“ONE” Is Not The Loneliest Number

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Oh my, which scripture passage should I reflect on today?

  1. 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” orlike yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

or

  1. “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
“ONE” Is Not The Loneliest Number

Repentance & Mercy

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Luke 12:10, Matthew 12:31 and Mark 3:29 were very troubling passages for me early in my Christian journey. I used to wonder, have I ever blasphemed the Holy Spirit? The explanation in 1864 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is one I recite daily as a reminder of God’s mercy and as a prayer. It says …

“Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss. (1864 CCC)

God’s mercy is so much greater than our sins, and as the teaching tells us, there are no limits to His mercy. Glory and praise to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Saturday, October 15, 2016
Repentance & Mercy

Thanking God

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The scripture readings today bring to mind the importance of giving thanks to God. In the first reading from 2Kings 5:14-17, Naaman, who had leprosy, was told by the prophet Elisha to go and plunge in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman was perplexed by this command thinking that there are better ways to be healed rather than plunging into a dirty old river. But when he finally did, he was completely cured of his leprosy. He went back to Elisha to present him with gifts but Elisha refused. Why? Because this healing was not caused by Elisha, but all thanksgiving, glory and praise goes to God.

Leprosy and thanksgiving continues in the Gospel reading from Luke 17:11-19. There were ten lepers who wanted to be cured. Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priest. They go and on the way, they all are completely cured of their leprosy. One of the former lepers, a Samaritan, returns to give thanks to Jesus. I am sure the other nine were also grateful but as our priest, Fr. Joseph, suggested in the homily, they did not know who to give thanks to.

The message for me today is that God is to be given thanks, glory and praise for every gift and blessing. We thank people daily in our lives for helping us in some way, which is good, but ultimately, the thanksgiving belongs to God. I thank many for the great blog posts I read, which is good, but ultimately, the glory goes to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when I am thanked for doing something good for someone, I hope I can be more like the prophet Elisha and give thanksgiving to whom it truly belongs. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Sunday, October 9, 2016
Thanking God

Keeping My Mouth Shut

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I will preface this as it is very late, just past the midnight hour and I am fighting to stay awake and the reality that my 4:30am alarm is going to be ringing soon. Reading and writing a daily scripture reflection has become important for my own growth daily. I do not want to do it just because I have to do it. That being said, I am struggling tonight so here is my best effort, God willing.

I was fascinated with today’s first reading from Job 38:1 – 40:5. Job was a good man who loved the Lord. God permitted Satan to test Job and as I have written about recently, Job went through more than I think any of us could possibly handle.

God addresses Job with many questions, which would put Job and all of us in our place if we are filled with pride. It was the last question and answer that fascinated me. The Lord said to Job … Tell me, if you know all: Which is the way to the dwelling place of light, and where is the abode of darkness?” And now, a message to me from the mouth of Job … “Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more.”

I am nobody. I do much better when I shut my mouth, listen more, pray and love. My opinion does not need to be known unless it is truly God speaking through me. Pride is a terrible sin and when I think my plan is going to work without consulting and discerning the Lord’s will in the Holy Spirit, I act a fool. Today, I seek to follow the words of Job and put my hand over my mouth. Lord help me. Your will be done.

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Mike Burke; Friday, September 30, 2016
Keeping My Mouth Shut

Move On

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In reading today’s Gospel from Luke 9:51-56, I can reflect on God’s grace and how it has changed me. I was much like Jesus’ disciples when I was younger but not in a positive way. Jesus and his disciples were headed for Jerusalem and they came to a Samaritan village. The Samaritan’s would not welcome Jesus. Jesus was ready to move on to another village but James and John had a different idea. So they asked Jesus … “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” That would have been me. My competitive nature would want to find a way to punish or exert power against them.

Today, I would walk away, pray for the people who would not accept me and my friends and move on. There is no need to argue. If you do not like me, so be it. Let the will of God be done and that is to love even when we are not being loved. I think of Jesus and what He did for me and for all of us on the road to Calvary. He was beaten and scourged, spit upon, called names, falsely accused and pretty much treated inhumanely. What do you think we would have done in that situation with the power of God in us? Do you think we might have come down from the cross and smacked a few people around or even call down fire from heaven to consume our enemies?

Jesus chose to suffer and die for me. So, if I am faced with being treated wrongly, I need to walk away and move on. Truthfully, God has graced me with positive change. My competitive juices still sometimes flow but God has granted me strength to control my passions in ways I could never do before. I think the simple act of moving on can bring great glory to God and be a witness to the example of the power of prayer.

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Mike Burke; Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Move On

Give and Take

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The first reading today from the first chapter of Job is an eye-opener. If one thinks they have problems in life, please read. God is pleased with Job, an upright and faithful servant of God. Satan tells God that Job is faithful only because he and his family have been protected by God and the works of his hands have been blessed. God tells Satan that all Job has is now in Satan’s power but that Satan cannot lay a hand on Job.

So here is a synopsis of what happened in one day. Job was told that all of his oxen and asses were taken and all the herdsmen were killed. Next, lightning struck his sheep and shepherds and consumed them. Then, his camels were seized and those tending them were all killed. Lastly, his sons and daughters were having dinner together and a strong wind collapsed the house and they were all killed.

Honestly, how much could one person take? How did Job respond to all the evil and tragedy brought on by Satan? The scripture says … Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair. He cast himself prostrate upon the ground. But as Job lay prostrate on the ground, he says something that reveals the type of love, faith, hope and fear of the Lord that I want. You see, I do not think I could handle what happened to Job. Satan ruined his life here on earth. Satan took away all the things of the world but he could not take Job’s soul.  Job says … “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!”

It is much easier to praise the Lord in good times. I want to praise Him in good times and in difficult times as my faith and trust must be in the Lord. I know that I am very weak but I know that it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me. Praise God! Blessed be the name of the Lord! Amen.

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Mike Burke; Monday, September 26, 2016
Give and Take

Rich Man, Poor Man, LOVE

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How long will the merciful God I believe in be patient with us? When will we listen to the constant warnings God has given us? When will we understand the Parables of Jesus and take heed to His message? The Gospel today from Luke 16:19-31 is another wake-up call. When will we as children of God wake up?

Lazarus is a very poor man. He was ignored by a very rich man. They both died and went to the netherworld. The father of all nations, Abraham was resting comfortably with Lazarus in his bosom. The rich man was far off, separated by a great chasm, suffering torment in flames. He wanted help from Lazarus to cool his tongue. When they were both alive on earth, Lazarus needed help also but the rich man was too busy, concerned about himself, rather than being concerned with a poor, low-life like Lazarus. Abraham tells the rich man that no help can come any longer because the chasm will not allow either side to crossover. That in itself is a great warning for us.

How do I read this? First of all, we have major problems all over the world. No matter where we live, there are problems. If we will not listen to God, we are going to end up like the rich man. If we keep telling God we know best and we do not need Him or even that we do not believe in Him, He is going to love us by letting us choose our own demise. I read about people blaming God. How can a loving God let all this evil happen? I would like to ask how people who are loved by God, keep choosing to sin against Him? The blame lies fully with us. Our loving Father sent His Son Jesus to save us. His Son died for us so that we can live. He has told us what to do. The answer is simple yet we do not, as children of God, do what God has commanded us. Love God and love each other. LOVE is the answer.

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Mike Burke; Sunday, September 25, 2016
Rich Man, Poor Man, LOVE