Sunday, May 29, 2016

Solemnity of Corpus Christi: True Priest & Sacrifice


Today is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, or the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why is so much attention given to the Body and Blood of Christ?  Well, basically because Our Lord suffered and died for us.  He gave His Body and shed his blood so all can have the doors of Salvation opened to them.

Moreover, Christ emphasized the importance of His Salvific work on the Cross by leaving us the Holy Eucharist.  During the Last Supper, Our Lord took bread and wine, blessed it and distributed among the Apostles saying that they were His Body and Blood.  He instructed them to do this in His memory.  (Luke 22:7-20)  In other words, this meal was not a one-time thing.  It had to continue.

Was Jesus Crazy?
Was Jesus joking around when He said that bread and wine were His Body and Blood?  The answer is no.  In John 6:22-69 Jesus gave a long talk about the "Bread of Life."  He goes on to say that the bread Moses gave wasn't the "True Bread." The people asked Him for this "Bread of Life" and He then makes the radical statement that HE is the "Bread of Life" and the "True Bread from Heaven."  The people began to murmur among themselves because they knew Jesus was the son of Joseph, and not to mention that His words were a bit strange and in today's  postmodern world would be interpreted as psychotic and delusional.

However, it gets "stranger," so to speak.  Jesus continues saying that one has to "eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life."  This is when the people really had enough.  Many walked out on Him thinking He was a lunatic or a delusional.  Jesus then turns to His disciples and asks them if they will leave as well.  Peter replies saying that they can't go anywhere else because Jesus had the words of eternal life.  Peter is always the first to speak up or to lead, this shows why the Pope is the first bishop among all bishops of the world.

Real or Symbol?
Moreover, something interesting happens here in regards to how serious Jesus was about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Many of our separated brothers and sister in the Protestant faith believe the Holy Eucharist is a symbol and not literally Christ's Body Blood Soul and Divinity.  Let's think about this for a moment: When people started abandoning Jesus for saying that one has to eat His flesh and drink His blood, Jesus didn't run in front of them and say "hey, wait a minute, I was joking." Instead, Jesus let them go.  This shows that He was very serious about His flesh and blood being actual things or foods that someone has to consume.  In 1 Cor 10:16  St. Paul reminds the people that the bread and wine are the Lord's Body and Blood.  He never calls them a symbolic representation of them.

Why bread and wine?
In Genesis 14:18 we read about Melchizedek - priest of God and king of Salem- giving Abram bread and wine.  He then blesses Abram.  Jesus uses bread and wine to make the connection to the Old covenant and to show that He is the True Priest who offers the True Sacrifice - Himself.

Bread is a food that is delicious.  It has a lot of carbohydrates which in turn gives a lot of energy to the body when burned as calories.  It is a food that is easy to make, but does a lot to appease hunger and give nutrients.  Then there is wine.  It is used to party with and used as medicine as well as a disinfectant agent for wounds.

Jesus as Bread and Wine does exactly that to our souls.  He appeases the hunger for God and nourishes the soul.  He brings our souls to jubilation by uniting with it when one receives Holy Communion.  He heals the soul from the harm sin has caused.

One may ask:  at Mass, the Bread and Wine still look, taste, smell, feel like Bread and Wine, so how can it be the Body and Blood of Christ?  Well, God knows us well.  God designed the human body and mind.  He knows that human beings would cringe at the sight of eating raw meat and drinking blood.  How many times have we ourselves have gotten disgusted at looking at our own wounds?  It is not easy seeing blood and flesh in a traumatic form.

A few years ago, there was a big story about the "Zombie" in Miami which involved a man high on "bath salt" drugs who attacked a homeless man and literally ate his face.  People were disgusted at the news and the reality of how a human can even succumb to this evil cannibalistic act.  That being said, God would not give us tangible and biologically tactile flesh and blood to eat and drink in the sense we are used to.  Rather, He would use matter that we are all familiar with and that we enjoy: food and drink.

At consecration, the Bread and Wine do not turn into a piece of meat and human blood with DNA, platelets, red/white cells etc - unless a Eucharistic Miracle has taken place which sometimes does occur.  The outside, or the accidents of the bread and wine remain the same, but what it is, or the essence changes.  Think of it this way:  We see leaves on trees.  During spring and summer, they are green.  However, during fall they begin to change colors.  They turn red, orange, yellow and brown. Now let's think:  which one is the REAL leaf?  At one point it was green, then red, then orange, then yellow and then brown.  The leaf changed colors, so is it the same leaf when it was green?  The answer is yes.  The outside or accidents of the leaf changed, but the essence or what it is, remains the same.  The same with the Bread and Wine at Mass but in an opposite manner.  The outside remains the same (bread/wine) but the inside or what it is changes and becomes the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Similarly, we ourselves go through many changes.  Our bodies grow and change as we age; however, our temperament remains the same.

In today's first reading, we read of the primitive sacrifice offered to God. We are told of the priest Melchizedek who was king of Salem. He brought out bread and wine and offered it to God calling Him "blessed."  Does this sound familiar? This is what the priest does at Mass at the preparation, he says:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, 
for through your goodness we have received 
the bread we offer you: 
fruit of the earth and work of human hands, 
it will become for us the bread of life. 

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, 
for through your goodness we have received 
the wine we offer you: 
fruit of the vine and work of human hands 
it will become our spiritual drink. 


These actually come from the Jewish Shabbat table ritual.  It reminds us of our Jewish heritage since Christ did not come to abolish the old (Matthew 5:17). The sacrifice of Melchizedek was a foreshadowing of the Holy Eucharist where Jesus would be both priest and sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10). This is why today's responsorial Psalm says, "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  Jesus sits at the right hand (Acts 7:55, Ephesians 1:20). His enemies are His footstool showing He is above all.  Jesus rules over all people. He is a prince or royalty since birth, the King of the Jews and all mankind (Isaiah 9:6, Acts 2:30, Revelation 19:16).

Animal sacrifices were also common among pagan religions which the people of the Old Covenant often found themselves being influenced by. The use of animal sacrifices and the sprinkling of their blood was a sign of forgiveness and a foreshadowing of the true sacrifice in the person of Christ, the Lamb of God (Leviticus 4:35, 5:10; Hebrews 9:22, Leviticus 16:15, John 1:29). Animal sacrifices by themselves were just symbolic and had no power.  Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes,
"The blood of animals could neither 'atone' for sin nor bring God and men together.  It could only be a sign of hope, anticipating a greater obedience that would be truly redemptive." (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 133)
The true sacrifice is Jesus who died on the cross and had His blood shed for all of us as expiation for our sins (1 Timothy 2:6). Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was done once and is efficient for all to be redeemed (Hebrews 7:27). Many of our Protestant friends believe Catholic priests "re-sacrifice" Christ over and over, this is not true. The Sacrifice at Mass is a remembrance or reenactment if you will, of the salvific events of the Passion of Christ (CCC, 1366-67). In the Mass, we receive the Holy Eucharist and participate in the "cup of Salvation."

