Thought for Tuesday, 10th Week in Ordinary Time (June 13, 2017)
 
MATTHEW 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”
=======================
As I meditate on these words of Jesus to His disciples, I am thinking about how we all are called to be both disciples and apostles. Disciples are followers or students; apostles are ones who are sent.
 
How do we become better disciples of Jesus? I first need to be filled with the Holy Spirit before I am sent into the world. So how do we become better disciples? This Saturday I attended one of Matthew Kelly’s “Passion and Purpose” seminars here in Joliet, IL. He challenged us to do one of these three things to be the best disciple we can be:
 
1) Read 15 minutes from the Gospels every day for one year. As soon as you finish a Gospel, go on to another one. Keep repeating this process over one year and you will come to know the person of Jesus Christ in a way you never have before.
 
2) Go to confession at least once per month for a year. When we confess our sins regularly, we not only receive incredible graces and the mercy of God, but we also become more mature in the spiritual life.
 
3) Keep a “Mass Journal” every day for 100 days. Go to Mass each time with the mindset that God wants to speak to your heart through the readings, the music, the prayers and the homily. Write down one thing in your Mass Journal that touched your heart. Bring this journal with you to spiritual direction and prayer and thank God for all that He has done for you. Mass will never be boring again.
 
The more we know about Jesus, but more importantly the more we know Jesus personally, the more we fall in love with Him. This helps us become salt and light for the world. If we haven’t fallen in love with Jesus, His light will not shine through us. However, once we become salt and light, He sends us forth as apostles to share the Good News we have received.
 
How do we become better apostles (this comes from the same root word of “postal”, one who is sent)?
 
1) We go where he sends us. We listen to Him in prayer and follow His call. There is great freedom when we are obedient to the will of God.
 
2) We speak the truth in love. Sometimes it is hard to speak to the truth because we fear people will not like what we have to say. However, sometimes the most loving action is to speak the truth – but always in love. Love means to will the good of the other person. The ultimate good of the other person is heaven. Sometimes our challenging words lead to a person’s salvation. If we remain silent at a critical time in someone’s life, we may miss the opportunity to direct them toward the Lord and salvation.
 
3) Hang around other good Christians. Jesus sent them forth two by two. We can’t do this alone, but we need to walk with others who are trying to grow in holiness. They help keep us accountable and encourage us on the way.
 
Go forth apostles as of Jesus, but first spend time as His faithful disciples. We can’t give what we don’t have. Try today to keep this healthy balance of receiving from the Lord in prayer and study (disciples), and then sharing the love of God in action (apostles).
 
Peace,
Fr. Burke
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Spanish translation:
 
Mateo 5, 13-16
 
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Ustedes son la sal de la tierra. Si la sal se vuelve insípida, ¿con qué se le devolverá el sabor? Ya no sirve para nada y se tira a la calle para que la pise la gente.
 
Ustedes son la luz del mundo. No se puede ocultar una ciudad construida en lo alto de un monte; y cuando se enciende una vela, no se esconde debajo de una olla, sino que se pone sobre un candelero, para que alumbre a todos los de la casa.
 
Que de igual manera brille la luz de ustedes ante los hombres, para que viendo las buenas obras que ustedes hacen, den gloria a su Padre, que está en los cielos”.
===================
Mientras medito estas palabras de Jesús a Sus discípulos, estoy pensando en cómo todos somos llamados a ser discípulos y apóstoles. Los discípulos son seguidores o estudiantes; los apóstoles son los que son enviados.
 
¿Cómo nos convertimos en mejores discípulos de Jesús? Primero necesito ser llenado del Espíritu Santo antes de ser enviado al mundo. Entonces, ¿cómo nos convertimos en mejores discípulos? Este sábado asistí a uno de los seminarios de Matthew Kelly “Pasión y Propósito” aquí en Joliet, IL. Él nos retó a hacer una de estas tres cosas para ser el mejor discípulo que podemos ser:
 
1) Leer 15 minutos de los Evangelios todos los días durante un año. En cuanto termines un Evangelio, ve a otro. Sigue repitiendo este proceso durante un año y llegarás a conocer a la persona de Jesucristo de una manera que nunca antes lo has hecho.
 
2) Ve a la confesión al menos una vez al mes durante un año. Cuando confesamos nuestros pecados regularmente, no sólo recibimos gracias increíbles y la misericordia de Dios, sino que también nos hacemos más maduros en la vida espiritual.
 
3) Mantén un “Diario de Misas” todos los días durante 100 días. Ve a Misa cada vez con la mentalidad que Dios quiere hablarle a tu corazón a través de las lecturas, la música, las oraciones y la homilía. Escribe una cosa en tu Diario de Misas que tocó tu corazón. Trae este diario contigo a la dirección espiritual y la oración y agradece a Dios por todo lo que Él ha hecho por ti. La Misa nunca volverá a será aburrida.
 
Cuanto más sabemos acerca de Jesús, pero más importante aún, cuanto más conocemos a Jesús personalmente, cuanto más nos enamoraríamos de Él. Esto nos ayuda a convertirnos en sal y luz para el mundo. Si todavía no nos hemos enamorado de Jesús, Su luz no brillará a través de nosotros. Sin embargo, una vez que nos convertimos en sal y luz, Él nos envía como apóstoles para compartir la Buena Nueva que hemos recibido.
 
¿Cómo podemos ser mejores apóstoles (esto viene de la misma raíz de la palabra “postal”, uno que es enviado)?
 
1) Vamos a donde Él nos envía. Lo escuchamos en la oración y seguimos Su llamado. Hay una gran libertad cuando somos obedientes a la voluntad de Dios.
 
2) Hablamos la verdad en amor. A veces es difícil hablar con la verdad porque tenemos miedo que no les guste lo que tenemos que decir. Sin embargo, a veces la acción más amorosa es decir la verdad – pero siempre en amor. Amor significa desear el bien de la otra persona. El bien último de la otra persona es el cielo. A veces nuestras palabras desafiantes conducen a la salvación de una persona. Si permanecemos callados en un momento crítico en la vida de alguien, podemos perder la oportunidad de dirigirlos hacia el Señor y la salvación.
 
3) Convive con otros buenos cristianos. Jesús los envió de dos en dos. No podemos hacer esto solos, pero tenemos que caminar con otros que están tratando de crecer en santidad. Ellos nos ayudan a mantenernos responsables y nos animan en el camino.
 
Salgan apóstoles de Jesús, pero primero pasen tiempo como Sus discípulos fieles. No podemos dar lo que no tenemos. Traten hoy de mantener este equilibrio saludable de recibir del Señor en oración y estudio (discípulos), y luego compartan el amor de Dios en acción (apóstoles).
 
Paz,
Padre Burke
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Thought for Monday, 10th Week of Ordinary Time (June 12, 2017)
 
2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-7
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the Church of God that is at Corinth,
with all the holy ones throughout Achaia:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.
===========================
This weekend we continued our retreat for Totus Tuus in Westmont. We had 27 people in one house as the teams were announced and began to bond. Today we return to Rockford to continue training before sending the missionaries out next weekend.
 
Today we begin reading from the 2nd letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. He begins by greeting the people of Corinth and the whole region of Achaia. Paul and Timothy have been traveling around the area sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
 
Paul is encouraging the new Christians in their suffering and affliction. “For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.” We cannot expect to follow Jesus and avoid suffering, but we are not alone in our affliction. Jesus wants to encourage us through the pain. This allows us to endure our sufferings as we move toward salvation.
 
Are you suffering at this moment?
 
