Sunday, March 26, 2017

Laetare Sunday-4th Sunday of Lent: He Opens Eyes!

Today is "Laetare" Sunday or "rejoice" Sunday/Sunday of Joy. Celebrants at Mass have the option to use rose colored vestments today just as in Gaudete Sunday during Advent.  This Sunday is a day to rejoice and remind ourselves that our austere penance during Lent is almost coming to a close and the events that define Christianity are about to come, especially Resurrection Sunday.  This Sunday tells us, "we're almost there, so don not quit now."

Today's readings introduce interesting themes; in particular, faith, the true Shepherd and Redeemer, and "God is in control."  God opens our eyes!

The first reading tells us about the Lord telling Samuel to get ready with his horn of oil because He has already chosen the king for His people. Samuel was the last Hebrew Judge and the first of the major prophets in Israel. God tells Samuel to find the new king from among the sons of Jesse who he is supposed to anoint with the oil in the horn.

Samuel looks at the sons and goes one by one assuming he chose the right one, but God tells him no. Human beings are prejudicial beings. We love to judge people based on appearance, or "lookism." Samuel was no different. He believed a leader/king should be of lofty stature and assumed a particular son with that characteristic is who God had chosen. However, God says, "Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him.  not as man see does God see, because man sees the appearance,but the Lord looks into the heart." These are powerful words we should meditate on by themselves. God looks at the heart, not at how we look. We should do the same.  Instead of judging people by profiling them, we should look at their heart - their personality.

After Samuel went trough seven sons trying to find out which one God had chosen and learning none of them were the one, Jesse introduces Samuel to the youngest who was a shepherd tending sheep.  The kid's name is David. David is described as being handsome and ruddy, obviously young but God chose him. Jesse and David of course are the descendants of Jesus the Messiah. The choosing of this young kid who is a shepherd is a prefigurement of Christ Himself. Jesus is to be the Good Shepherd and is also the Son of God. Even in an early age Jesus was doing God's work ( Luke 2:41-52) making a link to David who was the youngest and was chosen. This should remind the youth in the Church that they are indeed important and should take an active role in their respective parishes.  The Catholic Church is not for the "old" only.  Older Catholics must never despise or be condescending towards the youth (1 Timothy 4:12).

In response to the first reading, we read from the most famous and well known Psalm of all found in chapter 23 which begins with "The Lord is my shepherd." This Psalm connects both David and Christ. It speaks of how God is the shepherd and takes care of His own. He annoints with oil and fills the soul with grace (my "cup overflows"). God is indeed our shepherd and we should always have trust in Him. Last Sunday's first reading was about the Hebrews doubting God in the desert believing Moses to be some con artist who dragged them out to die. We should not be like them. Trusting God will bring "goodness and kindness" for the rest of our lives.

As shepherd, God guides us on our path which is dark. The second reading from Ephesians tells us about this. We were in darkness and now are in the light of the Lord, the reading begins.  St. Paul tells us that we should continue living as children of the light. He reminds us to do what is pleasing to God and avoid the things that are in darkness. Christ is the light (John 8:12).

Without light, we cannot see physically speaking.  The same applies spiritually. Today we live in a world that is adopting atheistic existential nihilism which originated from Nietzsche et.al and claims that life is meaningless, has no purpose and that we create our own "destinies." This philosophy, while claiming to liberate man has done nothing more than bring him down and imprison him in despair and psychological and spiritual oblivion. We are rational beings with free will and intellect; however, this does not mean we can guide ourselves. When we leave human beings to be an end in themselves, they guide each other in darkness and without proper vision in this environment, they all fall into the hole (Matthew 15:14).  Only Christ can show us the way even in darkness.  Only He can guide the way so that we won't fall into the hole.

The themes of light and darkness are touched upon in the Gospel. We read in the Gospel how Jesus performs one of His "strangest" miracles recorded. Jesus passes by and sees a man who has been blind since birth.  The disciples ask Him if this man is blind because of his sins or his parent's sins.  Jesus replies, "neither he nor his parents sinned" and goes on to tell them that his disability exists in order for God to show His works. The disciples are holding to the idea that people who are disabled are in that state due to their sins. This brings to mind the "Moral Model" in disability studies which claims it is the fault of the disabled person that he/she is in that state and that this has to do with divine punishment. Jesus obviously disagrees.