Today's second reading reminds us that what we have received, or tradition, is that Jesus took bread, said the blessing and said that it was 'His body.' Similarly, He took a cup and said that it was a sign of the 'new covenant' and that it is 'His blood.'  Jesus said to have this meal in remembrance of Him until He returns. The Mass comes to us directly from Christ. Christ asks us to remember Him via the Holy Eucharist. Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. This sacrament is not a symbol, but truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is important to take in and meditate on. The Mass is not a 'social gathering.'  It is not an 'obligation.' The Mass is a remembrance of Christ. Jesus is not re-sacrificed.

Finally in the Gospel, we read of the multiplication of loaves and fishes.  Jesus speaks to the crowds about God's kingdom and performed miracles. The disciples wanted Jesus to get rid of the crowds, but Jesus told them to go feed them instead. However, they only had five loaves and two fish. With these, Christ fed 5,000 people present.  Notice that the amount of food Christ used to perform the multiplication was seven (5 loaves + 2 fish), God's number which means perfection. The Gospel reminds us that Christ feeds us via the Holy Eucharist. He acts via the priest who is the disciple; remember, Jesus told the disciples to feed the people. The people had their fill after this miracle. This miracle was done shortly before Passover and is linked to the Last Supper. Christ will feed the people via the disciples and continues to do so today via our priests.

Corpus Christi is a day to reflect on this and thank Our Lord for remaining with us in hidden form under the appearance of Bread and Wine. Many dioceses and parishes have processions on this day.  They process through the parish area with the Blessed Sacrament in a Monstrance or Ciborium.  This is an awesome event and I wish every parish and diocese did this.

I also urge you to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and spent time with Him.  Many parishes have Eucharistic adoration for a period of time, sometimes perpetually.

There is nothing like getting lost in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.  Go visit our Lord, share your life, your activities, your stresses, your desires, etc.  He is there waiting for you.  May Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist be praised forever!



Please help me expand this work, donate to our fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus 



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Miami Priest Accused of Perversions

Another scandal of priest vs parishioners is brewing in the Church, this time in Miami. The story now is similar to that of Peter Miqueli, see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/12/50-shades-of-pray-priest-hunk-dolan-oh.html and http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/01/alleged-pee-drinking-gay-priest-spotted.html.  Father Pedro Corces is being accused by a group of parishioners from a group called 'Christifidelis."  They hired a private investigator who stalked the priest and even looked in the parish's trash.

According to them, the investigator found evidence that Corces is living a double life having a sexual relationship with a maintenance worker and even the deacon!  This maintenance worker they claim is the priest's boyfriend. Both are said to live together and vacation together. Photos of the priest leaving the residence of the maintenance worker are in existence, according to the priest's accuser.

The scandal began when religious sisters who taught at St Rose's Catholic school announced that they will be leaving and replaced with lay teachers. Some at the parish became upset at this and claim that Corces was forcing the nuns out.

Spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Miami said they received a dossier with the claims and evidence from the parishioners and are conducting an investigation.

The Archdiocese is known for having a problem with homosexuals infiltrating the clergy, see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/06/lavender-mafia.html.  However, we must wait until all the facts on in before concluding anying regarding Father Corces. Other parishioners are calling this a 'witch hunt' against the priests by parishioners who do not like change.

Based on what I found it seems Corces is a diocesan priest (http://www.miamiarch.org/CatholicDiocese.php?op=BCG_551815555620) though he appears to have been a postulant in the Franciscan Holy Name Province (http://www.beafranciscan.org/postulants-begin-summer-studies-at-st-bonaventure-university/  and http://www.beafranciscan.org/four-new-postulants-enter-holy-name-province/).

I will update this post as I learn more.









Source:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article80321722.html

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/miami-archbishop-asks-priest-to-resign-laments-adults-behaving-badly-7808165

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/05/27/scathing-report-accuses-miami-shore-priest-of-unholy-acts/

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/miami-archdiocese-investigating-catholic-school-scandal-after-group-compiles-dossier-on-priest-7794674




Monday, May 23, 2016

Atheism Curricula at Miami University



Universities often add interesting fields of study to their catalogs in hopes of attracting new students. Some of these fields are LGBT studies, the study of Hip Hop or Rap; there is even a course on the rapper 'Jay-Z.' Well, thanks to a donation of $2.2 million by retired businessman, Louis Appignani the University of Miami has created the first academic chair for the 'Study of Atheism, Humanism and Secular Ethics.'

Appignani, an atheist himself stated that he wants to "eliminate discrimination against atheists" and hopes "to make atheism legitimate."  Promininent atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins is pleased with the creation of this new chair: "I think it's a bold step of the University of Miami, and I hope there will be others."

I think this new academic chair may be a good idea if the study of atheism will be genuine and open to honest criticism. If this chair becomes a cesspool of so-called 'anti-theism' which promotes intolerance and hate, then the University of Miami will face many problems. They will see students of this new curriculum attacking religious students and trolling other professors who may be religious or teach religious topics.

Perhaps they can consider using my books in their courses. I may contact them if this chair does develop and is successful at the University of Miami.




Source:

www.nytimes.com/2016/05/21/us/university-of-miami-establishes-chair-for-study-of-atheism.html?_r=1

http://aleteia.org/blogs/deacon-greg-kandra/heres-a-first-wealthy-atheist-establishes-university-chair-to-study-atheism/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/university-of-miami-to-hire-the-worlds-first-chair-of-atheism-studies-a7043986.html

http://wlrn.org/post/university-miami-creates-chair-study-atheism

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Solemnity of the Holy Trinity: Love Comes in 3's

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. We remind ourselves of this important truth of the faith that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


There are NOT 3 gods, but rather 3 persons who are ONE God or one essence.  For centuries the brightest minds, both within and without the Church have tried to fully comprehend and explain this, but they could not.


God cannot be understood completely by mortals.  Human beings are limited to space, time and matter and can only understand things within the laws and experiences of each.



What human being has experienced infinity in order to define it?  What human being has experienced being all benevolent, all omnipotent, all sapient and all knowing?  There is none.   Human beings are finite creatures with finite minds.
It is important to understand that the Father is not the Son nor the Son the Father.  Moreover, the Father and Son are not the Holy Spirit and vice versa.  Each are distinct Divine persons who are of the same singular Divine substance or essence.


Think of it in this way:  One of western psychology's pioneers and also an atheist, Sigmund Freud believed that human beings have the Super Ego, Ego, and Id which comprises their psyche. Each is distinct but are of one person.  Moreover, human beings have reason, conscience, and self-awareness.  Each are distinct but are of one person. The same with God, but with the difference that each (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are distinct persons, not attributes of personality as in the aforementioned examples.


There are some sects today who deny the Holy Trinity such as, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons.  Jehovah's Witnesses even went as far as to altering the Gospel of John 1:1 to read ".. the Word was A god..." which was done to support their idea that Jesus is some sort of a lower god or demi-god.  In Genesis 1:26, God says, "Let US make man in OUR image, to be like US."  The words "US" and "OUR" signify plurality of persons.  God describes Himself as a community of persons.