If so, the Lord through St. Paul wants to encourage you today. You are not alone. You are never alone. Christ suffered to save us and will suffer with us so that we can endure to eternal life. Do not lose hope!
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
 
Spanish translation:
2 CORINTIOS 1:1-7
Yo, Pablo, apóstol de Jesucristo por voluntad de Dios, y Timoteo, hermano nuestro, deseamos a la Iglesia de Dios que está en Corinto y a todos los cristianos que viven en la provincia de Acaya, la gracia y la paz de Dios, nuestro Padre, y de Jesucristo, el Señor.
 
Bendito sea Dios, Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, Padre lleno de misericordia y Dios que siempre consuela. Él es quien nos conforta en nuestras tribulaciones, para que nosotros podamos también confortar con la misma fuerza que recibimos de Dios, a los que se encuentran atribulados.
 
Porque así como participamos abundantemente en los sufrimientos de Cristo, así, por medio de Cristo, recibimos también un gran consuelo. Por eso, si sufrimos, es para consuelo y salvación de ustedes; si somos consolados, es también para consuelo de ustedes, para que puedan soportar con paciencia los mismos sufrimientos que nosotros soportamos.
 
Tenemos, pues, una firme esperanza en ustedes, porque sabemos que, así como ustedes son nuestros compañeros en el sufrimiento, también lo serán en el consuelo.
=======================
Este fin de semana continuamos nuestro retiro de Totus Tuus en Westmont. Tuvimos 27 personas en una casa mientras los equipos fueron anunciados y comenzaron a unirse. Hoy volvemos a Rockford para seguir entrenando antes de enviar a los misioneros el próximo fin de semana.
 
Hoy comenzamos la lectura de la segunda carta de San Pablo a los Corintios. Comienza saludando al pueblo de Corinto y toda la región de Acaya. Pablo y Timoteo han estado viajando alrededor de la zona compartiendo la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo.
 
Pablo está animando a los nuevos cristianos en su sufrimiento y aflicción. “Porque así como participamos abundantemente en los sufrimientos de Cristo, así, por medio de Cristo, recibimos también un gran consuelo.” No podemos esperar seguir a Jesús y evitar el sufrimiento, pero no estamos solos en nuestra aflicción. Jesús quiere animarnos a través del dolor. Esto nos permite soportar nuestros sufrimientos a medida que avanzamos hacia la salvación.
 
¿Estás sufriendo en este momento?
 
Si es así, el Señor quiere animarte hoy a través de San Pablo. No estás solo. Nunca estás solo. Cristo sufrió para salvarnos y sufrirá con nosotros para que podamos soportar hacia la vida eterna. ¡No pierdas la esperanza!
 
¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 10, 2017

Thought for Holy Trinity Sunday (June 11, 2017)

Thought for Holy Trinity Sunday (June 11, 2017)
 
JOHN 3:16-18
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
=============================
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity is an eternal exchange of love between the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son. Jesus came to the earth to reveal the Father’s love to the world. After rising from the dead, they tried to cling to Him, but Jesus said that He must return to the Father so that they could send the Holy Spirit.
 
Jesus’s desire is that we participate in the divine life of the Trinity. How do we do that? When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus answered that we are to love God and love our neighbor. What is love? It is willing the good of the other person. Jesus showed us the perfect love by laying down His life on the cross. When we love sacrificially we participate in the divine life.
 
The Bible is a love story between God and His people. From the beginning of time, God existed. He created the heavens, the earth and man out of love. Man sinned and strayed, so God sent many prophets to draw them back to Him. They killed many prophets and didn’t listen. God sent His son Jesus, thinking they would listen to His Son. However, they crucified Jesus with the greatest demonstration of love ever seen on this earth.
 
Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, saying that He would never abandon His people. Thus, the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world. This same Spirit resides in our hearts through baptism. God desires to live out His mysteries in and through us. Will you allow Him to do so?
 
Have a blessed weekend!
Fr. Burke
Thought for Saturday, 9th Week of Ordinary Time (June 10, 2017)
 
TOBIT 12:1, 5-15, 20
Tobit called his son Tobiah and said to him,
“Son, see to it that you give what is due to the man
who made the journey with you; give him a bonus too.”
So he called Raphael and said,
“Take as your wages half of all that you have brought back,
and go in peace.”
 
Raphael called the two men aside privately and said to them:
“Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory.
Before all the living,
acknowledge the many good things he has done for you,
by blessing and extolling his name in song.
Honor and proclaim God’s deeds,
and do not be slack in praising him.
A king’s secret it is prudent to keep,
but the works of God are to be declared and made known.
Praise them with due honor.
Do good, and evil will not find its way to you.
Prayer and fasting are good,
but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness.
A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness.
It is better to give alms than to store up gold;
for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin.
Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life;
but those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies.
 
“I will now tell you the whole truth;
I will conceal nothing at all from you.
I have already said to you,
‘A king’s secret it is prudent to keep,
but the works of God are to be made known with due honor.’
I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed,
it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer
before the Glory of the Lord;
and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead.
When you did not hesitate to get up
and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead,
I was sent to put you to the test.
At the same time, however,
God commissioned me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah.
I am Raphael, one of the seven angels
who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord.”
 
“So now get up from the ground and praise God.
Behold, I am about to ascend to him who sent me;
write down all these things that have happened to you.”
==========================
Tobit, being the righteous man that he was, offered Raphael half of the dowry that Sarah’s father had given to Tobiah. Tobit realized that Raphael was a constant companion for his son on the journey and had kept him safe. He did not know that Raphael was an angel.
 
The angel Raphael tells Tobit and Tobiah to give all their thanks and praise to God. He tells them that it is prudent to keep “a king’s secret,” but the works of God are to be praised from the rooftops. In other words, there are times when we are helped by individuals that it is prudent to tell no one. However, when we receive blessings from the Lord, everyone should know about it. God’s praises should always ring from our lips.
 
Raphael also encourages them to do good, fast, pray and give alms. He emphasizes the importance of giving alms and not storing up gold for ourselves. When we share our material blessings with others, it “saves one from death and expiates every sin.” Those are powerful words!
 
Finally, the angel Raphael reveals to them that he was the answer to their prayers. It is beautiful to imagine that he “presented and read the record of your prayer before the
Glory of the Lord.” This is what the angels and saints do for us – they listen to our prayers and intercede on our behalf before God. What powerful intercessors we have! God sent Raphael to heal Sarah and Tobit. God wants to love and heal you and me also.
 
Raphael encouraged them to write everything down as he ascended back to God in heaven. We are the beneficiaries of this writing!
 
Are you comfortable sharing with others what the Lord has done in your life?
Do you pray, fast and give alms?
How generous are you with the material possessions that God has given you?
Do you realize that there are angels interceding on your behalf constantly in heaven?
 
Have a blessed weekend!
Fr. Burke
Thought for Friday, 9th Week of Ordinary Time (June 9, 2017)
 
TOBIT 11:5-17
Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come.
When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father,
“Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!”
 
Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father:
“I am certain that his eyes will be opened.
Smear the fish gall on them.
This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes;
then your father will again be able to see the light of day.”
 
Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him,
and said to him,
“Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!”
And she sobbed aloud.
 
Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate.
Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand,
and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes.
“Courage, father,” he said.
Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart.
Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit’s eyes,
Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts.
 
When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept.
He exclaimed, “I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!”
Then he said:
 
“Blessed be God,
and praised be his great name,
and blessed be all his holy angels.
May his holy name be praised
throughout all the ages,
Because it was he who scourged me,
and it is he who has had mercy on me.
Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!”
 
Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice
for everything that had happened.
Tobiah told his father that
the Lord God had granted him a successful journey;
that he had brought back the money;
and that he had married Raguel’s daughter Sarah,
who would arrive shortly,
for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh.
 
Tobit and Anna rejoiced
and went out to the gate of Nineveh
to meet their daughter-in-law.
When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit walking along briskly,
with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed.
Before them all Tobit proclaimed
how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes.
When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah,
he greeted her: “Welcome, my daughter!
Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter!
Blessed is your father, and blessed is my son Tobiah,
and blessed are you, daughter!
Welcome to your home with blessing and joy.
Come in, daughter!”
That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.
========================
As we continue this journey with Tobit, we read about the safe return of Tobit’s son Tobiah and his new wife Sarah. Who accompanied Tobiah on this journey? It was St. Raphael the Archangel. Raphael told Tobiah to “smear the fish gall” on the eyes of his father, Tobit, and he would be healed from his blindness. Tobit was healed and rejoiced for the ability to see his son again. Raphael is the patron saint of travelers and for those who are blind.
 
Tobit and Anna then went out to receive their new daughter-in-law, Sarah, into their town, Nineveh and into their family. There was great rejoicing that day for all that God had done in their lives.
 
What can we learn from this story?
1) God is with us on this journey of life, every step of the way. The archangel, Raphael was with Tobiah on his journey and kept him safe. God sends us angels, friends and companions on the way. The evil one wants us to think we are alone. Jesus tells us we are never alone.
 
2) God wants to heal our wounds. Raphael showed Tobiah what to do so that Tobit could see once again. When Tobit saw his son for the first time in a while, “he threw his arms around him and wept.” Every one of us has wounds and some of them go to our very core. If we do not face these wounds, the results are not good – anger, lust, gluttony, etc. Jesus wants to heal these wounds. He wants to flood us with His healing grace so that our sinfulness is replaced with virtue, peace and joy.
 
3) Give God thanks and praise for His abundant gifts. Tobit and Anna rejoiced and praised God for His many gifts. We need to take time and reflect upon the amazing graciousness of God. Then we need to rejoice and sing His praise. Take time each day to thank God for His abundant blessings. When you go to Mass to worship God, remember that Eucharist means thanksgiving.
 
4) Share the good news with others. “Tobit proclaimed how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes.” When we share our testimony of all the things God has done for us, it can powerfully impact people. We all love to hear stories and we are inspired to give our lives to God when we hear what He has done for others.
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
 
Here is the Spanish translation:
 
TOBIAS 11:5-17
Ana se sentaba todos los días y observaba el camino para ver si regresaba su hijo Tobías. Un día vio que se acercaba y le dijo a su esposo Tobit: “Ya viene tu hijo con el hombre que lo acompañó”.
 
Rafael le dijo a Tobías antes de que llegaran a donde estaba el padre de éste: “Estoy seguro de que sus ojos se abrirán. Úntale la hiel del pescado en los ojos y el medicamento le quitará las manchas blancas de los ojos. Entonces tu padre recobrará la vista y podrá ver la luz”.
 
Ana se acercó y abrazó a su hijo, diciéndole: “¡Hijo mío, ya puedo morir, después de verte!” Y rompió a llorar. Tobit se levantó, y a tropezones llegó hasta la puerta del patio. Entonces Tobías corrió a su encuentro, con la hiel del pescado en la mano, le sopló en los ojos, lo sostuvo y le dijo: “¡Padre mío, ten ánimo!” Entonces le untó el medicamento y con sus dos manos le desprendió las manchas blancas que tenía en los lagrimales. Tobit, al ver a su hijo, lo abrazó entre lágrimas y le dijo: “¡Hijo mío, luz de mis ojos: ya puedo verte!” Y añadió: “¡Bendito sea Dios y bendito sea su excelso nombre; benditos sean todos sus ángeles para siempre, porque él me castigó, pero ahora ya puedo ver a mi hijo Tobías!”
 
Tobit y Ana, su esposa, entraron en la casa, llenos de alegría y alabando a Dios a voz en cuello por todo lo que les había sucedido. Entonces Tobías le contó a su padre que el Señor Dios lo había conducido por el mejor camino; que había traído el dinero; que había tomado como esposa a Sara, hija de Ragüel, y que ella estaba ya cerca de las puertas de Nínive. Tobit y Ana, llenos de alegría, salieron al encuentro de su nuera, a las puertas de Nínive. Los ninivitas, al ver que Tobit venía caminando con pasos seguros, sin que nadie lo llevara de la mano, se quedaron admirados. Tobit alababa y bendecía a Dios con grandes voces delante de todos ellos, porque Dios se había compadecido de él y le había devuelto la vista.
 
Tobit se acercó a Sara, la esposa de su hijo Tobías, y la bendijo con estas palabras: “¡Bienvenida seas, hija mía! ¡Bendito sea tu Dios, que te ha traído a nosotros! ¡Bendito sea tu padre, bendito sea mi hijo Tobías y bendita seas tú, hija! ¡Bienvenida seas a tu casa! Que goces de alegría y bienestar. Entra, hija mía”.
 
Y aquel fue un día de fiesta para todos los judíos que habitaban en Nínive.
===================
Mientras continuamos en este viaje con Tobit, leemos sobre el regreso seguro del hijo de Tobit, Tobías y su nueva esposa Sara. ¿Quién acompañó a Tobías en este viaje? Fue San Rafael Arcángel. Rafael le dijo a Tobías que “untara la hiel del pescado” en los ojos de su padre, Tobit, y sería sanado de su ceguera. Tobit fue sanado y se alegró por la capacidad de ver a su hijo de nuevo. Raphael es el santo patrón de los viajeros y de los que están ciegos.
 
Tobías y Ana luego salieron a recibir a su nueva nuera, Sara, en su ciudad de Nínive y en su familia. Hubo gran alegría aquel día por todo lo que Dios había hecho en sus vidas.
 
¿Qué podemos aprender de esta historia?
 
1) Dios está con nosotros en este viaje de la vida, cada paso del camino. El arcángel Rafael estuvo con Tobías en su viaje y lo mantuvo a salvo. Dios nos envía ángeles, amigos y compañeros en el camino. El maligno quiere que pensemos que estamos solos. Jesús nos dice que nunca estamos solos.
 
2) Dios quiere sanar nuestras heridas. Rafael le mostró a Tobías qué hacer para que Tobit pudiera ver una vez más. Cuando Tobit vio a su hijo por primera vez en mucho tiempo, “lo abrazó entre lágrimas.” Cada uno de nosotros tiene heridas y algunas de ellas van a nuestro mismo núcleo. Si no enfrentamos estas heridas, los resultados no son buenos – ira, lujuria, gula, etc. Jesús quiere sanar estas heridas. Él quiere inundarnos con Su gracia sanadora para que nuestra pecaminosidad sea reemplazada por virtud, paz y alegría.
 
3) Dale a Dios gracias y alabanza por Sus abundantes dones. Tobit y Ana se alegraron y alabaron a Dios por Sus muchos dones. Necesitamos tomar tiempo y reflexionar sobre la increíble gracia de Dios. Luego tenemos que alegrarnos y cantar Su alabanza. Toma tiempo cada día para agradecerle a Dios por Sus abundantes bendiciones. Cuando vayas a Misa para adorar a Dios, recuerda que la Eucaristía significa acción de gracias.
 