Jesus then does something that is both strange and disgusting, in human terms.  He spits on the ground and makes clay with it.  Then he smears the clay made with spit on the man's eyes.  He then instructs the man to wash in the Pool of Siloam.  When the man did as he was told, he came back with full vision.  Those in the neighborhood could not believe it and were saying to themselves "isn't this the one who used to sit and beg?"  They were in shock that this man is now able to see after they have gotten used to seeing him in a blind state begging for money.  Immediately they questioned him and brought the man to the Pharisees.  The Pharisees upon learning that Christ healed this man on the Sabbath declared that Christ is not of God. They made the Law in the Old Covenant into a god, so to speak.  The Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around (Mark 2:27).  The rest of the story tells us how the Jews did not believe and even questioned the beggar's parents who testified that he indeed was born blind. Then there is a debate on who Christ really is and His intentions.

This Gospel has so many things I can write on, but will briefly get into them.  First, the Gospel reminds us that we are born blind or spiritually blind.  Atheists often make the claim that we are "atheists by default," I refute this here: Atheism as Default Fails.  We are not "atheist" at conception but are merely spiritually blind.  In fact, atheist and anthropologist Dr. Pascal Boyer wrote, “A slew of cognitive traits predisposes us to faith.”  Faith is hardwired in us. After Baptism, we start to regain our sight as we grow in faith and grace.  This is why the man only gets sight after he washes himself in the Pool of Siloam.  Once we have life in Christ can we truly begin to see like the beggar did.  Second, Jesus in this story shows us how God does not discriminate. He sees the beggar who is blind, probably dirty and smelly, yet still approaches him.  God does not judge by appearance as 1 Sam 16:76 states.

Third, here is an interesting connection as well in regards to the clay.  We read in Genesis 2:7 how God creates man from the clay of the Earth.  Jesus uses clay to heal the man.  Think about this for a moment. If pottery is broken, how is it repaired?  We use clay to repair it. God made man out of the clay of the Earth and sin broke him. Christ comes and uses clay with spit to "fix" broken man. Christ makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We must approach Christ with faith and trust in Him.  He will restore our sight and guide us as our shepherd through the "valley of the shadow of death" which surrounds this world.  God is always in control.  Despite Original Sin ruining nature, God still fixes it and guides it to perfection in Him.  He is the Redeemer, the Savior who restores the Image of God in us with His light.  Today we rejoice with the "blind beggar" and shout out for all to hear: "I do believe, Lord."  Let us allow Jesus to open our eyes so we can see clearly.   May Jesus Christ be praised!


Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032617.cfm


Please help this ministry by donating via PayPal or Www.gofundme.com/Sacerdotus.  Your gift will help me continue this work and expand it.

You can also help by purchasing my books. My latest book, "Introduction to the Catholic Church" will truly benefit Catholics and others who are curious of the Catholic faith. You can purchase it in paperback for $12 or Kindle Ebook for $9.99.
seehttp://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/02/new-book-introduction-to-catholic.html










Reflections from holy writers:



We have just heard that Jesus gave sight to the man who was blind from birth. Do you wonder? Jesus is the Savior. He did something in keeping with his name, for by his kindness he restored what he had given to a lesser degree in the womb. Now when he made his eyes less powerful, surely he did not make a mistake, but he deferred it for the miracle.
Behold, why Christ delayed when he made the eyes less powerful in the womb. Do not think that the parents of that blind man had no sin and that the blind man himself, when he was born, did not contract original sin; because of the fact of original sin even very little children are baptized. However, that blindness was not due to the sin of his parents or due to the sin of the blind man, but in order that the glory of God might be made manifest in him. For when we are born we all contract original sin, and still we are not born physically blind. That blind man was prepared as a salve for the human race. He was bodily restored to light, in order that by considering his miracle we might be enlightened in heart.