It sounds confusing, but this shows the awesomeness of God.  God will never be completely understood by any creature.  If any creature understands God completely, then God would not be God. He would be a thing in nature that can be understood.



There is a story about Augustine of Hippo who is a Catholic saint and bishop. He is a well-known philosopher and a celebrated champion of Christian thought. 

Anyhow, one day he was trying to figure out God - in particular the idea of Father Son Holy Spirit as one God - he thought and thought and thought wondering how can God be 3 persons in one - how can God be God. Well, while sleeping he had a dream that he was by the shore. He saw a small child digging a hole in the sand. Once dug, the child took a shell and went to the ocean and took water. He brought it back and poured it into the hole. The child then ran back and repeated the same action. Augustine smiled and went to the child and asked the child, "what are you trying to do?" the child answered, "I am trying to put the ocean in this hole." Augustine smiled again thinking the child said something cute. Augustine replied to the child, "The ocean is vast and immense, there is no way you can put it all into this small hole." The child looked at him smiling and replied, "neither can you put all of God in your mind." At that Augustine woke and realized that no one can truly grasp God. It would be like putting the ocean into a small hole dug in the sand on a beach.  This child is said to have been Augustine's guardian angel.

Today's readings introduce the three Divine Persons. The first reading tells us of the second person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus.  Jesus was there with the Father before creation existed (John 1:14).  Before the universe was, Jesus was there.  Before the galaxies and planets, including our own were, Jesus was there (John 1:1).  The beloved Son of God, eternally begotten from the Father was always present even before time (Revelation 22:13). Jesus is not this mere human prophet who started a religion, died and turned to dust. He was and is God (John 8:58, Colossians. 2:9). He is one with the Father and has two natures: human and divine.  Jesus is not a demi-god as the Watch Tower or Mormons believe. Jesus is God. He became one of us taking on flesh but not sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). During His time on Earth as a human, He was made to be a "little less than the angels." This means that He was in the form of a human, experiencing everything a human experiences except sin.

The responsorial Psalm today reminds us that God's name is wonderful in all the Earth.  This universe is huge and beautiful. As a student of the sciences, seeing images of the universe always amazed me. Despite the glory of the universe, God pays more attention to man or the human. The Psalmist asks, "What is man that you should be mindful of him?" We should ask ourselves this. Why does God care so much for the human that He became one of us and died on the cross? This puts into perspective the love God has for us. Man is not a byproduct of evolving genes. Instead, man is a willed being created out of love.  By taking flesh, the Son of Man or Jesus lifted up the dignity of the human person (John 3:16).

In the second reading, we are reminded that our faith in God sets us up in the path of justification. This does not mean that faith alone saves (James 2:24). St. Paul is referring to faith in general that is working with grace (1 Corinthians 15:10, Ephesians 3:7). Because of this faith that is nourished by grace and put into action by works, we can "boast in our afflictions." We can put up with pain and suffering; mockery and rejection from the world because deep down we understand what is really going on (2 Corinthians 5:7). God has illuminated our minds and hearts.  This is via the Holy Spirit whose coming we celebrated last Sunday on Pentecost.

Finally in the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples that the Spirit of Truth will guide them. Jesus did not abandon His Catholic Church (Matthew 28:20).  He and the Father send the third person of the Blessed Trinity to protect her and guide her in truth (John 14:16). This is why it makes no sense for so-called "Traditionalists" to worry whenever Pope Francis says something. The Spirit of Truth is guiding the Church.  If anything happens in the Church regarding how the teachings are presented to the world, then this is the work of the Spirit of Truth.  The Catholic Church is indefectible (1 Timothy 3:15). She cannot fall into apostasy because Jesus promised that 1) The gates of Hell will not prevail and 2) The Spirit of Truth will guide her (Matthew 16:18). We must trust God always.  God is not a liar. The Catholic Church belongs to Him, not us. He takes her on the course He wants, not us.  May we seek the truth so that we can grow in love and grace to one day be united in heaven with our creator who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  May the Holy Trinity, the one and only God be adored and loved always.    


Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052216.cfm
Please help me expand this work, donate at gofundme.com/sacerdotus




Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen  

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Earth's Mantle Peels Off




Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon. However, the Southerneastern part of the United States has been having more earthquakes than usual.  Moreover, the fact that this region sits on the tectonic plate and not around on the edge where earthquakes usually occur makes it even more strange. Geologists believe they have figured why this is happening.  They believe that the bottom of the North American tectonic plate is shedding or peeling off.  This was what most likely led to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011 that shook the capital of the United States damaging the Washington monument and the Episcopal National cathedral.

Now before you freak out and think the continent is going to sink like in the movie "2012," do not worry.  This is a natural phenomenon and how the Earth repairs herself.  What happens is that older rocks break off and are pulled down by gravity. They are replaced by a younger layer of viscous rock material in the asthenosphere. The buoyancy of the viscous rock material will float up and stick to the crust creating a younger and stronger layer. God's creation is amazing right!?  This is so awesome!








Source:

http://www.livescience.com/54695-chunks-of-earth-mantle-are-peeling-off.html?utm_source=social&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=socialtwitterls&cmpid=social_ls_514645


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HIV Removed from Animal Genes



HIV is a virus that has plagued many in the LGBT community as well as in drug users who share needles. It is not a pretty virus, no virus is. This virus robs a person's of his/her immune system allowing all kinds of infections and other viruses and bacteria to invade with ease. For decades, the HIV virus has outsmarted the brightest of minds in medicine. Well the tables seem to be turning, so to speak.

American scientists have figured out how to remove HIV virus DNA from the genomes of animals. The experiment was a success and may lead to a cure if it can be successfully reproduced in human beings. Human beings are animals as well, so the success of this procedure is extremely probable.

Scientists at Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine were able to remove the HIV-1 DNA from mice and rats.  Professor Kamel Khalil who was the leader of this study stated, “In a proof-of-concept study, we show that our gene editing technology can be effectively delivered to many organs of two small animal models and excise large fragments of viral DNA from the host cell genome.”

Hopefully one day this will work in human beings and put an end to HIV once and for all.





Source:


https://www.rt.com/usa/343841-hiv-cure-animals-dna/

http://geneticexperts.org/hiv-dna-removed-from-animals-using-crispr-cas9-for-the-first-time/

http://globalnews.ca/news/2715711/americans-scientists-successfully-cut-out-hiv-genes-from-infected-animals/


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blue Lion Galaxy: Big Bang Clues?



Galaxy AGC 198691, a bluish dwarf galaxy about 30 million light years from Leo Minor has remained pretty much the same since the formation of the universe. Astronomers and cosmologists believe it may hold clues regarding the the formation and origins of the universe. Heavy elements were discovered in this galaxy. These elements stem from the very early universe.  A heavy element has an atomic number that is greater than 92. These elements are produced in stars. After the 'Big Bang,' hydrogen, helium, beryllium and lithium were the elements present which brought about all that exists today.

