Oh my, which scripture passage should I reflect on today?
- The Kingdom of God is “like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush andthe birds of the sky dwelt in its branches” or “like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
- “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the Church, he himself the savior of the Body. As the Church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.”
I have heard so many interpretations of number 2. I do not have to understand what it means. All I really need to do is to know my loving and merciful Heavenly Father, my loving and merciful Lord and Savior Jesus and the power of their love in the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave His life for us, the Church. I am to love my wife as Christ loved the Church. He died for it. I must die for her.
Our God created man and woman to complement each other giving us equal dignity. Why would we want to cause separation between us by ever thinking that one is greater than the other? The two become ONE flesh. ONE! EQUAL! As Jesus tells us often to love one another as I have loved you. We know how He loved us. Praise and Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
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Mike Burke; Tuesday, October 25, 2016
It is hard for me to believe that my best friend and music partner Duane Allen, would have turned 79 years old today. Duane passed away in May of 2003. Those who had the privilege to know this gentle giant of a man will tell many stories of his days as a professional football player primarily with the Los Angeles Rams & Chicago Bears, his bouts as a professional wrestler, his acting career, his coaching career and his music career with me for over 25 years. But, they will also tell you about his sacrifice, love and care for everyone who came into his life.
Today’s Gospel passage from Luke 12 has Jesus telling us to do what is right. If we have problems with others, settle them before taking them before a magistrate who just may rule in your opponents favor. I bring this up because Duane was a powerful athletic man. He could have settled many things physically and I believe come away the winner. His demeanor though, “off the field”, was one of kindness, care and concern for the welfare of others. I may be wrong in saying this but I believe it to be true. In the music business, especially playing the nightclub circuits, there were times that club owners would not want to pay full value if crowds were sparse. Duane always handled the business end and I, and if anyone else was playing with us, always received full pay. I think Duane paid often out of his own pocket so that we would be compensated properly. That speaks volumes for the tremendous man he was.
Happy birthday Duane. I pray for you every day. My hope is that you are now with our Heavenly Father, Jesus and all the saints in Heaven. I hope that I will one day join you again and together we can sing praises to our God.
Mike Burke; Friday, October 21, 2016
This day as I was reading scripture, I thought about how awesome is the grace we are given of praying for others as well as being prayed for. In Ephesians 3, St. Paul prays for all of us. This is such an awesome prayer, that no words from me will do it justice. He prays …
Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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Mike Burke; Thursday, October 20, 2016
This week of reading scripture has been very different for me. I have been very inspired to pray more, read slowly and ask questions. The results are amazing to me. I do not think my writing will be different or more inspiring but I have received a grace that I am loved by our Heavenly Father beyond any measure I could possibly share.
I focus very much on my sinfulness. I know how weak I am as a disciple of Jesus and I tend to share that a lot in my writing. When I read passages from scripture, especially the Gospels, I can easily point to the sinner I am. I do think it is important to recognize the sin in me so that I can ask for help to be a better version of who I was created to be. But in spite of my sins, I am truly loved by God and that message seems to be much clearer to me.
St. Paul, in Ephesians 3, talks about being given an insight to the mystery of Christ. That insight was given only to him, the apostles and disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit. That revelation was great news for us “that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.” We are those same Gentiles. As a father, my children are welcome to everything I have. They are coheirs. How much greater is it for each of us to know that everything our Heavenly Father has is for us as coheirs with Christ!
Thank you Heavenly Father for this promise of adoption for us. Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus, gave His life out of love for us in doing Your Holy Will. In the Spirit of love and thanksgiving, all glory and praise is Yours Father through your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, Amen.
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Mike Burke; Wednesday, October 19, 2016
The Gospel Acclamation today is from John 15:16-17. If I was ever to wonder if my life has any meaning or if God has a purpose for me, these few words should answer any doubts I might have. Jesus says … It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.
Sometimes my thought process has it backwards. With my free will, I think that I came up with the plan to pick up my cross and follow Jesus. I know the truth, that Jesus chose me and gives me sufficient grace to bear fruit in loving others like He loves me. There is my cross, to love one another. Jesus, in today’s Gospel from Luke 10:1-9, appoints 72 disciples to be sent to every town He plans to visit. He gives them explicit directions and tells them they will be sent like “lambs among wolves.”
In understanding His words, loving others will not be easy. Putting others needs before my own is not easy. Being patient with someone who is unreasonable is not easy. Caring for someone who does not like me is not easy. If I believe the words of Jesus, I am told that in my journey to bear fruit in loving others, my Heavenly Father will give me whatever I ask in Jesus’ name. Do I really believe that? I will tell you today that I do but I will also tell you that my words too often speak louder than my actions. Reading this passage, my desire to speak Christ must be accompanied by being Christ for others.
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Mike Burke; Tuesday, October 18, 2016