Our Resurrection, “Like The Angels In Heaven”

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Even though I am living in a broken marriage, I love my wife. If I were to gather up all the most memorable moments in our almost 43 years of marriage, I would consider them as experiencing heaven on earth. I know that is not even close to the promises of Heaven in scripture but it will have to do for now.

In today’s Gospel from Mark 12:18-27, we find the Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection, posing to Jesus a scenario that if 7 men marry the same woman and they all die, whose wife will she be at the resurrection? The answer that Jesus gave was … “When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.”

Marriage is a gift from God with its purpose of procreation. We continue to bring children into the world with the hope of building the Kingdom of God. We grow as a family and learn to love. It is a special gift given that we can experience a human love so deep while we learn that our God loves us infinitely more. Then in Heaven we are united to the one who created us, died for us and loves us more intimately than we could possibly understand here in this life.

The Lord Jesus tells us today “He is not God of the dead but of the living.” Death is not the end of our lives but only the beginning. There is a resurrection. May God give us his grace to live our lives worthily to build his Kingdom on earth that will prepare us for the joy of our resurrection and of everlasting life. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Wednesday, June 1, 2016
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Our Resurrection, “Like The Angels In Heaven”

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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I have said this so many times before and I will continue to say it forever that I am a mama’s boy. I love my mama, the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is perfect in every way and wants only for me to love Jesus. Every prayer and intercession she says for me is to glorify her Son, my Lord and Savior.

On this Feast Day, I imagine a young girl with child, traveling rough terrain with the uncertainty of her safety to go to her cousin to help her during her pregnancy. When Jesus arrives in the womb of Mary, John the Baptist leaps with joy in the womb of Elizabeth. It is an amazing passage to read and Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) is one of the most beautiful and humble prayers in scripture. I say this prayer every day for the glory of God in honor of our Mother.

In today’s reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 12:9-16, he lists a litany of what we should and should not do. After reading it a few times, it actually describes our Blessed Virgin Mary in my humble opinion. Paul says … Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.

I love you Mother Mary! To God be the glory! In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sharing In The Divine Nature

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For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.

2 Peter 1:5-7

What is “this very reason” that we are to follow this wisdom? It is to share in the Divine Nature. God’s will is to allow us to share in his Divinity as adopted sons and daughters.

His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.

2 Peter 1:3-4 

How great is our God! I am reminded that I am still on the journey because to share in the Divine Nature, it will be after I escape from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. And to be brutally honest, I am still struggling each day especially in the area of self-control with endurance.

As I finish today, here in the USA it is Memorial Day. I honor those who have served our country, those serving our country today and especially those who gave their lives for the freedom I am given today. May God bless them along with their family members. May the entire world, through the grace, love and mercy of God, live in peace. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Monday, May 30, 2016
Sharing In The Divine Nature

Bread and Wine

Last Supper by Pieter Rubens courtesy of Web Art Gallery

I usually write my scripture reflections the night before so it is late Saturday evening and I am posting this for Sunday’s “Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.” My Saturday was so awesome for me that I wanted to share some of my joy today.

After lunch, I went to church early to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel. I had a specific sin weighing on me and we conversed for a while. At 3pm, I had a music rehearsal for Mass that was very uplifting. From there I went to confession with a priest I have never gone to before. For some reason tonight while praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit before confession, I was nervous. When the confessional door opened, I went in, sat down, and confessed my sins. My belief is that Jesus uses his ordained priests to speak through them with God’s guidance, love, mercy and the absolution one truly desires from the Lord if one is truly repentant. I have never felt the arms of Jesus wrapped around me more than I felt tonight as I left the confessional.

Next, we had a music sound check to prepare for Mass. Our group was short two very important members so some of us had to change vocal parts which can be a challenge. It was a beautiful Grace given us as God blessed our music. Tonight and Sunday, the focus is all on bread and wine becoming the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist. I received him tonight with great reverence. Without a doubt, I do believe.

My goal for this blog is to share my journey. I share what I believe. I am not a teacher or an apologist but I can share with you my beliefs, which are the teachings of the Catholic Church. I am not trying to change or convince you to believe like me. That would come from the Grace of God working on all of us. I pray for unity every day so if we are not at the same place in our journeys, we can pray for each other for God’s Grace of truth. As Christians, I really believe that we are all seeking the truth who is Jesus Christ. In addition, we must show each other his love, forgiveness and mercy even should we not agree.

I hope all of you my brothers and sisters in Christ, have a beautiful and blessed weekend!

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Mike Burke; Sunday, May 29, 2016
Bread and Wine

Answer Me!

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How many times in my life have I tried to rationalize situations in my head? Too many times I have thought if I say this, they will say that or if I do this, they will do that. It is that prideful discernment of what’s in it for me, how will it affect me, me, me, me. It is not right to do but being truthful, honest and loving in all situations and concerned about the needs of others before my own is the right thing to do. That is a tough one.

In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 11:27-33, the chief priests, scribes and elders ask Jesus a couple of honest questions … “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus answers the question with a question … “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”

They had two choices so they discussed their answer. Now all the factors came into play. Rather than honestly telling Jesus what they thought, they put scenarios together saying … “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”– they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”

What did Jesus say? “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.” I think that was a wise answer from Jesus, which would cause them to discuss what they were going to do with him. We know eventually what they would do with him and I must praise and thank Jesus every day who freely accepted his passion and death out of love for me. With the help of his grace, maybe one day I will be able to do that for you for the glory of God.

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Mike Burke; Saturday, May 28, 2016
Answer Me!

Uncharitable Comments

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I received what I consider some very uncharitable comments from a blogger. I have learned much from the Lord. I will not be baited by someone who spews a lack of charity with the pride and arrogance of the evil one. Since I write for God’s glory and seek to love him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength as well as loving my neighbor as myself, I will show my love for this blogger by deleting the comments and praying for this person.

Unfortunately for me, I will now have to moderate comments because of the uncharitable nature of people in this world we live in. So in the first reading today from 1 Peter 4:7-13, this verse jumped out … Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.” I can rejoice in suffering and can share it with my Lord who suffered and died for me. I am blessed!

Next, the Gospel from Mark 11:11-26 ends with Jesus saying this … When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”

I have forgiven and now will continue in the peace of Christ praying for the conversion, transformation and surrender to the will of God for each and every one of us with the hope that we will love and respect each other in the way our heavenly Father loves us. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Friday, May 27, 2016
Uncharitable Comments

Serve The Lord With Gladness

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I spent last evening with some of our college students at a VIP event at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was a great night. Besides touring the Aquarium, I spent much of the night in joy and laughter with these enthusiastic young adults. It was great to experience their joy, which brought joy into my heart.

When I follow Jesus, I can sometimes forget joy and become way too serious about serving the Lord. I spend time rationalizing myself and usually focus on my failures. It is easier for me to focus on my sins and weaknesses rather than my strengths and abilities to love and serve others for God’s glory. The Responsorial Psalm 100 today says, “Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.”

The Psalm mentions singing, which I do a lot, and it always brings me joy. It says to serve the Lord with gladness and tonight, serving the Lord for these students, I did it with gladness. “The Lord is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.” Isn’t that the truth!

Thank you Lord for this awesome gift. Serving you can bring me great joy if I will just get out of your way. I love you Jesus. Amen.

Mike Burke; Thursday, May 26, 2016
Serve The Lord With Gladness