This discovery was published in The Astrophysical Journal and is titled ALFALFA DISCOVERY OF THE MOST METAL-POOR GAS-RICH GALAXY KNOWN: AGC 198691.  The discovery of these heavy elements can bring about a quantitative test for the 'Big Bang.'  As it stands, it is nearly impossible to study empirically the birth of the universe. Any data deriving from AGC 198691 can shed some light into the infancy of the universe and what was possibly before it, if anything.









Source:

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/108/meta;jsessionid=A0C6BD31994C99B04BEE37CD8045C0F3.c2.iopscience.cld.iop.org

http://www.iflscience.com/space/blue-galaxy-gives-clues-about-early-universe

http://thescienceexplorer.com/universe/blue-little-lion-galaxy-could-reveal-conditions-start-big-bang

http://sputniknews.com/us/20160513/1039580861/galaxy-space-research.html#ixzz48YyDtogy

http://thescienceexplorer.com/universe/blue-little-lion-galaxy-could-reveal-conditions-start-big-bang



Monday, May 16, 2016

Penis Transplant


Transplants are something we often hear about. They usually do not surprise anyone. However, a recent transplant has many talking. The first genitourinary vascularized composite allograft was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital.  In other words, the first even penis transplant took place.  After a 15-hour operation with a team of surgeons led by doctors Curtis Cetrulo and Dicken S.C., they were able to transfer the penis of another male to one who had his damaged. The surgery involved the grafting of microscopic vascular and neural connections which is not easy to do.

The recipient of the penis was Thomas Manning, 64 who stems from Halifax, Massachusetts.  He lost his penis due to penile cancer in 2012. The donated penis surgically applied onto his genital region shows no sign of infection, rejection or bleeding. In a word, the surgery was a big success.  This type of surgery will benefit those men like Manning who suffered from penile cancer as well as men who may have lost their penis due to an accident or battle in a war. While the penis is not a 'necessary organ' in regards to surviving; it is not a heart or lung which are vital organs, the penis serves as an instrument for removing urine and reproduction. It also serves to aid the psychology of men who often think of the penis as a sign of masculinity. In any event, I wish Thomas Manning well and a speedy recovery.  Kudos to the team of Dr. Cetrulo et al. They did a great job and show what knowledge of the human body can bring about in regards to surgery and medicine in general.











Source:


http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1937

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/health/thomas-manning-first-penis-transplant-in-us.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

https://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/a-cancer-survivor-underwent-the-first-penis-transplant-in-th?bffbnews&utm_term=4ldqpho#4ldqpho

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost: The Holy Spirit Empowers Us

Today we celebrate Pentecost or the day when the Catholic Church was officially born in the public. In the first reading, we read the account of this coming of the Holy Spirit. The Blessed Virgin Mother Mary and the Apostles gathered in an upper room and prayed for 9 days (Acts 1:14).

They then received the Holy Spirit who descended upon them as tongues of fire. Each received the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well as the gift of tongues so that people could understand them in their native language as they preached the Gospel of Christ. This ability to communicate in various languages while speaking only one is connected to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The people of Babel were ambitious, never thinking of God, only themselves.

Like today, they place science and technology as means to give humankind a sense of self-divinity. We can split atoms, go to the moon, collide protons, clone animals, land space crafts on comets, pass laws redefining gender as well as marriage and immediately we think we are gods. The arrogance of the people of Babel brought God to confuse their language. Their sins united them, so to speak. The confusion of their tongue humbled them and delayed any advancements they were planning.  However, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave the Blessed Mother and the Apostles the gifts of tongues allowing them to once again speak in one language that was intelligible to everyone else but with the message of Christ, not one like those of Babel who were self-centered humanists.

Pentecost means the 'fiftieth day' and was the day on which the 'Feast of Weeks' or 'Shevout' was celebrated.  On this day, all Jews recalled the day the Commandments were given to Moses 50 days after their Exodus from Egypt (Leviticus 23:15-21, Deuteronomy 16:9-11).  There was a big harvest on this day. Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles (Luke 24:49).  He told them that the Helper or Paraclete would come to them reminding them of all He has taught them and will guide them in Truth (John 14:15-31).

These are important verses that are ignored by our separated brethren who often claim that the Catholic Church is corrupt and apostate.  In America's infancy, groups such as the Finneyites rose up preaching a form of "primitivism," or what they called a return to the "original Christianity."  We see many of their sects today such as the Baptists, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Evangelicals, Mormons, Adventists and so on.  Anyone who believes that Christ's Catholic Church became corrupt is basically calling Jesus a liar.  If Jesus indeed promised that the Spirit would guide the Church in Truth, how can it become corrupt?  How can the Church fall away from Christ?  This is a misconception our separated friends must really meditate on.  They must cast away that ignorant rhetoric from the harsh anti-Catholicism that existed in the past - post-reformation and into America's infancy.

It is the Holy Spirit who gave life to the universe, the earth and man (Genesis 1:2, Genesis 2:7).  The Spirit will renew the face of the Earth as we read in today's Psalm.  It is via this Spirit that we can profess faith in Jesus as Lord as the second reading (first option from (1 COR 12:3B-7, 12-13) tells us. This Spirit give us the gifts necessary for us to spread the Gospel to others and grow in the Gospel internally. We must not fight the Holy Spirit, but let Him transform us. We must be holy and not live in the flesh because it does not please God as we read in the second option from Romans 8:8-17.  Today, the sins of the flesh are rampant. Not only is the gift of sex and the body abused, but also humanity is justifying all kinds of vices in the name of freedom and identity.  Sins of the flesh push the Spirit away. The Holy Spirit likes a clean temple, not a dirty one, so to speak. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Premarital sex, masturbation, gay sexual activities, using sex toys and what not are contrary to the Spirit. We were meant for joy, not pleasures that do not satiate and become addictive. Everything in the media today is sexualized. Kids are brainwashed from an early age to seek their identity in their sexuality. While sexuality is a part of us, it is not us. It is not the ends to our existence on this planet. Music is now audio pornography with lyrics speaking of sex, demeaning women and promoting vices. This music is accompanied by dances that are geared towards mimicking sexual motions during intercourse.  This pushes away God's spirit from our lives.  

Lastly, in the Gospel, both options tell us of Christ's promise of this Helper, the Holy Spirit. We need this helper today more than ever. Our Church is being attacked from within and without. Many among us have lost our way, even among the clergy.  Churches are closing, people are leaving the faith. Catholics are fighting with Catholics.  A culture of death, sexual confusion and egoism is on the rise.  Men can now use the ladies room and vice versa.  The world seems to have gone to hell, so to speak. We must ask the Holy Spirit to come to us and renew us so that we can combat the evils in the world which come from the father of lies (John 8:44, Ephesians 6:12). The Spirit will come when we are united in prayer.  In this Holy Spirit, we must go out and proclaim Christ in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  We all know that Christ and His Gospel are extremely out of season in our day, nevertheless, we must be courageous because God's Spirit which was given to us is not a pusillanimous or timid Spirit  (2 Timothy 1:7).  We may not have the 'eye of the tiger,' but we have the Holy Spirit and the world will hear us roar just like on the day of Pentecost.


Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come once again and renew the Catholic Church and the world.
Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to rid the Church of scandals; to rid the Church of her Judas' who continue to betray Jesus.
Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to renew our faith and to restore or bring the gift of faith to those who lost it or never bothered with it.
Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do in these trying times.  To instruct us how to confront with love and reason the errors of today such as Relativism, Atheism, Secularism, Homosexual behavior, the distortion of Marriage, the selfishness and ego of Feminism, Indifferentism, Personhood distortion and attack on life, and gender confusion.

Go out there in the Holy Spirit and Jesus' name, spread the Good News.  The Holy Spirit is with you!


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love, sent forth your spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.



Please donate at:  www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus
Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051516-pentecost-day.cfm


Saturday, May 14, 2016

HIV Weakness Found


HIV is a virus that caused scientists and biologists to scratch their heads over how to combat it. This virus infiltrates the body's T cells.  T cells are the white blood cells that attack intruding virus and bacteria that invade the body.  HIV hacks the human T-Cells and uses them against the body.  Since it hacks the T-cells, the immune system becomes ineffective and lets HIV multiply in the blood stream without interruption.

After studying an HIV positive patient whose body makes antibodies that fight part of the virus that normal antibodies attack, scientists noticed something. This patient's body makes a new kinds of antibody which they named N123-VRC34.01, or VRC34.01. This antibody goes after the fusion peptide which is a string of amino acids totally eight.  This peptide is like the glue that allows the HIV virus to link with a human cell.  VRC34.01 has shown that it prevents HIV from infecting a human cell which is a big discovery.  









Source:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6287/828

http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-just-set-their-sights-on-a-new-target-for-a-hiv-vaccine

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2016/Pages/HIV-1-fusion-peptide.aspx

http://www.newnownext.com/scientists-discover-new-hiv-weakness-that-could-lead-to-vaccine/05/2016/?xrs=synd_facebook_logo

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pope Francis & Deaconesses



During a question and answer session at the International Union of Superiors General meeting, the Pope made comments that got the media to explode with rumors on television and the internet with reports that the Pope is allowing women deacons or is opening up a commission to study the allowance of them.

What is the truth?

Well, let us see what he actually said in response to a question on the role of women in the Church:

"This question tends toward “doing”: Consecrated women already work very much with the poor, they do so many things… toward “doing.” And it touches on the issue of the permanent deaconate. Someone might say that the “permanent deaconesses” in the life of the Church are the mothers-in-law [he laughs; they laugh]. In fact, this existed in ancient times: there was a beginning … I remember it was a topic that interested me somewhat when I would come to Rome for meetings and stay at the Domus Paulus VI; there was a Syrian theologian there, a good man, who did the critical edition and translation of the hymns of St. Ephrem, the Syrian. And one day I asked him about this, and he explained to me that in the early days of the Church there were some “deaconesses.”
But what are these deaconesses? Were they ordained or not? The Council of Chalcedon (451) speaks about it, but it is somewhat obscure. What was the role of deaconesses at that time? It seems — that man told me, who is dead; he was a good professor, wise, erudite — it seems that the role of the deaconesses was to help with the baptisms of women, the immersion, they were baptizing them, for the sake of decorum; also to anoint the bodies of women in baptism. And also something curious: when there was a marriage trial, because the husband was beating his wife, and she went to the bishop to complain, the deaconesses were charged with looking at the bruises left on the body of the woman from her husband’s beatings and informing the bishop.
This, I remember. There are a number of publications on the diaconate in the Church, but it is unclear what it was like. I think that I will ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to inform me about the studies on this topic, because I have responded to you based only on what I heard from this priest — who was a scholarly and true researcher — about the permanent diaconate. And also I would like to set up an official commission to study the issue: I think that it will be good for the Church to clarify this point; I agree, and I will speak, to do something of this kind.
Therefore, on the deaconate, yes, I accept, and a commission that clarifies this well seems useful to me, especially regarding the early days of the Church."


As you can see, the Pope is not saying that he is allowing women deacons. He is sharing a story of what a priest-professor told him and showed own his ignorance on the history of deaconesses. Moreover, he suggested he would have a commission study it only to CLARIFY the role of the deaconess, not to institute it. The media once again took the Pope's words and ran to the wind with them with all kinds of conclusions.  The Pope clearly stated that he answered the question based on what a priest told him and said "I think that I will ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to inform me about the studies on this topic." The "I think' tells us that it is not something set in stone that he will ask for of the CDF.  Look at his words again:

"There are a number of publications on the diaconate in the Church, but it is unclear what it was like. I think that I will ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to inform me about the studies on this topic, because I have responded to you based only on what I heard from this priest — who was a scholarly and true researcher — about the permanent diaconate. And also I would like to set up an official commission to study the issue: I think that it will be good for the Church to clarify this point."

The Pope clearly is not an expert on everything, no Pope is. Moreover, the deaconess role in the early Church is in fact obscure, but definitely not part of Holy Orders. This role is described more like a religious sister than a deacon in the sense of a male who is ordained a deacon. These women assisted the clergy and other women receiving the Sacraments during baptisms and anointing so that the clergy would not see the women in the nude etc. The deaconesses helped the clergy almost like an altar server in a sense. They did not perform liturgical functions.  In fact, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 stated this:

Canon 15
A woman shall not receive the laying on of hands as a deaconess under forty years of age, and then only after searching examination. And if, after she has had hands laid on her and has continued for a time to minister, she shall despise the grace of God and give herself in marriage, she shall be anathematized and the man united to her.
Source: http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/public/chalcedon_canons.htm


The word 'diakonos' did not always mean 'deacon' in the clerical sense. In the wedding of Cana in the Scriptures, the word is used to refer to the waiters.  In fact, one of the meanings of 'diakonos' is waiter according to Strong's Concordance see: http://biblehub.com/greek/1249.htm.  There is no evidence that the deaconesses in the early Church were clergy.  The case of Phobe in Romans 16:1 shows that the word 'diakonos' was used in reference as a servant or helper.  Moreover, there is no word for 'deaconess in Greek. This developed centuries later. The document From the Diakonia of Christ to the Diakonia of the Apostles states:

"At the beginning of the second century a letter from Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, mentioned two women who were described by the Christians as ministrae, the probable equivalent of the Greek diakonoi (10, 96-97). It was not until the third century that the specific Christian terms diaconissa or diacona appeared." Source - http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_05072004_diaconate_en.html

Moreover, the same document makes it clear that the deaconesses mentioned in the early Church were not deacons in the sense of male clergy:

"The deaconesses mentioned in the tradition of the ancient Church - as evidenced by the rite of institution and the functions they exercised - were not purely and simply equivalent to the deacons."
source -http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_05072004_diaconate_en.html