— St. Caesarius of Arles
(470 - 543)



Source: "Sermon 172.1," quoted in Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 320.



Again, I ask you: What is he trying to convey to us by spitting on the ground, mixing his saliva with clay and putting it on the eyes of a blind man, saying, "Go and wash yourself in the pool of Siloam (a name that means 'sent')"? What is the meaning of the Lord's action in this? Surely one of great significance, since the person whom Jesus touches receives more than just his sight.
In one instant we see both the power of his divinity and the strength of his holiness. As the divine light, he touched this man and enlightened him. As priest, by an action symbolizing baptism he wrought in him his work of redemption. The only reason for his mixing clay with the saliva and smearing it on the eyes of the blind man was to remind you that he who restored the man to health by anointing his eyes with clay is the very one who fashioned the first man out of clay, and that this clay that is our flesh can receive the light of eternal life through the sacrament of baptism.
You, too, should come to Siloam, that is, to him who was sent by the Father, as he says in the Gospel: "My teaching is not my own; it comes from him who sent me." Let Christ wash you, and you will then see. Come and be baptized, it is time; come quickly, and you too will be able to say, "I went and washed"; you will be able to say, "I was blind, and now I can see." And, as the blind man said when his eyes began to receive the light, you too can say, "The night is almost over and the day is at hand."

— St. Ambrose
(333 - 397)

Source: "Letter 67.4-6," quoted in Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 325-326.





Do you see how boldly the beggar speaks with the scribes and Pharisees? It shows how strong truth is and how weak falsehood is. Truth, though it grasps only ordinary people, makes them to appear glorious; falsehood, even when it is among the strong, shows them to be weak. What he says is like this: you do not pay attention to my words; therefore, I will no longer speak or answer you when you question me continually to no purpose. You do not want to hear in order to learn but so that you can lay insults over my words.

— St. John Chrysostom
(344 - 407)

Source: "Homilies on the Gospel of John, 58.2," quoted in Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 332.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

USA Defeats Puerto Rico at World Baseball Classic

After much hype and anticipation, the championship game at the World Baseball Classic was just played. Many expected team Puerto Rico to come out on top. However, the opposite happened. Team USA obliterated the Puerto Rico team 8 to 0.

The start pitcher Marcus Stroman for team USA, a Puerto Rican hybrid himself, held back the Puerto Rican team. They just could not get any hit against him. Retired MLB manager Jim Leyland led the USA team to victory stating, “We’re trying to make America great again."  Puerto Rican starter, Seth Lugo did not have any great pitches.  The Americans kept scoring against him.  Moreover, the Puerto Rican team looked nervous, making mistakes such as Lindor throwing to first instead of home where he could have prevented a score.

The game was not without controversy.  Marcus Stroman was criticized for not playing for team Puerto Rico. His mother is Puerto Rican. During the game, Stroman seemed to have shouted obscenities against the Puerto Rican team which prompted former Blue Jays player and a Puerto Rican himself, Alex Rios to tweet this:




Ian Kinsler also made some comments about the Dominican and Puerto Rican teams which were seen as racist. He said, “I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game, as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican [Republic] plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.”

Moreover, despite winning a trophy, the USA's victory was pretty much ignored. In a twist of fate, Puerto Rico received their team with a parade as if they were the champions.

















Puerto Rican fans clearly are upset with Stroman.  They are still behind their team and say that team Puerto Rico united the island which is suffering economic problems due to bad government. As to why their team failed to win, there has been no comment. The team did stick around and congratulated team USA on their win. When questioned as to how the underdog team USA got the motivation to win, Adam Jones said that he heard that Puerto Rico was making plans for a parade and that this gave team USA more drive to win the World Baseball Classic. If true, then it seems Puerto Rico counted their chickens before they hatched.