4) Comparte la Buena Nueva con otros. “Tobit proclamó cómo Dios había restaurado misericordiosamente la vista de sus ojos.” Cuando compartimos nuestro testimonio de todas las cosas que Dios ha hecho por nosotros, puede impactar poderosamente a la gente. A todos nos encanta escuchar historias y somos inspirados a darle nuestras vidas a Dios cuando escuchamos lo que Él ha hecho por otros.
 
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Thought for Thursday, 9th Week of Ordinary Time (June 8, 2017)
 
Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1bcde, 9-17; 8:4-9a
 
When the angel Raphael and Tobiah had entered Media
and were getting close to Ecbatana,
Raphael said to the boy,
“Tobiah, my brother!”
He replied: “Here I am!”
He said: “Tonight we must stay with Raguel, who is a relative of yours.
He has a daughter named Sarah.”
 
So he brought him to the house of Raguel,
whom they found seated by his courtyard gate.
They greeted him first.
He said to them, “Greetings to you too, brothers!
Good health to you, and welcome!”
And he brought them into his home.
 
Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
and gave them a cordial reception.
When they had bathed and reclined to eat, Tobiah said to Raphael,
“Brother Azariah, ask Raguel to let me marry
my kinswoman Sarah.”
Raguel overheard the words; so he said to the boy:
“Eat and drink and be merry tonight,
for no man is more entitled
to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother.
Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you,
because you are my closest relative.
But I will explain the situation to you very frankly.
I have given her in marriage to seven men,
all of whom were kinsmen of ours,
and all died on the very night they approached her.
But now, son, eat and drink.
I am sure the Lord will look after you both.”
Tobiah answered,
“I will eat or drink nothing until you set aside what belongs to me.”
 
Raguel said to him: “I will do it.
She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses.
Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!
Take your kinswoman;
from now on you are her love, and she is your beloved.
She is yours today and ever after.
And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both.
May he grant you mercy and peace.”
Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him.
He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words:
“Take her according to the law.
According to the decree written in the Book of Moses
 
she is your wife.
Take her and bring her back safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity.”
Raguel then called Sarah’s mother and told her to bring a scroll,
so that he might draw up a marriage contract
stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife
according to the decree of the Mosaic law.
Her mother brought the scroll,
and Raguel drew up the contract, to which they affixed their seals.
 
Afterward they began to eat and drink.
Later Raguel called his wife Edna and said,
“My love, prepare the other bedroom and bring the girl there.”
She went and made the bed in the room, as she was told,
and brought the girl there.
After she had cried over her, she wiped away the tears and said:
“Be brave, my daughter.
May the Lord grant you joy in place of your grief.
Courage, my daughter.”
Then she left.
 
When the girl’s parents left the bedroom
and closed the door behind them,
Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife,
“My love, get up.
Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us
and to grant us deliverance.”
She got up, and they started to pray
and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
And they began to say:
 
“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
 
They said together, “Amen, amen,” and went to bed for the night.
=========================
We continue reading the story of Tobit today. Yes, it is a long reading, but very interesting. Imagine marrying seven men and all of them die on your wedding day before the marriage is consummated… Imagine being suitor #8… I probably would look elsewhere for a spouse if I were Tobiah. Would you want to marry someone whose seven previous boyfriends all died on their wedding night? Sarah too must have been so scared. Even the maid blamed her for the deaths of her seven husbands.
 
I had to laugh as I read the words from Raguel (Sarah’s father) to Tobiah (the new husband), “But now, son, eat and drink. I am sure the Lord will look after you both.” Tobiah could have been thinking, “That is easy for you to say, but I’m the one putting my life on the line.” But Raguel was a man of faith and trusted that the Lord would protect them.
 
Tobiah and Sarah trusted in the Lord and prayed that God would deliver them and save them and their prayers were answered. This is a story about the power of faith and prayer. In the eyes of the world, Tobiah would be crazy to take Sarah as his wife. He surely would be killed. Yet before they consummated their marriage, the two of them got out of bed and began to pray and beg God for mercy and deliverance.
How quick are we to pray? How quickly do we jump into our daily activities without even thinking of God? Do we pray about all of the important decisions that we make in life? When we turn over our lives to God, EVERY aspect of our lives, He blesses us more than we could imagine. This surrender is not easy because it means that we are not in control any longer. That is the point. We are called to die to ourselves and live for God. The Lord wants to live in us and wants us to be His instruments in a world desperate for His love. If we are full of ourselves, there is no room for God to work through us. Do I trust God enough to pray for and follow His will? He is the one who created me and is the lover of my soul.
May we meditate on this beautiful story of Tobiah and Sarah, one often used at weddings. I recommend doing a morning offering as soon as you wake up. Offer to God your day, the joys and sufferings you will encounter, all the people you will meet that day. Pray to God throughout the day as you are going about your business. Reflect on your day in the light of the Holy Spirit before you go to bed. Share your closest moment with God that day with your spouse or best friend. Consecrate your day to God and then be ready to be amazed at His providence.
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
 
Here is the Spanish translation:
 
Tobías 6, 10-11; 7, 1. 9-17; 8, 4-9
En aquellos días, cuando entraron a la provincia de Media y se acercaban a la ciudad de Ecbatana, Rafael le dijo al joven Tobías: “Tobías, hermano”. Él le contestó: “¿Qué quieres?” Rafael le dijo: “Es necesario que pasemos esta noche en casa de Ragüel, pariente tuyo, que tiene una hija llamada Sara”.
 
Al llegar a Ecbatana, Tobías le dijo a Rafael: “Azarías, hermano, condúceme por el camino más corto a casa de Ragüel, nuestro hermano”. Rafael lo condujo a la casa de Ragüel, a quien encontraron sentado en la puerta de su patio, y lo saludaron. Él les contestó: “¡Mucho gusto, hermanos! Sean bienvenidos”. Y los hizo pasar a su casa. Mató un carnero de su rebaño y los recibió amablemente.
 
Se lavaron, se purificaron y se sentaron a la mesa. Entonces Tobías le dijo a Rafael: “Azarías, hermano, dile a Ragüel que me dé la mano de mi hermana Sara”. Ragüel alcanzó a escucharlo y le dijo a Tobías: “Come y bebe y descansa tranquilamente esta noche. Nadie tiene más derecho que tú, hermano, para casarse con mi hija Sara, y a nadie se la puedo yo dar sino a ti, porque tú eres mi pariente más cercano. Pero tengo que decirte una cosa, hijo. Se la he entregado a siete parientes nuestros y todos murieron antes de tener relaciones con ella. Por eso, hijo, come y bebe y el Señor cuidará de ustedes”.
 
Tobías replicó: “No comeré ni beberé, hasta que no hayas tomado una decisión acerca de lo que te he pedido”. Ragüel le contestó: “Está bien. Según la ley de Moisés, a ti se te debe dar. El cielo mismo lo ha decretado. Cásate, pues, con tu hermana; desde ahora tú eres su hermano, y ella, tu hermana. Desde hoy y para siempre será tu esposa. Hijo, que el Señor del cielo los acompañe durante esta noche, tenga misericordia de ustedes y les conceda su paz”.
 
Ragüel mandó llamar a su hija Sara, ella vino, y tomándola de la mano, se la entregó a Tobías, diciéndole: “Recíbela, pues, según lo prescrito en la ley de Moisés. A ti se te da como esposa. Tómala y llévala con bien a la casa de tu padre. Y que el Señor del cielo les conceda a ustedes un buen viaje y les dé su paz”.
 