"II. Towards the Disappearance of Deaconesses
After the tenth century deaconesses were only named in connection with charitable institutions. A Jacobite author of that time notes: "In ancient times, deaconesses were ordained. Their function was to look after women so that they should not have to uncover themselves before the bishop. But when religion spread more widely and it was decided to administer baptism to infants, this function was abolished."108We find the same statement in the Pontifical of Patriarch Michael of Antioch (1166-1199).109When commenting on can. 15 of the Council of Chalcedon, Theodore Balsamon, at the end of the twelfth century, observed that "the topic of this canon has altogether fallen into disuse. For today deaconesses are no longer ordained, although the name of deaconesses is wrongly given to those who belong to communities of ascetics." 110Deaconesses had become nuns. They lived in monasteries which no longer practised works of diakonia except in the field of education, medical care, or parish service.
The presence of deaconesses is still attested in Rome at the end of the eighth century. While the Roman rituals had previously not mentioned deaconesses, the sacramentary Hadrianum, sent by the pope to Charlemagne and spread by him throughout the Frankish world, includes an Oratio ad diaconam faciendum. It was in fact a blessing, placed as an appendix among other rites of first institution. The Carolingian texts often combined deaconesses and abbesses. The Council of Paris of 829 contained a general prohibition on women performing any liturgical function.111 The Decretals of Pseudo-Isidore contain no mention of deaconesses; and neither does a Bavarian Pontifical from the first half of the ninth century.112 A century later, in the Pontifical Romano-Germanique of Mainz, the prayer Ad diaconam faciendum is to be found after the ordinatio abbatissae, between the consecratio virginum and the consecratio viduarum. Once again, this was merely a blessing accompanied by the handing over of the stole and veil by the bishop, as well as the nuptial ring and the crown. Like widows, the deaconess promised continence. This is the last mention of "deaconesses" found in the Latin rituals. In fact the Pontifical of Guillaume Durand at the end of the thirteenth century speaks of deaconesses only with reference to the past.113
In the Middle Ages, the nursing and teaching religious orders of nuns fulfilled in practise the functions of diakonia without, however, being ordained for this ministry. The title, with no corresponding ministry, was given to women who were instituted as widows or abbesses. Right up until the thirteenth century, abbesses were sometimes called deaconesses." Source -http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_05072004_diaconate_en.html

So there you have it. Pope Francis was simply speaking about what he knew based on what a priest told him. He suggested that he might ask the CDF to clarify the role, not institute any female version of the diaconate in the sacramental sense. Do not be deceived by the media.  I started a poll on Twitter and here are what some think on the issue:





 




Source:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/it/speeches/2016/may/documents/papa-francesco_20160512_uisg.html

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/05/pope-francis-opens-possibility-women-serving-deacons

http://aleteia.org/2016/05/13/complete-transcript-of-pope-francis-remarks-on-women-deacons/

http://www.catholic.com/blog/deacon-jim-russell/what-should-i-know-about-pope-francis-and-%E2%80%98women-deacons%E2%80%99#.VzTn4NtYe9k.twitter

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-says-hes-open-to-studying-the-female-diaconate-94916/?platform=hootsuite

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3587058/That-ecumenical-matter-Pope-Francis-announces-study-allow-women-serve-deacons-Catholic-Church.html?ito=social-twitter_mailonline

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-create-commission-study-female-deacons-catholic-church

http://religion.trendolizer.com/2016/05/pope-francis-says-hes-open-to-studying-whether-women-can-be-deacons.html

http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2016/05/pope-francis-mulls-opening-door-female-deacons-church/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/05/12/pope-francis-will-reportedly-study-the-possibility-of-female-deacons/?tid=sm_tw

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/world/pope-women-deacons/index.html?sr=twCNN051216pope-women-deacons0656PMStoryGalPhoto&linkId=24448430

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-women-deacons_us_5734bf08e4b060aa7819932a?

http://www.seeker.com/pope-francis-signals-openness-to-female-deacons-1793520489.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/05/12/pope-francis-will-reportedly-study-the-possibility-of-female-deacons/?tid=sm_tw

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_05072004_diaconate_en.html

http://biblehub.com/greek/1249.htm


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Oxygen Atoms on Mars



Oxygen atoms have been detected in Mars' atmosphere. The last time this happened was about forty years ago. The oxygen atoms were discovered in the mesosphere of the red planet.  The discovery is significant because it can help scientists figure out why and how the gasses on the red planet escaped.  Moreover, the source of the oxygen may indicate the presence of anaerobic bacteria which is believed to have provided Earth with its supply of oxygen during the Great Oxygenation Event.

With the ambition of traveling to and possibly colonizing the red planet, scientists can use any data on oxygen atoms to better facilitate the plans to visit the planet. Only time will what will be discover, but it is sure an exciting time to be alive.




Source:

http://phys.org/news/2016-05-observatory-atomic-oxygen-martian-atmosphere.html

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-flying-observatory-just-detected-oxygen-in-the-martian-atmosphere

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/mars-mission-atomic-oxygen-detected-in-martian-atmosphere-1403804?FB

http://www.iflscience.com/space/atomic-oxygen-has-been-detected-mars-atmosphere

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/21797/20160509/atomic-oxygen-on-mars-detected-by-nasas-airborne-telescope-sofia.htm

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bronx Priest Native of Nigeria Shot in Queens



Father Damien Ekete of Holy Spirit church on University Avenue in the Bronx was shot after trying to evangelize a drug dealer. Ekete witnessed a drug deal going on while waiting for a cab after attending a party in Queens. While telling the drug dealer that his lifestyle was not moral and was dangerous, a green Nissan Altima pulled beside them and someone inside began to shoot. The perpetrator missed the drug dealer and hit the priest instead in his right upper arm.

Father Damien Ekete is a 49 year old African native of Nigeria and has worked in the Archdiocese of New York for five years. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital and released. Shortly after, he was interviewed by detectives and drove home to his rectory in the Bronx. Please keep father Ekete in your prayers as he recovers. I commend his bravery and evangelical zeal, however, he must be more careful and understand that the streets are dangerous and he must always check his surroundings.  I myself was attacked by 'Latin Kings' gang members after recruiting some of their members to our youth group. Luckily my kick boxing skills are sharp and I was able to take down the five gangsters. They messed with the wrong guy!  The 'holy beat down' I gave in self defense served to increase my street credit which brought more youth!  God works in strange ways indeed!!!

I know Holy Spirit parish very well. It is a small modest parish community located near Bronx Community College.






Source:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/05/08/queens-priest-shot/

http://nypost.com/2016/05/08/priest-shot-outside-queens-bodega/

http://www.amny.com/news/catholic-priest-shot-in-south-ozone-park-queens-nypd-say-1.11775052

https://www.readfulapp.com/site/NYCnow?tag=News&item=572f5de7031b58325e7ecca7

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/bronx-priest-hit-stray-bullet-queens-drive-by-shooting-article-1.2629289?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fsports%2Fbasketball%2Fnets+%28Sports%2FBasketball%2FNets%29

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/criminal-justice/2016/05/8/priest-shot-in-shoulder-in-south-ozone-park.html?cid=twitter_NY1

Sunday, May 8, 2016

7th Sunday of Easter/Solemnity of the Ascension



Today some dioceses celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension (the rest celebrated on Thursday) while others celebrate the Seventh Sunday of Easter. I will include a reflection on both in this post. Also, please help me continue this work  by donating any amount to www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus or the paypal button here, thanks!  God will reward you for your generosity.