In any event, America and Puerto Rico still won. Puerto Ricans are Americans and Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  We should all celebrate both teams!  They made this WBC one of the best ever!









































Source:


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/sports/baseball/puerto-rico-blond-hair-world-baseball-classic.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/sports/baseball/united-states-beats-puerto-rico-for-first-world-baseball-classic-title.html

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/twitter-reacts-to-team-usas-win-over-puerto-rico-in-world-baseball-classic-final/

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/mlb/article/Jones-said-American-team-was-motivated-by-Puerto-11022793.php

http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/team-usa-dominates-puerto-rico-win-2017-world-baseball-classic

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/world-baseball-classic-team-usa-jim-leyland-championship-puerto-rico-032317

http://www.si.com/mlb/2017/03/22/ian-kinsler-team-usa-puerto-rico-dominican-republic-style-play-comments

http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/2017/03/23/Detroit-Tigers-Ian-Kinsler-clarifies-Latin-America-comments/7491490294725/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/03/23/after-comments-on-puerto-rico-ian-kinslers-home-run-provokes-amusing-reaction/?utm_term=.f3d6472dba9f



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

USA Eliminates Japan Will Face Puerto Rico for Championship


In a rematch from 2009, team USA faced Japan.  Japan has been undefeated so far.  On a rainy night, team USA defeated Japan eliminating the foreign team.  In a game expected to be exciting, there was much action. Both teams are not familiar with the techniques and skills of one another. This made for an interesting game.  At first, Japan was in the lead. However, sloppy ball play allowed for the American team to tie the game when Matsuda could not hold the ball and allowed for Crawford to score.






Team USA will now face Team Puerto Rico which is also undefeated and has been on fire.  Many expect Puerto Rico to win the World Baseball Classic; however, the Americans have shown they are capable of winning as an underdog.  Either way, a win will be an American win because the island of Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States of America and may become the 51st state some day.






























Source:

http://www.purplerow.com/2017/3/21/14991492/world-baseball-classic-2017-usa-japan-time-tv-schedule-watch-live-online

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/03/22/world-baseball-classic-usa-japan-tanner-roark-adam-jones-andrew-mccutchen/

http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2017/3/22/15020192/world-baseball-classic-usa-puerto-rico-wbc-finals

http://www.scout.com/mlb/indians/story/1764875-around-the-world-march-21-2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Puerto Rico Eliminates Netherlands: Moves To Championship!



In a nail biting elimination game, Puerto Rico has once again come out as victorious. Puerto Rico was facing the Netherlands.





At the beginning, the game was strange. Netherland's Profar would get a single and then get taken out after he was facing the dugout and not paying attention. Molina took him out easily. Then another batter ran to first on ball 3 as Puerto Rican pitcher Hector Santiago signaled with three fingers and eventually taking the batter out. The Netherlands then had a lead with 2 in the beginning but Puerto Rico would come back to tie it with a homer by Correa and then a hit by Rivera making it 3-2 giving Puerto Rico the lead. Javy Baez would steal the show with an amazing slide. He appeared to be out and was called out.



However, he showed for a review and got it. After a review, one can see Javy move like Neo in the Matrix avoiding the tag. He seemed to have defied the laws of physics! Later on, a brawl seemed imminent when Puerto Rican pitcher Diaz threw a pitch too close to Balentien's head of the Netherlands. Balentien made a gesture not to hit him in the head in an attempt to intimidate Diaz. However, Diaz was unmoved. Javy Baez was showing making gestures mocking and dismissing the Netherlands' team.



Diaz would then strike out Balentien and the next batter leaving them dismayed and in shock. The game went to the 11th inning and special rules came into place. Each team would be allowed to start with two runners on base. The Netherlands started the inning, but failed to make any runs. A run would determine the winner. It was then the Puerto Ricans' turn to bat and they did it! The scoring run came in and Puerto Rico defeated the Netherlands moving on to the championship game which will be held on Wednesday against either Japan or the United States. Team Puerto Rico made an amazing gesture. The entire team knelt in a circular manner and prayed. It is no wonder why this team has succeeded in the way they have. God has blessed them!