Entonces Ragüel llamó a la madre de Sara y le pidió que trajera papel para escribir el acta de matrimonio, en que constara que su hija había sido entregada por esposa a Tobías, de acuerdo con lo establecido en la ley de Moisés. La esposa de Ragüel trajo el papel. Y él escribió y firmó. Y después se sentaron a cenar.
 
Ragüel llamó a su esposa Edna y le dijo: “Hermana, prepárales la habitación y conduce allá a Sara”. Edna fue, preparó el lecho como su esposo le había indicado y llorando por la suerte de Sara, la condujo allí. Se enjugó las lágrimas y le dijo: “Hija mía, ten valor. Que el Señor del cielo cambie tu tristeza en alegría. ¡Ten valor!” Y salió de la habitación.
 
Al terminar la cena, Ragüel y Edna decidieron acostarse y acompañaron al joven a la habitación. Cerraron la puerta y se fueron.
 
Tobías se levantó y le dijo a Sara: “¡Levántate, hermana! Supliquemos al Señor, nuestro Dios, que tenga misericordia de nosotros y nos proteja”. Se levantó Sara y comenzaron a suplicar al Señor que los protegiera, diciendo: “Bendito seas, Dios de nuestros padres y bendito sea tu nombre por los siglos de los siglos. Que te bendigan los cielos y todas tus creaturas por los siglos de los siglos. Tú creaste a Adán y le diste a Eva como ayuda y apoyo, y de ambos procede todo el género humano. Tú dijiste: ‘No es bueno que el hombre esté solo. Voy a hacer a alguien como él, para que lo ayude’ “.
 
“Ahora, Señor, si yo tomo por esposa a esta hermana mía, no es por satisfacer mis pasiones, sino por un fin honesto. Compadécete, Señor, de ella y de mí y haz que los dos juntos vivamos felices hasta la vejez”.
 
Y los dos dijeron: “Amén, amén” y se durmieron en paz.
======================
Hoy continuamos leyendo la historia de Tobías. Sí, es una lectura larga, pero muy interesante. Imagina casarte con siete hombres y todos ellos mueren el día de tu boda antes de que el matrimonio sea consumado… Imagina que eres el pretendiente #8… Probablemente yo buscaría en otra parte una esposa si fuera Tobías. ¿Te gustaría casarte con alguien cuyos siete novios anteriores murieron en su noche de bodas? Sara también debió haber estado muy asustada. Incluso la criada la culpó por la muerte de sus siete maridos.
 
Tuve que reírme mientras leía las palabras de Ragüel (el padre de Sara) a Tobías (el nuevo esposo), ” Por eso, hijo, come y bebe y el Señor cuidará de ustedes.” Tobías pudo haber estado pensando, “Eso es fácil para ti de decir, pero yo soy el que pone mi vida en la línea. Pero Ragüel era un hombre de fe y confiaba en que el Señor los protegería.
 
Tobías y Sara confiaron en el Señor y rezaron para que Dios los librara y los guardara y sus oraciones fueron respondidas. Esta es una historia sobre el poder de la fe y la oración. A los ojos del mundo, Tobías estaría loco al tomar a Sara como su esposa. Seguramente sería asesinado. Sin embargo, antes de que consumaran su matrimonio, los dos se levantaron de la cama y comenzaron a orar y a rogarle a Dios por la misericordia y la liberación.
 
¿Qué tan rápidos somos para orar? ¿Qué tan pronto saltamos a nuestras actividades diarias sin siquiera pensar en Dios? ¿Rezamos por todas las decisiones importantes que tomamos en la vida? Cuando le entregamos nuestras vidas a Dios, CADA aspecto de nuestras vidas, Él nos bendice más de lo que podemos imaginar. Esta entrega no es fácil, porque significa que ya no tenemos el control. Ese es el punto. Estamos llamados a morir para nosotros mismos y a vivir para Dios. El Señor quiere vivir en nosotros y quiere que seamos Sus instrumentos en un mundo desesperado por Su amor. Si estamos llenos de nosotros mismos, no hay espacio para que Dios obre a través de nosotros. ¿Confío en Dios lo suficiente como para orar y seguir Su voluntad? Él es el que me creó y es el amante de mi alma.
 
Que podamos meditar sobre esta hermosa historia de Tobías y Sara, una que a menudo se utiliza en bodas. Yo recomiendo hacer una ofrenda de la mañana tan pronto te despiertes. Ofrécele a Dios tu día, las alegrías y los sufrimientos que encontrarás, todas las personas que encontrarás ese día. Rézale a Dios durante el día a medida que vas en tus asuntos. Reflexiona sobre tu día en la luz del Espíritu Santo antes de irte a la cama. Comparte tu momento más cercano con Dios ese día con tu cónyuge o mejor amigo. Conságrale tu día a Dios y luego prepárate para sorprenderte en Su providencia.
 
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Thought for Wednesday, 9th Week of Ordinary Time (June 7, 2017)
 
Tobit 3:1-11a, 16-17a
 
Grief-stricken in spirit, I, Tobit, groaned and wept aloud.
Then with sobs I began to pray:
 
“You are righteous, O Lord,
and all your deeds are just;
All your ways are mercy and truth;
you are the judge of the world.
And now, O Lord, may you be mindful of me,
and look with favor upon me.
Punish me not for my sins,
nor for my inadvertent offenses,
nor for those of my ancestors.
 
“We sinned against you,
and disobeyed your commandments.
So you handed us over to plundering, exile, and death,
till you made us the talk and reproach of all the nations
among whom you had dispersed us.
 
“Yes, your judgments are many and true
in dealing with me as my sins
and those of my ancestors deserve.
For we have not kept your commandments,
nor have we trodden the paths of truth before you.
 
“So now, deal with me as you please,
and command my life breath to be taken from me,
that I may go from the face of the earth into dust.
It is better for me to die than to live,
because I have heard insulting calumnies,
and I am overwhelmed with grief.
 
“Lord, command me to be delivered from such anguish;
let me go to the everlasting abode;
Lord, refuse me not.
For it is better for me to die
than to endure so much misery in life,
and to hear these insults!”
 
On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media,
it so happened that Raguel’s daughter Sarah
also had to listen to abuse,
from one of her father’s maids.
For she had been married to seven husbands,
but the wicked demon Asmodeus killed them off
before they could have intercourse with her,
as it is prescribed for wives.
 
So the maid said to her:
“You are the one who strangles your husbands!
Look at you!
You have already been married seven times,
but you have had no joy with any one of your husbands.
Why do you beat us? Is it on account of your seven husbands,
Because they are dead?
May we never see a son or daughter of yours!”
 
The girl was deeply saddened that day,
and she went into an upper chamber of her house,
where she planned to hang herself.
 
But she reconsidered, saying to herself:
“No! People would level this insult against my father:
‘You had only one beloved daughter,
but she hanged herself because of ill fortune!’
And thus would I cause my father in his old age
to go down to the nether world laden with sorrow.
It is far better for me not to hang myself,
but to beg the Lord to have me die,
so that I need no longer live to hear such insults.”
 
At that time, then, she spread out her hands,
and facing the window, poured out her prayer:
 
“Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God,
and blessed is your holy and honorable name.
Blessed are you in all your works for ever!”
 
At that very time,
the prayer of these two suppliants
was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God.
So Raphael was sent to heal them both:
to remove the cataracts from Tobit’s eyes,
so that he might again see God’s sunlight;
and to marry Raguel’s daughter Sarah to Tobit’s son Tobiah,
and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her.
======================
We are midway through our second week of Totus Tuus training in Rockford, IL. It is so inspiring to see 84 young adults come together to grow in faith and wisdom to share the love of God with the youth of our dioceses. We are training with the (Arch)Dioceses of Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, St. Cloud, MN, Davenport, IA and Lexington, KY. The Church is alive and well!
 
