He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:21

A regular prayer in my daily routine when praying the 3rd Luminous mystery, the proclamation of the kingdom of heaven  is to ask for the ability to recognize the works of the Kingdom of heaven all around me.

Today I saw one at daily mass.

My parish doesn’t have mass on Friday, so for daily mass today I went to the 5:30 mass at my old parish.  I was looking forward to mass today because the first reading for today from the Acts of the Apostles is one of my favorite in Scripture.

Let me set the scene:  The Apostles have been arrested by order of the high priest who has called together the Sanhedrin (The senate of Israel) and the next day they call for the prisoners to be brought before them.  To everyone’s shock the jail is empty even though the doors are locked and the guards in place and then to top it as their being told this they are informed that the prisoners are in the Temple teaching (Unbeknownst to the Sanhedrin an angel of the Lord releases them from prison and tells them to go to out to the Temple and preach).  Even worse when they are brought before the Sanhedrin to explain themselves Peter, speaking for them all, is defiant and they want to put them to death for it, until this happens…

But a Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the men to be put outside for a short time, and said to them, “Fellow Israelites, be careful what you are about to do to these men.

Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing.

After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered. So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.  But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”

They were persuaded by him. After recalling the apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.

Acts 5:34-41

Two thousands years later everyone is talking about Amoris Laetitia the latest pronouncement from Peter and to many that would be proof of Gamaliel’s words but a better proof took place just a few minutes after the priest finished his sermon.

As he started to present the gifts to the alter suddenly there was a loud noise, a dragging screech that echoed through the mostly empty church as it moved forward.  It was so loud it was hard to hear the priest who was not using a microphone and continued until an elderly man, leaning heavily on his walker sans the tennis balls usually on the back slowly sat himself down in the front row pew.

When you glanced at him.  You could see that to stand was a struggle and when the time came for communion the priest made it a point to go to his pew and allow him to receive the Eucharist sitting down before distributing it to the rest of the congregation that came forward.

Now this man was clearly in rough shape and nobody in the church would question his missing even Sunday, let alone daily, Mass.  He is the type of person that the televised mass and the Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist who bring the Body of Christ to the faithful at home exist for.  Yet when I spoke to him after mass, noting the example he set, he answered quite matter of factly that he wanted to be at Mass and thanked me, before turning back to his Pieta Prayer book returning to his prayers as he kneeled in supplication in praise to God.

Two millennia after Gamaliel warned that if the church was from God it could not be destroyed, there here he was bearing witness that indeed it was so.

For my money that, in my opinion, is The Catholic story of the day.

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One, and only one, U.S. presidential candidate has been invited by the Vatican to attend the Centesimus annus: 25 Years Later conference – Bernie Sanders,

“I think the Vatican has been aware of the fact that, in many respects, the pope’s views and my views are very much related,” Sanders said. “He has talked in an almost unprecedented way about the need to address income and wealth inequality, poverty and to combat the greed that we’re seeing all over this world, which is doing so much harm to so many people. … For me, it is an extraordinary honor to receive this invitation.”

Bernie will be at the Vatican on April 15th, on time to discuss how to redistribute your hard-earned money. Sanders adviser Jeffrey Sachs is presenting a paper.

Among the speakers at the conference are Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, who will also present a paper:

Changes in the World Political Situation Since 1981
Author: President Rafael Correa
The fall of the Soviet Union and the democratization of Eastern Europe was the major political backdrop of Centesimus annus. What is the global political situation today and which elements require greater attention by both the international community and by Catholic social teaching?

One political situation that required attention recently was Ecuador’s approval of 16 amendments to its Constitution, which Freedom House deemed in violation of democratic principles. Additionally,

Ecuador is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales, too, has a paper,

The New Proposals Coming From Latin America Author: President Evo Morales
In the light of Pope Francis’ reading of the previous documents of the Magisterium, presented during the World Meeting of the Popular Movements of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, the author will present his proposal based on his experience as a leader of the popular movements, rooted in the pre-Columbian cultural traditions and populations.

Pope Francis was a speaker at that World Meeting of Popular Movements. That was last year; this year Morales is embroiled in an ongoing scandal involving his former girlfriend (now in jail), their alleged child (who may or may not be alive), and a number of contracts with the Chinese government.

Morales, whose current term expires in 2020, recently lost a referendum to allow him to run for a fourth term.

Morales, not a Catholic, is a believer of pantheism, and his country passed a law granting human rights to nature

The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.

The invitation to Saunders, Morales, and Correa grants the three a legitimacy that will be widely propagandized by the Left as a seal of approval from the Church.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

This is the week of opening day and right now no matter how bad a start a team might have fans across the nation have hope that when the calendar turns to September their team will be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

The reality of course is that only five teams in each league will be in the post season, 3 division winners and two wild card teams, one of which will eliminated after a single playoff game. Thus for most teams and cities disappointment will be the rule.

To put this in perspective these are the games scheduled for September 28th 2016

Mariners vs Astros 2:10 PM
D-backs vs Nationals 7:05 PM
Red Sox vs Yankees 7:05 PM
Cubs vs Pirates 7:05 PM
Orioles vs Blue Jays 7:07 PM
Indians vs Tigers 7:10 PM
Mets vs Marlins 7:10 PM
Phillies vs Braves 7:10 PM
Twins vs Royals 7:15 PM
Brewers vs Rangers 8:05 PM
Rays vs White Sox 8:10 PM
Reds vs Cardinals 8:15 PM
Athletics vs Angels 10:05 PM
Dodgers vs Padres 10:10 PM
Rockies vs Giants 10:15 PM

By the time these games are played many if not most of the teams playing will be eliminated from playoff contention. Furthermore it is very likely that several teams who are fighting for a playoff birth will find themselves playing against teams that are mathematically eliminated.

Now ask yourself his question: How would you react if the teams who were eliminated simply decided to forfeit their games rather than play them?

After all, they have no chance of winning and their opponents do? Isn’t it unfair that they are taking away potential wins from a team that actually can do something for them? Is it unfair to the fans of the teams still in contention that these cellar dwelling teams might thwart their chances to advance?

Of course such a person making that argument would be laughed out of the park. You are only entitled to a win over an opponent no matter how weak. If you want that “W” you have to finish the game with more runs. Remember even the worst team in modern history the 1962 Mets, managed to win 40 games.

And that brings us to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Both Donald Trump and my guy Ted Cruz have argued that John Kasich should drop out of the race for the GOP nomination on the grounds that he has no mathematical chance to get to 1237 delegates, but more importantly both Trump and Cruz have argued the Kasich is taking votes away from them.

That argument is nonsense.

It’s true that if Kasich wasn’t in the race and people had to choose between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz potential Kasich voters would likely choose one or the other. And if Kasich chooses to leave the race, I’d be quite delighted.

But those votes don’t “belong” to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or even to John Kasich. Those votes belong to the voter who is casting them.

And if Mr. Trump or Senator Cruz wants the votes of people inclined to support Governor Kasich, they, like a team looking to earn a playoff spot has to earn them.

And that’s how it should be.
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