More Twitter reactions:























































Source:

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/world-baseball-classic-netherlands-vs-puerto-rico-pictures-1.13292312



Sunday, March 19, 2017

3rd Sunday of Lent: Thirsty For God









Today’s reading for the Third Sunday of Lent have one main thing in common: Water.
The first reading comes from Exodus. In it, we read about Moses’ struggle with the stubborn Hebrews who whined about being taken out of captivity. Go figure right?  They complain to Moses about being brought out into the desert to die of thirst.
The Hebrews actually preferred being in Egypt as slaves than in the desert.  Here we see a lack of faith. Despite all the wonders God performed, they still doubted and whined. Think about this for a minute.  They saw God send down plagues upon Egypt, one of them, which transformed the waters to blood (Exodus 7:14-10:29). However, they still believed that they were taken to the desert to die of thirst.  How can they even think this after seeing how God had complete control over the molecules and atoms that make up water?

Again, the issue here is lack of faith. Humanity has not changed much since this time.  We still
whine and complain. When God does not answer our prayers or answers them differently, we get upset. Some of us even lose faith altogether, despite witnessing God work in our lives in the past. We must remember that God answers prayers in he way we need them answered, not how we wanted them answered.

Moses himself becomes a bit stressed out and asks God for help, fearing that the people will stone him.
God calmly tells him to go with his staff and strike a rock and water will flow from it. Gods asks Moses to do this to show that He can do anything. Usually water comes from rain, but God wanted Moses to tap on a rock for it. I see this as an innuendo of sorts. The Hebrews then and us today are “hard-headed.” God must sometimes tap on our rocky heads to get water to flow, so to speak.

This first reading should remind us of faith and how delicate it is. We can be the most zealous Christians on Earth jumping around shouting alleluia like the charismatics, but it takes just one disappointment in life to bring all that down. In an instant we can lose faith in God. This is dangerous, but happens a lot. Moreover, the first reading can be connected to our own spiritual journey during Lent and the rest of the year. We are “in the desert” trusting God. The desert is not a comfortable place.  In fact, it is so uncomfortable that even being a slave in Egypt sounds better.The desert is a common theme in the Sacred Scriptures.  It is not only a real place on Earth, but a symbol of hardship and loneliness.  It is usually there where we encounter God the most.  

The Psalm response is linked to the first reading. It comes from Psalm 95 and mentions the incident of the lack of trust the Hebrews had at Meribah and Massah. The psalm calls God the “rock of our salvation.”  This is a connection to the rock Moses tapped for water. Water is the “salvation” of a thirty individual.

It is no surprise that to each refrain we respond, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” This “hardening” is another connection to the rock in the desert and why I wrote a few paragraphs above that it is an innuendo. We often become “hard-headed” and harden our hearts as well.  The psalm reminds us that God is the one who made us and we should trust in Him. We must not repeat what our ancestors did where they did not trust Him and tested Him. The psalm ends in this manner.

The second reading speaks to us about faith. Again, it is all connected with the previous readings.  St. Paul reminds us that faith is what connects us with God. God gives grace to all freely, but we must respond with faith to it otherwise we will miss the grace.

This faith must then be put into practice for it to be truly valid because we must love God and have faith in Him, not just because of commands, but because we choose it (James 2:14-26).  When we freely choose something instead of being forced to do something, it becomes more valuable and authentic. The reading continues speaking about hope that doesn’t disappoint. No matter what hardships we face, God is still there.  Again, we must not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors in the desert who knew God was there but still doubted.

Lastly, the Gospel tells us about the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus. The Samaritans are a group of people who the Jews did not like. In about 700 BC, the Assyrians came to Israel and took over the north. They brought strangers to that area who would be called “Samaritans” later on. These people were Pagans, but as they lived among the Jews in the land, they adopted some of their ideas and incorporated them into their own religion. Nevertheless, the Jews saw them as a pariah.

Jesus comes to a town called “Sychar.” He is tired and sits down. Imagine that?  God is tired. This shows the humanity of Christ.

I digress..