We continue today with a reading from Tobit. In yesterday’s reading, Tobit scolded his wife for stealing the goat, which she did not do. She challenged Tobit, saying that his true colors were coming out in his sinfulness. Although he was known to be a righteous man, he was a sinner, which became evident in this interaction with his wife.
 
In his anguish, Tobit went to the Lord in prayer. At one point, he asked the Lord to take his life. He poured out his heart to the Lord in supplication. It is not clear whether Tobit asked for forgiveness for his actions, or he just felt hurt by the way his wife had spoken to him. What is important is that he turned to God in prayer.
In a parallel story, Sarah married seven husbands and they all died before they had intercourse to consummate the marriage. The maid condemned Sarah as the one who was killing the men. Sarah was crushed by these words. Sarah, like Tobit, considered suicide or death as the best option at this point. But as she prayed, she realized that suicide would hurt her elderly father.
The point of this story is that God heard the prayers of Tobit and Sarah and sent his angel Raphael to heal them and restore them. I love this story because the situations are so human. People are hurting and they turn to God in prayer. God hears their prayers, like he hears our prayers. They show us the importance of relating everything to God in prayer – the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t be afraid to share with the Lord what is on your heart, especially if it is painful.
God loves us more than we can imagine. As we read the Gospels, we see that Jesus is always healing and loving. God is love. Are we ready to receive His love? Let us turn to Him today in prayer and supplication. Today your prayer may be in thanksgiving and gratitude. Tomorrow it may be one of sadness and mourning. The next day it may be one of despair or anger. As a priest, I am privileged to walk with many people through the good times and tough times of life. It is easy to pray when things are going well. Sometimes it is hard to pray when times are tough. Instead of turning to the Lord, the evil one wants us to blame God and turn away from Him. God is the only One who is completely trustworthy and faithful.
 
Whatever your prayer may be, be assured that the Lord is listening. He may not answer our prayers exactly the way we want, but He will answer every prayer according to His holy will, leading us to new life in Him.
Have a great day!
Fr. Burke
 
Spanish translation:
 
Tobías 3, 1-11. 16-17
En aquellos días, Tobit, profundamente afligido, oró entre sollozos, diciendo: “Señor, tú eres justo y tus obras también son justas. Siempre procedes con misericordia y lealtad. Tú eres el juez del mundo. Acuérdate de mí, Señor, y ten piedad de mí. No me castigues por mis pecados, no tomes en cuenta mis faltas ni las de mis padres.
 
Porque desobedecimos tus mandatos nos entregaste al saqueo, al destierro y a la muerte; nos hiciste objeto de las murmuraciones, las burlas y el desprecio de las naciones entre las cuales nos dispersaste. Señor, tu castigo es verdaderamente justo, porque ni mis padres ni yo hemos cumplido tus mandamientos ni hemos sido leales contigo. Haz de mí lo que quieras, Señor: quítame la vida, hazme desaparecer y volver al polvo, pues más me vale morir que vivir, porque me han llenado de insultos y estoy hundido en la tristeza. Líbrame ya, Señor, de esta desgracia, envíame al descanso eterno y no te alejes de mí. Pues más me vale morir que vivir sufriendo tantas desgracias y escuchando tantos insultos”.
 
Aquel mismo día, Sara, la hija de Ragüel, que vivía en la ciudad de Ecbatana, en la provincia de Media, tuvo que soportar los insultos de una esclava de su padre, porque Sara se había casado siete veces y Asmodeo, el malvado demonio, había matado a todos sus maridos, apenas se acercaban a ella. Así pues, la esclava le dijo: “¡Tú eres la que estrangulas a tus maridos! Te has casado con siete y no has disfrutado a ninguno. ¿Por qué te desquitas con nosotras por la muerte de tus esposos? Vete a donde están ellos y que nunca veamos ni un hijo ni una hija tuyos”.
 
Sara se entristeció tanto, que comenzó a llorar y subió al segundo piso de su casa, con intención de ahorcarse. Pero reflexionó: “No lo haré, no vaya a ser que la gente insulte a mi padre, diciéndole que su hija única, tan querida, se ahorcó de dolor y sea yo así la causa de que mi padre se muera de tristeza. Más vale que no me ahorque, sino que le pida al Señor que me envíe la muerte, para que no tenga que escuchar ya tantos insultos durante mi vida”. Entonces levantó sus manos hacia el cielo e invocó al Señor Dios.
 
En aquel instante, el Dios de la gloria escuchó las súplicas de Sara y de Tobit, y envió al ángel Rafael a curarlos: a Tobit, quitándole las manchas blancas de los ojos, a fin de que pudiera ver la luz de Dios, y a Sara, hija de Ragüel, librándola del malvado demonio Asmodeo, para darla como esposa a Tobías, hijo de Tobit, pues Tobías tenía más derecho a casarse con ella que todos los que la habían pretendido.
=======================
Estamos a mitad de nuestra segunda semana de entrenamiento de Totus Tuus en Rockford, IL. Es tan inspirador ver a 84 jóvenes adultos unirse para crecer en fe y sabiduría para compartir el amor de Dios con la juventud de nuestra diócesis. Estamos entrenando con la Arquidiócesis de Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, St. Cloud, MN, Davenport, IA y Lexington, KY. ¡La Iglesia está viva y bien!
 
Hoy continuamos con una lectura de Tobías. En la lectura de ayer, Tobías regañó a su esposa por robar la cabra, cosa que no hizo. Ella desafió a Tobías, diciendo que sus verdaderos colores estaban saliendo en su pecaminosidad. Aunque era conocido por ser un hombre justo, era un pecador, lo cual se hizo evidente en esta interacción con su esposa.
 
En su angustia, Tobías se dirigió al Señor en oración. En un momento, le pidió al Señor que le quitara la vida. Le derramó su corazón al Señor en súplica. No está claro si Tobías pidió perdón por sus acciones, o simplemente se sintió herido por la forma en que su esposa le había hablado. Lo importante es que se dirigió a Dios en oración.
 
En una historia paralela, Sara se casó con siete maridos y todos murieron antes de tener coito para consumar el matrimonio. La sirvienta condenó a Sara como la que estaba matando a los hombres. Sara fue aplastada por estas palabras. Sara, al igual que Tobías, consideró el suicidio o la muerte como la mejor opción en este momento. Pero mientras ella oraba, se dio cuenta de que el suicidio le haría daño a su anciano padre.
 
El punto de esta historia es que Dios escuchó las oraciones de Tobías y de Sara y envió a su ángel Rafael para sanarlos y restaurarlos. Me encanta esta historia porque las situaciones son tan humanas. La gente está sufriendo y se dirigen a Dios en oración. Dios escucha sus oraciones, asi como escucha nuestras oraciones. Nos muestran la importancia de relacionar todo a Dios en la oración – lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo. No tengas miedo de compartir lo que está en tu corazón con el Señor, especialmente si es doloroso.
 
Dios nos ama más de lo que podemos imaginar. Mientras leemos los Evangelios, vemos que Jesús siempre está sanando y amando. Dios es amor. ¿Estamos listos para recibir Su amor? Volvamos a Él hoy en oración y súplica. Hoy tu oración puede ser en acción de gracias y gratitud. Mañana puede ser de tristeza y de luto. Al día siguiente puede ser de desesperación o de ira. Como sacerdote, tengo el privilegio de caminar con mucha gente por tiempos buenos y tiempos difíciles de la vida. Es fácil rezar cuando las cosas van bien. A veces es difícil rezar cuando los tiempos son difíciles. En lugar de dirigirnos al Señor, el maligno quiere que culpemos a Dios y nos alejemos de Él. Dios es el Único que es fiel y completamente digno de confianza.
 