Seventh Sunday of Easter

In the first reading, we read of Stephen, the first Deacon who was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5-6). He saw Jesus at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55, Romans 8:34). Stephen along with other Catholics were persecuted by Saul who would later become Paul (Acts 9). He was stoned to death. You can read more of him in this post: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/12/st-stephen-first-martyr-and-deacon.html. In Stephen, we see that the Holy Spirit and the world's view are not compatible (Isaiah 55:8). Stephen was martyred for preaching the Gospel. The Holy Spirit working in Stephen demonstrated forgiveness and mercy towards the enemies of the faith. We too in the 21st century must be merciful and forgiving towards all, especially those who hate us and our faith.  God is in control. We read this in the responsorial Psalm today.  The Lord is King.  He is the most high over all things (Ephesians 4:6). Stephen saw this first hand when he saw the heavens open and Christ standing at the right hand of God the Father.  God is just, as the Psalm tells us today.  He rules over everyone.  Now, in the Psalm we read, "All gods are prostrate before Him." Some may be wondering, "gods?"  The Jews during this period were surrounded by many Pantheons of gods from other cultures. Henotheism was a concept held by many Hebrews at the time. This means that a theist believes in one God but acknowledges the existence of other gods. So the Hebrews thought that Yahweh was the God of the Hebrews while other peoples had their own gods. The concept of a one and only God still did not mature in them. We know that there are no other gods that actually exist.  They exist only as concepts and names (Zeus, etc).  There is only one God.

In the second reading, we read of the 'Alpha and the Omega." This is a title that Christ describes Himself as.  He is the one who has no beginning and no end. God always existed (Exodus 3:14). No one created God. The reading reminds us that Christ is coming soon. No one knows when this will happen, but it will happen (Matthew 24:36).  Those of us who suffer for the faith and are martyred are those who washed their robes and now have the right to the tree of life.  We must make use of the Sacraments so we can 'wash' our 'robes,' so to speak. Christ left us His Church, a vicar, His Word and so forth in order to prepare us.

Finally in the Gospel, we read Jesus' prayer. He is praying for us!  Jesus says, "I pray not only for them, but also for those  who will believe in me through their word..."  This is awesome if you think about it.  Jesus prays that all may be one . Unfortunately, this is not the case today. We have so many divisions; so many people calling themselves 'Christian' while not being part of Christ's Catholic Church.  We must work to fix this and bring those sheep back to the one fold. Christian unity must be a big priority. We must do our best to get our friends from other Christian communities back home to Rome. This must be done with charity and mercy of course.  We cannot go to them with an arrogant attitude by calling them heretics and what not like so-called 'traditionalists' love to do (1 Corinthians 9:16, 1 Timothy 4:12-16). This is not Christian. In His prayer, Jesus calls us a 'gift' from the Father. This is another awesome thing, in my opinion. We should meditate on this a realize the dignity of all human beings. All live is sacred and a gift from God.  Let us pray for Christian unity just like Christ did and work to make this a reality.

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050816-seventh-sunday-easter.cfm



Solemnity of the Ascension

 
The first reading reminds us of the events surrounding Christ's passion, death, resurrection and ascension.  Jesus appeared to the disciples for forty days, before this, He suffered and died on the cross (Luke 24:36-49, Matthew 27, John 20:1-10).  Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to them and commanded them to preach the Gospel to all corners of the world (John 16:7, Matthew 28:19).  After this, He ascended into heaven and will return in the same fashion.  Jesus did not abandon us. He sent each one of us on a mission to prepare the world for His second coming. Yes, He could have stayed with us forever, but would that be a good idea?  Think about it: If Christ stayed with humanity, then humanity would look at Him as some 'Superman' or miracle worker-genie instead of the loving savior. People will wait on Him and demand Him to perform miracles. Jesus wants us to grow in love and faith by ourselves freely without Him hovering over us like a hawk. This love and faith will be a genuine one because it will come freely from us.  Moreover, Jesus is still with us in the Blessed Sacrament. He waits for us to visit Him daily. We must be patient and wait for the Lord. He sits on His throne as the Psalm today tells us. God is the great king over all the Earth.  We must praise Him and thank Him for all things.  He reigns over all the world and the entire universe.

In the second reading (there are two options), we are told that Christ is the ruler of all things.  Everything was "beneath His feet."  He rules over every principality, authority and power. Christ sits at the Father's right hand interceding for us. The second option reminds us that Christ went to the true sanctuary, not one made by men. Our churches are beautiful and all, but they do not compare to heaven.  We are told that Christ will intercede for us and is the sacrifice offered for all. This sacrifice is not one that repeats itself like those of the Jewish faith.  Christ died once for all.  His one sacrifice is suffice. Christ sits at the right hand of the Father. He judges us immediately after death. We die only once, there is no such thing as reincarnation. Therefore, only have one chance to make things right, so to speak. We must take advantage of the Catholic Church and all the graces God offers via her. Our bodies and souls will be washed in the pure waters of baptism.  They will be nourished by the Holy Eucharist and strengthened by the other Sacraments.

Finally in the Gospel, Jesus reminds the disciples of all that is to happen regarding Himself.  They are to be witnesses of all these things.  We too are witnesses of Christ 2,000 plus years later. While we were not there when Jesus walked the Earth, we are witnesses of how He works in our lives.  We are witnesses that all He said was not nonsense, but truth. As we prepare for Pentecost, we must remind ourselves of this. We are witnesses of Christ. Those of us who received Confirmation are taught this during preparation. We must not keep the faith to ourselves but must share it with all. This does not mean that we have to go on street corners and shout with a microphone to repeat. I have found that the best way to witness to Christ the the lives of others is by living a truly genuine Christian life. When we smile, love others, forgive, help others; people take note of this. They will realize that it is Christ who inspires us to do these things and will seek Him as well.  Let us proclaim Christ's love to all and spread His Good News.


Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050816-ascension.cfm 




Saturday, May 7, 2016

Solomon Islands Sinking Due To Global Warming



The denials must be set aside. Global warming is real and is showing its ugly face more and more.  Five of the Solomon Islands have virtually disappeared from the face of the Earth. They are now submerged in the Pacific ocean due to rising water levels due to the melting of glaciers as a result of man-made global warming. The study entitled "Interactions between sea-level rise and wave exposure on reef island dynamics in the Solomon Islands" gives details of how rising sea levels have made the islands disappear.  The results of the study state the following:

Five of the twenty vegetated reef islands along the
barrier reef on the exposed, northern coast of Isabel
have been totally eroded away in recent decades
(supplementary table 2), leaving no supratidal substrate
and dead tree trunks resting on hard reef
platform.