As Jesus rests, a woman comes by and He asks her for a drink.  The woman is shocked because He asks her for a drink.  She does this because of the tension between the Jews and her people. Moreover, women at the time were not seen as full persons in those times due to culture. Jesus is showing He is a “feminist” per se. Moreover, Jesus then responds to her that if she knew who was asking her for water she would have been given the “living water” which is God’s grace that comes from the Holy Spirit.

He continues telling her that the water He asks of her does not quench thirst but that the water He
gives will. Here He is saying that only God can satisfy us fully. Things of this world, including water, satiate. They do not satisfy us forever. The woman becomes interested and asks Jesus for this water.  Jesus then shows her that He knows her life by revealing that she had five husbands. The rest of the Gospel (if the longer version is read) continues with Jesus speaking about true religion in spirit and truth that comes from what He gives. The disciples also make an appearance and show their disapproval of the woman and Jesus communicating.

The Gospel is very long, but has deep and simple themes to reflect on.  First let us focus on faith. Here we see that it is God who comes to us, not the other way around. Jesus comes to the woman and asks for water. This is His way of saying that we have to respond back to God’s grace with our faith and why He says, “I thirst” on the cross (John 19:28). He approaches us and asks for us to give Him water (our faith response).

Second, the woman belonged to a group of people that the Jews did not like.  Christ shows us that we must go to everyone with the Good News, not only our own. We must not be greedy and keep the truth for ourselves, but must share it with the “Samaritans” of the world today: non-believers, lukewarm believers, those who believe in other faith traditions, etc. We must not judge those who are not in our Catholic Church – the Mystical Body of Christ. Instead, we must approach them, be friends with them and reach out to them. We must also listen to them and learn from them just like Jesus listened to the woman.

The Gospel reminds us of “water.” Water is the ultimate source of physical life.  Without water, there would be no life on this planet. Water is the engine of life. Jesus reminds us that He has the living water that gives us meaning and true life unlike the common H2o on Earth that we need to live on, physically speaking.  This is why astronomers and astrophysicists look for water on exoplanets.  Recently, seven planets were discovered in the TRAPPIST 1 system.  Water may exist on them which may indicate that life possibly exists there. 

Ironically, in a desert that thing that is lacking the most and is the most desirable is water. When our
lives become dry, painful under the heat; the discomforts of the desert of life hit us hard, it is Christ who gives us the living water who keeps us going. In this time of Lent, we are walking in the desert with Christ. We are tempted to break our fast just like Jesus was tempted by Satan.

We naturally suffer spiritual dryness when we feel God is not there like the Hebrews who felt they were tricked into going to the desert to die. Our response is to trust in God even in bad times. We must not become hard headed and doubt God like those in Meribah and Massah. We know God is there. We have encountered Him in our lives. Our daily struggles should not push us to think God is not there in our lives. Faith is key. We must ask ourselves during Lent as we walk in the deserts of life: “Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

The answer is YES!  He is there with a nice clean cup of fresh living water to quench our thirst.  We all thirst for God, even atheists.  Let us seek Christ and be quenched.  

Please help this ministry by donating via PayPal or Www.gofundme.com/Sacerdotus.  Your gift will help me continue this work and expand it.


You can also help by purchasing my books. My latest book, "Introduction to the Catholic Church" will truly benefit Catholics and others who are curious of the Catholic faith. You can purchase it in paperback for $12 or Kindle Ebook for $9.99.
seehttp://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/02/new-book-introduction-to-catholic.html













Here are some reflections from holy writers:

It is pertinent to the image of the reality that this woman, who bore the type of the church, comes from strangers, for the church was to come from the Gentiles, an alien from the race of the Jews. In that woman, then, let us hear ourselves, and in her acknowledge ourselves and in her give thanks to God for ourselves.
— St. Augustine
(354 - 430)


Source: “Tractates on the Gospel of John, 15.10,” quoted in Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 146–147.