Sea cual sea tu oración, puedes estar seguro de que el Señor está escuchando. Puede que no conteste nuestras oraciones exactamente de la forma que queremos, pero Él contestará cada oración según Su santa voluntad, llevándonos a una nueva vida en Él.
 
¡Que tengas un gran día!
Padre Burke
Thought for Tuesday, 9th Week in Ordinary Time (June 6, 2017)
 
Tobit 2:9-14
 
On the night of Pentecost, after I had buried the dead,
I, Tobit, went into my courtyard
to sleep next to the courtyard wall.
My face was uncovered because of the heat.
I did not know there were birds perched on the wall above me,
till their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing cataracts.
I went to see some doctors for a cure
but the more they anointed my eyes with various salves,
the worse the cataracts became,
until I could see no more.
For four years I was deprived of eyesight, and
all my kinsmen were grieved at my condition.
Ahiqar, however, took care of me for two years,
until he left for Elymais.
 
At that time, my wife Anna worked for hire
at weaving cloth, the kind of work women do.
When she sent back the goods to their owners, they would pay her.
Late in winter on the seventh of Dystrus,
she finished the cloth and sent it back to the owners.
They paid her the full salary
and also gave her a young goat for the table.
On entering my house the goat began to bleat.
 
I called to my wife and said: “Where did this goat come from?
Perhaps it was stolen! Give it back to its owners;
we have no right to eat stolen food!”
She said to me, “It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages.”
Yet I would not believe her,
and told her to give it back to its owners.
I became very angry with her over this.
So she retorted: “Where are your charitable deeds now?
Where are your virtuous acts?
See! Your true character is finally showing itself!”
======================
Tobit is one of the wonderful books of the Old Testament that I would recommend reading. At the beginning of the book, Tobit proclaims himself to be a righteous man. He is very generous in giving to the poor and he took it upon himself to give the dead a dignified burial, even risking his life to do so.
In today’s reading, however, we see the sinful side of Tobit. His wife has worked hard and has been paid her wages, plus they gave her an extra bonus by giving her a goat. Tobit’s anger is ignited because he thinks that she stole the goat. She stops him in his tracks by telling Tobit,
“Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your virtuous acts? See! Your true character is finally showing itself!”
Wow! He must have been humbled. And if you continue reading in Tobit, he then goes before the Lord in tears, asking God for forgiveness.
What can we learn from this story? Humility, vigilance, patience. We have to remember that we are all sinners, even the holiest among us. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We are never far from falling into sin, which can cause scandal to others around us.
 
We must constantly be in prayer. We must be vigilant to fight off the temptations to sin that come our way every day. We must be aware of our weaknesses and our habitual sins and fortify our soul with prayer and fasting. Scripture says, “The devil is prowling like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) He knows our weakness and attacks us right there. Be vigilant!
Tobit probably was a very righteous man, but even he was prone to sin, as we all are. In all humility, let us come before the Lord and ask Him, “Lord help me to remain vigilant and humble. Protect me from all temptation. Help me to allow your light to shine in me, within me, through me all the days of my life. Let not my sinfulness shine forth, nor let me be a cause of scandal to those around me. But help me to draw others close to you by the way I think, speak, act, love and forgive…”
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
 
Here is the Spanish translation:
 
Tobías 2:9-14
En la noche de Pentecostés, después de haber enterrado a los muertos,
Yo, Tobías, fui a mi patio
a dormir junto a la pared del patio.
Mi cara estaba descubierta por el calor.
No sabía que había pájaros posados en la pared por encima de mí,
hasta que sus excrementos cálidos cayeron en mis ojos, causando cataratas.
Fui a ver a algunos médicos para una cura
pero cuanto más me untó los ojos con diversos remedios,
peor las cataratas se hacen,
hasta que no pude ver nada más.
Durante cuatro años fui privado de la vista, y
todos mis parientes se apenaron de mi condición.
Ajicar, sin embargo, me cuidó durante dos años,
hasta que se fue a Elimaida.
En ese momento, mi esposa Ana trabajó por contrato
en tejer telas, el tipo de trabajo que las mujeres hacen.
Cuando devolvió los bienes a sus propietarios, ellos le pagarían.
A finales de invierno en el séptimo de Distros,
terminó el paño y lo envió de nuevo a los propietarios.
Ellos le pagaron el sueldo completo
y también le dieron un cabrito para la mesa.
Al entrar a mi casa la cabra empezó a gemir.
Llamé a mi mujer y le dije: “¿De dónde vino esta cabra?
¡Tal vez fue robada! Devuélvela a sus dueños;
¡no tenemos derecho a comer alimentos robados!”
Ella me dijo: “Se me fue dado como un bono por encima de mi salario.”
Sin embargo, no le creía,
y le dije que se lo devuelva a sus propietarios.
Me puse muy enojado con ella por esto.
Así que ella replicó: “¿Dónde están tus obras de caridad ahora?
¿Dónde están tus actos virtuosos?
¡Ves! ¡Tu verdadero carácter esta finalmente mostrándose!”
======================
Tobías es uno de los maravillosos libros del Antiguo Testamento que yo recomendaría para leer. Al principio del libro, Tobías se proclama a sí mismo ser un hombre justo. Él es muy generoso en darles a los pobres y que se encargó de dar a los muertos un entierro digno, aun arriesgando su vida para hacerlo.
 
En la lectura de hoy, sin embargo, vemos la parte pecaminosa de Tobías. Su esposa ha trabajado duro y ha sido pagado sus salarios, además de que le dieron un bono extra dándole una cabra. La ira de Tobías se encendió porque él piensa que ella robó la cabra. Ella lo detiene en seco diciéndole Tobías,
 
“¿Dónde están tus obras de caridad ahora? ¿Dónde están tus actos virtuosos? ¡Ves! ¡Tú verdadero carácter esta finalmente mostrándose!”
 
¡Wow! Debe haber sido humillado. Y si continúas la lectura en Tobías, luego se va ante el Señor entre lágrimas, pidiendo perdón a Dios.
 
¿Qué podemos aprender de esta historia? humildad, vigilancia, paciencia. Tenemos que recordar que todos somos pecadores, incluso los más santos entre nosotros. “Todos pecaron, y están destituidos de la gloria de Dios.” (Romanos 3:23) Nosotros nunca estamos lejos de caer en el pecado, lo que puede causar escándalo a los que nos rodean.
 
Debemos estar en oración constante. Debemos estar atentos para luchar contra las tentaciones al pecado que se nos presentan cada día. Debemos ser conscientes de nuestras debilidades y nuestros pecados habituales y fortificar nuestra alma con la oración y el ayuno. La Escritura dice: “El diablo esta rondando como león rugiente, buscando a quien devorar.” (1 Pedro 5:8) Él conoce nuestras debilidades y nos ataca allí. ¡Estén atentos!
 