This study should be a wake up call to everyone especially those who denial global warming. The situation is no hoax. We are seeing the effects of climate change due to man's polluting ways more and more. From super storms, droughts and huge wildfires in Canada, to now islands virtually eroding away and sinking as the sea levels rise. If we do not heed the warnings, we may see most of Florida, low-level coastal areas in Europe, South America, Africa and islands such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic/Haiti disappear into the oceans as sea levels rise.




Source:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sea-level-rise-swallows-5-whole-pacific-islands/

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054011/pdf

http://abcnews.go.com/International/solomon-islands-disappear-pacific-ocean-result-climate-change/story?id=38985469



Friday, May 6, 2016

Facebook Censors Conservatives



It is not news that Facebook is slanted. They are quick to 'rainbow-up' their systems for LGBT festivities and plaster Clinton, Sanders and other liberal personalities on the feeds of users.  They have even gone as far as suspending the accounts of priests for using their title 'father.'  Well a new report on the news site Gizmodo claims that former workers have informed them that they suppressed conservative news articles from the network's 'trending' function.

If it is true that they do suppress conservative news feeds then perhaps conservatives should dump the network in droves and create their own one.







Source:

http://gizmodo.com/former-facebook-workers-we-routinely-suppressed-conser-1775461006?rev=1462798096684&utm_campaign=socialflow_gizmodo_facebook&utm_source=gizmodo_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-socialmedia-facebook-idUSKCN0Y02EY


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ted Cruz Out, Trump trumps!

After crying out many times, "I'm the only one who can beat and has beat Trump," Ted Cruz has suspended his presidential campaign after losing by a landslide against Donald Trump in Indiana. Cruz was hoping for a win after the convention, but apparently saw that his attempt was futile. Cruz who Trump labeled as 'Lyin' Ted' was seen as the best conservative candidate. However, he was not very popular with his peers. Peter King of New York said he would take cyanide if Cruz won and former speaker Boener said he was 'Lucifer.' Moreover, Cruz offended New Yorkers with his 'New York Values' criticism which was based on ignorance. His arrogant demeanor and dubious personality clearly did not help him win many votes.

Trump's in-your-face personality and no-holds-bar approach has been more popular with Republican voters.  Even some Democrats have voted for him in the primaries. Trump now leads with 1,047 delegates and is clearly the nominee while Cruz left with 565 and Kasich stubbornly remains in the race with only 153 delegates. Sanders surprisingly won Indiana as well keeping him somewhat alive in the race in regards to the democratic convention since does not have enough delegates. Clinton just needs a few more delegates to be the presumptive nominee.


 











Source:

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/03/476653783/ted-cruz-drops-out-of-presidential-race

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ever-trump-indiana-landslide-knocks-cruz-out-of-025416032.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/sanders-defeats-clinton-in-indiana-throwing-014401639.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/cruz-shocks-his-supporters-with-a-sudden-exit-025907403.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-05-03/ted-cruz-s-rise-and-fall-is-explained-by-a-cruel-paradox

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ted-cruz-exits-gop-race-033703865.html

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/03/476677510/ted-cruz-ends-presidential-campaign-after-indiana-loss

Sunday, May 1, 2016

6th Sunday of Easter: The Spirit of Truth

In the first reading, we see the early Catholic Church begin to take a more formal tone. We see the marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.  The first Church council, the Council of Jerusalem takes place. A Church Council is a gathering of bishops, theologians and other ecclesiastical persons in order to discuss, debate and regulated things pertaining to doctrine and discipline. The Council of Jerusalem brought up questions on whether or not Christians had to follow the old Jewish rites and purity laws. Jewish Christians were calling on Gentile converts to be circumcised and obey the Jewish rites and purity laws. The council called this heretical indicating that the Church is for all people and no longer part of single people: the Jews. Circumcision is an important ritual in the Jewish faith.  We read of this in Genesis 17:14 and Leviticus 12:3. Circumcision was like a sacrament, if you will; or a visible sign of the covenant.  By getting circumcised, this was a physical reminder that the Jew had to obey God and His laws.  We do not need this anymore (1 Corinthians 7:18-19), though some medical professionals claim circumcision promotes good hygiene for a male. Women were not commanded to be circumcised because they obviously do not have the same parts as a male and the culture of the time made woman part of the man. Today's readings remind us of the Holy Spirit working in the Church. The Council of Jerusalem and every other council thereafter have been decided by the Holy Spirit and the popes and bishop present. This is why today's reading says, "It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us." Unfortunately there are some today who call themselves 'sedevacantists' or 'traditionalists' who question the Vatican II council and its documents. By doing this, they question the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in truth (John 16:13). Even today, they are attacking Pope Francis over his Laudato Si and Amoris Laetitia documents. These people are just nostalgists who read Church documents via their cognitive bias and hurt the Church in the process with their calumny and misconceptions. This is an affront against the Holy Spirit whose coming we will celebrate soon on Pentecost.

In the responsorial Psalm, we are reminded that all nations will praise God. No longer will it be just one nation praising God. It will be a multitude of people that no one can count from every nation, race and so on; a 'Catholic' or universal people (Revelation 7:9).  We must ask God to have pity on us and to bless us; to let His face shine upon us (Numbers 6:24-26). Via the Holy Spirit, God lets the way of salvation be known to all nations, not just Israel. In response, the nations must praise Him and wait on Him.  We no longer need a temple because Christ is the temple, the Church: His body as we read in the second reading (1 Corinthians 12:27, Colossians 1:18). The second reading describes the Church as the new Jerusalem decked out in jewels and precious stones. This shows the glory of God.  The twelve gates and angels represent the tribes of Judah while the gates facing east, north, south and west represent the Catholic Church which is universal.

Finally in the Gospel, we read of Jesus reminding the disciples to keep His word if they love Him. Those of us who do not keep Jesus' words do not love Him nor the Father who sent Him. This is important in light of those who worship nostalgia in the Church and attack any council or document which they think promotes change or 'modernist' views. Moreover, Jesus promises the Advocate or Holy Spirit.  He will come from the Father in the name of the Son and will teach the disciples and remind them of what Jesus told them.  Here Jesus is telling the disciples of Pentecost which we will celebrate soon. The Holy Spirit is with the Church protecting Her. He is reminding Her constantly of Jesus' words and teaching her how to respond to the world throughout each century. Despite this, some still think the Church has gone 'modernist,' or defected.  The Church is still the Church and spread the Gospel in the way each century can understand it. Documents addressing global warming or the situations couples find themselves in today do not attack or contradict the Sacred Deposit of the Church.  We must understand this and not let bias or nostalgia take control for God makes things new (Revelation 21:5). Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the Church and promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail (Matthew 16:18).  If you are a Catholic, you would believe this and not question Christ's promise by being suspect of everything a pope my write or even say.  History is witness to the fact that even when we had heretical popes and bishops, the Church still survived.  May the Holy Spirit continue to speak to us and teach us; remind us of what the Lord said and give us the gifts and charisms necessary to preach the Gospel in season and out of season.




Source:

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/050116.cfm






 

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