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
The Gospel today from Luke 11:5-13 is about persistence in prayer. We remember Jesus telling us … ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Yesterday, all of us choir directors received an email from our music coordinator asking if someone could cover the 9am Mass. I ignored the email figuring someone else would answer it but I prayed something like Lord, if you want me to play this Mass then you will make it happen and I trust in you.
I am at work today and after closing the doors of the office, I walked to church for Mass. When I came back to work from Mass, I was feeling very tired, had a runny nose and wondering if I am getting sick. I checked my email and there was one from the music coordinator asking me if I would cover the Mass because no one else stepped up. I wrestled with this and on my drive home, I decided to call my guitar player to see if he would do the Mass with me because if I was sick, he could sing and play and I could accompany him.
Being the great man that he is, he said yes. I went home with the intent of preparing the music and let our music coordinator know but as I went to compose the email, the music coordinator had sent me another email saying that it was covered. Now I personally think that I was being tested by God to trust Him by saying yes and committing to serve even though I was not feeling well. All the while, He had another plan.
What does this have to do with persistence in prayer? Knowing our music coordinator, she was praying for help in covering that Mass. I believe she was persistent and God answered her prayer with the right people He wanted to cover the Mass. And, at the same time, he sent a reminder to me that I must trust Him. He knows if I am the right person. I must be open to His call without fear of sickness or any prideful/vain reasons to not want to serve. God loves us all so much. He is amazing!
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Mike Burke; Thursday, October 6, 2016
After reading today’s scripture passages from Luke and Job, what comes to mind is how important it is to give glory and praise to God constantly and to deepen my personal relationship with Him. There is nothing I can do better than to love my Lord, and for His glory and praise, love everyone He places in my life.
Job did it even amidst all of his suffering. Jesus did it for His Father. The disciples of Jesus, returning from their mission, rejoiced and gave glory and praise to God. He deserves all my thanksgiving and praise. I think if people throughout the whole world, would take a moment, just a moment daily to give thanks, praise and glory to God, we would see a great conversion from the evils of darkness to the light of Christ in love for God and neighbor. Amen.
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Mike Burke; Saturday, October 1, 2016
I was thinking as I was reading today’s Gospel that if people really knew me, they would probably consider me to be a little crazy. I pray a lot even when I am in the midst of a conversation. People have no idea that I am praying for them. God is so good. I trust that He will use everything I do and say to somehow glorify Himself through my feeble attempts to serve Him and those in my life. If people saw me in my room as I walk by a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary, stop, kiss the image my beautiful spiritual mother and tell her I love her, what would they think? Or, if they knew how many times a day I tell Jesus I love Him.
Wow, I really love the Lord. In the Gospel of Luke 9:57-62, Jesus asks certain men to follow Him. The last man in today’s Gospel tells Jesus … “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Even today, how often do we put off following Jesus? As I grow deeper and deeper in love with God, I find myself more at peace even when the things around me do not go as I want them to. God’s will, not mine comes to mind. Jesus tells the man who wants to say farewell to his family … “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” I have found Jesus or should I say, been found by Jesus and there is no reason to look back. What is done is done. By the world’s standards, I am overweight, ok..fat, out of shape and considered most likely unfit. But by the grace of God, I am hoping to be fit for the Kingdom of God.
I found myself walking serenely to my car and praying for anyone that hates me because I may have hurt them in some way in the past. I was asking God to shower blessings upon all of them while I asked for His mercy and their forgiveness. Then I prayed for five people in the present, only two of whom I actually have met, who have touched my life in my blogging and professional world, who have gone through and are going through health issues. I would even ask you readers to pray for Luis, Bill, Lois, Pete and Vincent. It places great joy in my heart to bring everyone to the Lord. Who better to trust for healing?
Today I remind myself to live in the present moment. There is still much to do in loving God and others without bringing up the past, which I can do nothing about except to place it in the hands of God’s mercy. I think moving forward in Christ is the way to become fit for the Kingdom of God.
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Mike Burke; Wednesday, September 28, 2016