And in that day it says, “Living water shall come forth out of Jerusalem.” This is that spiritual, sweet, life-giving and saving drink of the teaching of Christ. He speaks of it in the Gospel according to John, when instructing the Samaritan woman.
What was this drink, then, that came forth from Jerusalem? For it was there that its gospel went forth and its heralds filled the world. This is what is meant by the words “The living water shall go forth to the first sea and the last sea,” by which is meant the bounds of the whole world. That which is toward the eastern ocean is called “the first sea,” that toward the west is meant by “the last sea,” which, indeed, the living water of the saving gospel teaching has filled. He also taught about this when he said, “Whosoever shall drink of the water, which I shall give him, shall never thirst.”
— St. Eusebius of Caesarea
(260 - 340)


Source: “Proof of the Gospel, 6.18.48-49,” quoted in Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 146–147.



Jesus calls the quickening gift of the Spirit “living water” because mere human nature is parched to its very roots, now rendered dry and barren of all virtue by the crimes of the devil. But now human nature runs back to its pristine beauty, and drinking in that which is life-giving, it is made beautiful with a variety of good things and, budding into a virtuous life, it sends out healthy shoots of love toward God.
— St. Cyril of Alexandria
(375 - 444)


Source: “Commentary on the Gospel of John, 2.4,” quoted in Joel C. Elowsky, ed., John 1–10, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 146–147.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Puerto Rico Eliminated Venezuela & USA Eliminates Dominican Republic


Puerto Rico is unstoppable. The team has been undefeated and has just eliminated Venezuela from the World Baseball Classic. Kenny Vargas hit a home run that scored two runs and Angel Pagan contributed with a double and two single hits. Odor of the Venezuelan team would later hit a two run homer run in the sixht, but Puerto Rico continued to score with the help of Correa, Perez and Rivera who were constantly on base and showed great running skills. In the end, Puerto Rico eliminated Venezuela 13 to 2.

 They are now heading to the Semi-Finals to face the Netherlands on Monday. The winner will advance to the championship game. Moreover, later that night, there was a rematch between the USA and the Dominican Republic. It was an elimination game as well. The USA was facing elimination along with the Dominican Republic. In the first innings, the Dominicans scored two runs. They seemed to have had the momentum. Manny Machado and Robinson Cano brought the runs in by capitalizing on errors by Brandon Crawford, the shortstop. However, that all changed.

Giancarlo Stanton, winner of the 2016 Home Run Derby singled. Johnathan Lucroy then gave a hit that put runners at the corners with no outs. Then Christian Yelich hit a double which tied the game 2 to 2. In the fourth inning, something amazing happened. Stanton came up and hit a pitch thrown by Ervin Santana of the Dominican team. The hit was probably heard around the world. It was a monster home run measured as traveling 117.3 mph. The crowds were amazed. Stanton's homer brought team USA to 4 and left the Dominicans at 2. He stands at 6'6'' and is very muscular. His hit is the fourth hearded hit home run, according to statistics.

 However, Stanton's homer was not the only amazing event. Adam Jones of the Orioles made an amazing catch. His teammate on the Orioles hit a homer run. The ball was over the wall but Jone leaped in the air and caught it robbing Machado of the homer. Machado was in awe himself and tipped his cap to his teammate. However, after this, Robinson Cano hit a home run bringing the Dominicans within one run. Team USA would not give up and would add on more runs making it 6 to 3 after double by Andrew McCutchen which brought in two runs. The Dominicans would not recover from this and would lose the game, ending their run. They were the defending champions of the World Baseball Classic. The United States will now face Japan in another rematch from 2009. Whoever wins from there will advance to the championship game and will face either Puerto Rico or Japan.



On social media,some interesting takes on the game were posted. I had some fun myself using gifs:
























Source:

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/puerto-rico-wins-6th-straight-wbc-routs-venezuela-46229486

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/world-baseball-classic-puerto-rico-vs-venezuela-pictures-1.13285240

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/219876434/puerto-rico-tops-venezuela-in-rd-2-of-wbc-2017/

http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2017/3/19/14972748/world-baseball-classic-usa-defeats-dominican-republic-adam-jones-giancarlo-stanton

http://www.scout.com/mlb/rumors/story/1764112-recap-usa-beats-dr-advances-to-wbc-semis



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