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

Raising Up The Lowly

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I was reading today’s Gospel from Luke 11:29-32, which talks about condemnation of people who will not repent. Jesus tells us … “This generation is an evil generation.” I can look at the world today and see it very clearly. Sometimes, I can look in the mirror and see it clearly as well.  But I was actually uplifted by the message of repentance as well as the Responsorial Psalm 113 which tells me … “He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor.”

You see, as I laid down my head to rest last night, I felt like a had fallen into a dunghill. Yesterday, I had a complete day to myself to do whatever I want. My days have been filled with work and many other opportunities to serve. When I have time to myself like I did yesterday, I am not always happy with the choices I make. I take on a selfish attitude where I, and my desires, become more important to me. I will leave it at that and try to practice and accept what I always seem to write … “Our God is a merciful God.” Being humbled and repenting is a good thing. Lord have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.

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Mike Burke; Monday, October 10, 2016
Raising Up The Lowly

A Good Samaritan: Go And Do Likewise

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Today’s Gospel story from the mouth of Jesus is the story of the Good Samaritan. The story tells of a man who is beaten by robbers and left for dead. A priest walks by and crosses on the other side of the road. Then a Levite comes by and does the same. A Samaritan, who was despised by Jews, 1) poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them; 2) Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him; 3) The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, “Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.”

Jesus told this story because he was being tested by a scholar of the law. Can you imagine testing God? Unfortunately, I think we do the same more than we know. The scholar answers his own question about what must he do to inherit eternal life by telling Jesus to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. But he wished to justify himself and asked Jesus, “and who is my neighbor?” We then get the Good Samaritan story.

The Gospel of Luke 10:25-37 concludes with this dialogue … Jesus asks, which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

What the Samaritan did was amazing in my eyes. I wonder how many people I have passed by throughout my life. What I have learned about myself is that I do little things such as giving a smile, a compliment, a helpful hand and maybe even writing this daily reflection, which is my way of treating others with love and mercy. I have had to learn that it may not be much but it is what I can do and I think it is pleasing to God.

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Mike Burke; Monday, October 3, 2016
A Good Samaritan: Go And Do Likewise

Entrusted To The Mercy Of God

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On September 21 in 2000, my dad Glen Burke passed away. Five years later on the same day in 2005, my brother Bob Dofflow followed my dad. Twice a year, I honor my dad and my brother on this day and on their birthdays.

I was hoping today as I read the scripture readings that something would come to mind in a unique way to honor them. I did not grow up with my brother as he was born in my mother’s first marriage. I grew up an only child with my dad and mom, but had frequent interaction with my brother, sister-in-law, nephews and nieces.

Both of them were very hard working men. They set a very good example for me as to being responsible as husbands and fathers. I cannot remember God being spoken of with them until the end of their lives. My dad and mom took the approach with me to allow me to find God and religion when I was ready. We may not have talked about the Lord, but their examples of love and service exemplified our awesome and merciful God and I believe they both did the best that they could do.

So today on the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle, whom Jesus called to follow Him and who was considered to be a great sinner by the Pharisees, I remember the words of Jesus. Jesus was criticized for eating with Matthew, a tax collector, and with other sinners and He told the Pharisees … “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Today, in the Spirit of Love and Thanksgiving, I again entrust my dad and brother to the mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love you dad. I love you Bob. Amen.

Mike Burke; Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Entrusted To The Mercy Of God