Tobías probablemente era un hombre muy justo, pero él era propenso al pecado, como lo somos todos. Con toda humildad, vamos a presentarnos ante el Señor y le pedimos: “Señor, ayúdame a permanecer vigilante y humilde. Protégeme de toda tentación. Ayúdame a permitir que tu luz brille en mí, dentro de mí, a través de mí todos los días de mi vida. No dejes que mis pecados brillen adelante, menos me dejes ser una causa de escándalo para los que me rodean. Pero ayúdame a atraer a otros cerca de ti por mi forma de pensar, hablar, actuar, amar y perdonar… “
 
¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Fr. Burke
Thought for Monday, 9th Week of Ordinary Time (June 5, 2017)
 
Mark 12:1-12
 
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
“A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:
 
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?”
 
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.
=========================
In the Gospel for today, Jesus tells a parable about a vineyard that we know is directly related to Him. Those who heard this parable first-hand didn’t have the privilege that we have reading this now, 2000 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have the whole Bible and have studied it. We now know that Jesus would be the “stone that the builders rejected”.
 
We can easily say, “How did they reject Jesus? He is the Son of God! I would never do that.” Yet, if we look at our lives honestly, we can probably see areas of our lives in which we reject Jesus as the Lord of our lives. It may be subtle, but that is how the evil one works on us.
 
It may be that we are leading a double life. Outwardly people think we are living the perfect life, but in private we are leading another life. Am I bringing everything to the light of Christ?
 
Or we may be holding a grudge in our hearts against someone. Grudges prevent the love and mercy of God from penetrating deep into our hearts. Can I forgive the person that has hurt me deeply? Ask the Lord for the ability to see, forgive and love this person like Jesus sees, forgives and loves them.
 
Jesus calls us to bring everything to the light. He will never reject us if we come to Him in humility. He is always waiting with arms open wide for us to return. Be open and honest with the Lord. Allow Him to love you with His unconditional love.
 
Is Jesus the Lord of my life? Do I reject Him in subtle or hidden ways in my life? Do I love like Him, pray like Him, forgive like Him and act like Him? Is He truly the center of my life? Do I have hidden parts of my life that I try to hide from everyone, even Jesus? Let us call out to Jesus in faith. May we live our lives in integrity so that all that we do and say is in line with what we believe and profess.
 
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke
 
Spanish translation:
 
Marcos 12,1-12
En aquel tiempo, Jesús comenzó a hablar en parábolas a los sumos sacerdotes, a los escribas y a los ancianos y les dijo:
 
“Un hombre plantó una viña, la rodeó con una cerca, cavó un lagar, construyó una torre para el vigilante, se la alquiló a unos viñadores y se fue de viaje al extranjero.
 
A su tiempo, les envió a los viñadores un criado para recoger su parte del fruto de la viña. Ellos se apoderaron de él, lo golpearon y lo devolvieron sin nada. Les envió otro criado, pero ellos lo descalabraron y lo insultaron. Volvió a enviarles otro y lo mataron. Les envió otros muchos y los golpearon o los mataron.
 
Ya sólo le quedaba por enviar a uno, su hijo querido, y finalmente también se lo envió, pensando: ‘A mi hijo sí lo respetarán’. Pero al verlo llegar, aquellos viñadores se dijeron: ‘Éste es el heredero; vamos a matarlo y la herencia será nuestra’. Se apoderaron de él, lo mataron y arrojaron su cuerpo fuera de la viña.
 
¿Qué hará entonces el dueño de la viña? Vendrá y acabará con esos viñadores y dará la viña a otros. ¿Acaso no han leído en las Escrituras: La piedra que desecharon los constructores es ahora la piedra angular. Esto es obra de la mano del Señor, es un milagro patente?”
 
Entonces los sumos sacerdotes, los escribas y los ancianos, quisieron apoderarse de Jesús, porque se dieron cuenta de que por ellos había dicho aquella parábola, pero le tuvieron miedo a la multitud, dejaron a Jesús y se fueron de ahí.
=====================
En el evangelio de hoy, Jesús habla de la parábola de la viña, que sabemos está directamente relacionada con Él. Aquellos que escucharon esta parábola de primera mano no tuvieron el privilegio que tenemos nosotros al leerla 2000 años después de la muerte y resurrección de Jesús. Tenemos toda la Biblia y la hemos estudiado. Ahora sabemos que Jesús seria “La piedra que los constructores rechazaron”.
 
Podemos fácilmente decir “¿Cómo pudieron rechazar a Jesús? ¡Él es el Hijo de Dios! Yo nunca haría eso” Aun, si honestamente miramos nuestras vidas, probablemente podemos mirar áreas de nuestras vidas en las cuales rechazamos a Jesús como el Señor de nuestras vidas. Puede ser sutil, pero así es como trabaja el maligno en nosotros.
 
Puede ser que estemos llevando una doble vida. Aparentemente la gente piensa que estamos viviendo la vida perfecta, pero en privado estamos llevando otra vida. ¿Estoy trayendo todo a la luz de Cristo?
 
O quizás estemos guardando un rencor en nuestros corazones hacia alguien. Los rencores impiden que el amor y la misericordia de Dios penetren en lo más profundo de nuestros corazones. ¿Puedo perdonar a la persona que me ha herido profundamente? Pídele al Señor la habilidad de ver, perdonar y amar a esta persona como Jesús la ve, la perdona y la ama.
 
Jesús nos llama a traer todo a la luz. Él nunca nos rechazará si venimos a Él con humildad. Él siempre espera nuestro regreso con los brazos abiertos. Se honesto y abierto con el Señor. Permítele que te ame con Su amor incondicional.
 
¿Es Jesús el Señor de mi vida? ¿Lo rechazo de maneras sutiles u ocultas en mi vida? ¿Amo como Él, rezo como Él, perdono como Él y actúo como Él? ¿Es Él verdaderamente el centro de mi vida? ¿He escondido partes de mi vida que trato de esconder de todo el mundo, incluso de Jesús? Llamemos a Jesús con fe. Y que podamos vivir nuestras vidas en integridad para que todo lo que hacemos y decimos esté en línea con lo que creemos y profesamos.
 
¡Que tengas un día bendecido!
Padre Burke
Posted by: frburke23 | June 3, 2017

Thought for Pentecost Sunday (June 4, 2017)

Thought for Pentecost Sunday (June 4, 2017)
 
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 2:1-11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
 
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”
========================
Happy birthday to the Church on this feast day of Pentecost. St. Cyril of Alexandria said that with the Holy Spirit within us, “it is quite natural for people who had been absorbed by the things of this world to become entirely otherworldly in outlook, and for cowards to become people of great courage.”
 
This made me think of all the people that the Holy Spirit has completely transformed, beginning with these apostles who were gathered in the upper room, afraid they would be next to be crucified. They went from fleeing the persecution to shedding their blood for Jesus. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
St. Francis of Assisi had everything the world had to offer. His father was a successful merchant and wanted Francis to follow in his footsteps. However, Francis left everything for a life of poverty and is still impacting our world almost 800 years after his death. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
St. Teresa of Calcutta left her first religious community to form another one to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and now around the world. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
St. John Paul II was an athlete, a playwright, a philosopher, among his many talents. Yet, he gave up everything to follow Jesus as a priest, bishop and eventually pope. His travels around the world have impacted millions around the world, including me. You can only explain this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
These are just a few people who were “absorbed by the things of this world”, but through the Holy Spirit became “entirely otherworldly in outlook.” Some of them were cowards and were given great courage by the Holy Spirit.
 
What about you?
Have you tried to fill your life with the things of the world?
Have you felt cowardly when it comes to sharing your faith?
Have you called upon the Holy Spirit to completely transform your life?
Maybe God is calling you to be the next St. Francis, St. Teresa or St. John Paul II?
 
Happy Pentecost. Come Holy Spirit, come!
 
Fr. Burke

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