along the river looking for a place to pray. This is important – they knew they could do nothing without charging their spiritual batteries through connecting to Jesus Christ in prayer. This is so important for us to realize that even when we have a beautiful desire to serve the Lord, if we try to do it without prayer, we will fall flat on our face. We cannot do the Lord’s work without Him.
 
While they were seeking a place to pray, they came upon a woman selling her cloth. She was a believer in God but had never been baptized. We can only imagine the fire in St. Paul’s preaching, his heart aflame with the Holy Spirit. His words must have pierced the hearts of so many people. Some were open to hearing his words with joy; others were so challenged or angered by his words that they wanted to kill him.
 
But Lydia’s heart was touched by the Holy Spirit through the power of Paul’s words. God “opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.” She was so moved that she and her whole household were baptized, and then she invited the disciples to stay in her home. This is what the power of the kerygma, the preaching of the Good News of Jesus, can do.
 
Don’t let these words today just brush past you. Take time to put yourself into this reading and allow yourself to hear Paul’s words, to feel the breeze on your face, to view the wonder in this woman’s eyes, to hear the Gospel message anew. Allow the Holy Spirit to capture your heart in a new way, just like Lydia. May the fire of the Holy Spirit come alive in your heart so that you want to share it with all you meet.
 
Do you recharge your batteries with prayer every day?
Is your heart open to the Holy Spirit?
Do you bring your family to the Sacraments like Lydia did?
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
===============================
Lunes de la 6ª semana de Pascua (27 de mayo de 2019)
 
Hechos de los Apóstoles 16, 11-15
Por aquellos días, zarpamos de Tróade y navegamos rumbo a Samotracia; al día siguiente, hacia Neápolis y de ahí a Filipos, colonia romana y ciudad principal de la región de Macedonia.
 
En Filipos nos quedamos unos días. El sábado salimos de la ciudad y nos fuimos por la orilla del río hasta un sitio donde solían tenerse las reuniones de oración. Allí nos sentamos y trabamos conversación con las mujeres que habían acudido.
 
Entre las que nos escuchaban, había una mujer, llamada Lidia, de la ciudad de Tiatira, comerciante en púrpura, que adoraba al verdadero Dios. El Señor le tocó el corazón para que aceptara el mensaje de Pablo. Después de recibir el bautismo junto con toda su familia, nos hizo esta súplica: “Si están convencidos de que mi fe en el Señor es sincera, vengan a hospedarse en mi casa”. Y así, nos obligó a aceptar.
============================
Desafío de las Escrituras – Libro de Apocalipsis, capítulo 22. Felicitaciones a todos los que oraron con todo el Nuevo Testamento conmigo. Algo nuevo vendrá pronto.
 
Feliz Memorial Day!
 
Qué hermosa lectura tenemos hoy de los Hechos de los Apóstoles. Los discípulos viajaban por el campo buscando oportunidades para compartir la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo. Imagina cómo era ese tipo de vida. No tenían internet donde pudieran simplemente enviar un “pensamiento del día” para compartir el mensaje de Jesús. No había celulares, Twitter, Facebook ni ningún otro medio de comunicación, pero tenían la Palabra de Dios para compartir persona a persona.
 
Estaban caminando por el río buscando un lugar para orar. Esto es importante: sabían que no podían hacer nada sin cargar sus baterías espirituales a través de la conexión con Jesucristo en oración. Esto es muy importante para que nos demos cuenta de que incluso cuando tenemos un hermoso deseo de servir al Señor, si tratamos de hacerlo sin oración, caeremos de bruces. No podemos hacer la obra del Señor sin Él.
 
Mientras buscaban un lugar para orar, se encontraron con una mujer que vendía ropa. Ella era una creyente en Dios, pero nunca había sido bautizada. Solo podemos imaginar el fuego en la predicación de San Pablo, su corazón en llamas con el Espíritu Santo. Sus palabras deben haber traspasado los corazones de tanta gente. Algunos estaban abiertos a escuchar sus palabras con alegría; otros fueron tan desafiados o enojados por sus palabras que querían matarlo.
 
Pero el corazón de Lydia fue tocado por el Espíritu Santo a través del poder de las palabras de Pablo. “El Señor le tocó el corazón para que aceptara el mensaje de Pablo.” Estaba tan conmovida que ella y toda su familia se bautizaron, y luego invitó a los discípulos a quedarse en su casa. Esto es lo que puede hacer el poder del kerygma, la predicación de la Buena Nueva de Jesús.
 
No dejes que estas palabras hoy solo pasen a tu lado. Tómese el tiempo para dedicarse a esta lectura y permítase escuchar las palabras de Pablo, sentir la brisa en su rostro, ver la maravilla en los ojos de esta mujer, escuchar nuevamente el mensaje del Evangelio. Permita que el Espíritu Santo capture su corazón de una manera nueva, al igual que Lydia. Que el fuego del Espíritu Santo cobre vida en tu corazón para que quieras compartirlo con todo lo que encuentres.
 
¿Recargas tus pilas con oración todos los días?
¿Está tu corazón abierto al Espíritu Santo?
¿Traes a tu familia a los Sacramentos como lo hizo Lydia?
 
¡Que tengas un buen día!
P. Burke

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