Monday, November 28, 2016

Irascible Lin-Manuel's 'Papi' Luis Snaps

Many of you who know me personally or online know that I pull no punches. I am very blunt and do not hold back on my thoughts.  This has gotten the attention of the boring magician Penn Jillette, narrow view physicist Lawrence Krauss and has gotten me blocked by the annoying has-been Cher and maniacal Catholic clergymen Tom Rosica, Jim Goode and Kevin Farrell.

Well, after the disrespect vice-president elect Mike Pence faced while attending "Hamilton" with his family, I gave my dollar and change to its creator Lin-Manuel and his father who posted a tweet applauding the disrespect given to Mike Pence.

As expected, the liberal Miranda senior like every other liberal is not fond of getting criticism.  He launched out at me on Twitter after I call his son's show  "garbage" and a "disgrace to Puerto Ricans."

Take a look at the tweets:

I wrote my criticism:

Miranda senior responded like a typical Twitter troll:

I replied reminding him of reality:

The whole scenario is comical at best and shows the immaturity and lack of temperament by Luis A. Miranda who immediately resorted to an ad hominem attack rather than attacking my criticism. This tells me that one can easily get under his skin due to his lack of composure which is an indication of lower cognitive functioning.

Note, that I did not attack his son, but rather, his son's play and the way the actors attacked Mike Pence. I found that act distasteful.  For one thing, Mike Pence bought the overpriced tickets to see a show with his family.  I am sure he was not there to be lectured by frustrated and paranoid minorities. Moreover, the show is in fact overrated. I saw a cell phone quality recording of it and did not find it appealing.  It was redundant, corny and historically inaccurate.  Ironically, Miranda senior claims I could learn from it despite historians and even his own son stating there are inaccuracies. A Google search on this will produce many articles and videos.

Luis Miranda must learn to be mature and handle criticism, not respond like a rabid dog to tweets. This only shows his insecurity and overprotection of his son.  In America, we have freedom of speech and expression.  I exercised mine, not to offend him or his son, but to criticize the cast of his son's show and the show itself.  There is nothing wrong with this.  I will repeat again that his actions are a disgrace to Puerto Ricans worldwide, many of them who grow up on strong values of respect and tolerance. No genuine Puerto Rican from the island would target someone like Hamilton's cast did to Mike Pence.  Moreover, no genuine Puerto Rican from the island would celebrate such bullying.

Shame on Luis and Lin-Manuel for their celebration of harassment.  Guests to Lin-Manuel's show attend there to watch the show, not be targeted by paranoid minorities slanted by political views.  I used to follow Lin-Manuel on Twitter but unfollowed him after his puerile monolog on Saturday Night Live. In light of this, I am sort of happy Trump won which made Lin-Manuel look like an idiot, or like Puerto Ricans colloquially say, a "zangano." His childishness on the show and little celebratory dance made him look ridiculous.  Boricuas are usually humble by nature. He came across as obnoxious and arrogant.  It seems the apple does not fall far from the tree, so to speak. His own father, Luis Miranda has demonstrated himself to be ridiculous, irascible and as Puerto Ricans say in the Bronx, a "come mierda."

I can proudly say, Boycott Hamilton!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

1st Sunday of Advent: Be Prepared!

What is Advent?
We are now in the holy season of Advent where we prepare for both the coming of Christ at Christmas and the second coming at the end of time.  It is a spiritual period in which to meditate on these two mysteries and prepare for them.  We use the wreath and 4 candles to mark down the 4 weeks before Christmas.

Three of the candles are purple and one is pink.  The purple symbolizes preparation through penance and prayer.  Purple is also used during Lent.  Another way to see it is purple is a physical sign of healing. When we get hurt, the injury becomes purple.  During the time of healing, it remains purple until it clears up.  Sin hurts us and we need time to heal from it by using the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, Prayer, Fasting, Indulgences and a genuine Spiritual life.

The pink is for the third Sunday or Gaudete Sunday which means “Sunday of Joy.”   We are joyous because we are getting closer to Christ’s birth.  As each week goes, we light the candle that corresponds to that week.


Today's readings tell us that we must be prepared. The first reading tells us of God establishing His house on the highest mountain. All nations will stream toward it and will want to climb it.  We see the Catholicity of God's plan. He reaches out to all peoples around the world. From Zion shall go forth the instruction or the Gospel (Mark 16:15). We gather together at Mass on this first Sunday of Advent to prepare for Christ's coming. We prepare for Him rejoicing to climb this mountain and be with Him as the Responsorial Psalm states today. God is returning and will judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). We must be awake as we read in the second reading.  Our salvation is nearer and the day is at hand, we are told. Because Jesus may return at any moment, we must live as if each day is our last or in holiness (Ephesians 5:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:5). We must not live a life of sin (Ephesians 5:11).  Paul describes the bad behavior of those in his time in the second reading.

Unfortunately, not much has changed. Even in the 21st century, we still see horrific behavior even within the Church. This must end. We must be ready for Christ's return and put aside the robes of perdition and replaced them with the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 61:10, Galatians 3:27). In the Gospel, Jesus reminds the disciples and us today of the days leading up to the Great Flood (Genesis 7). The people heard the warnings but did not care. They were eating, drinking, partying in sin as if nothing mattered.  Then the flood came and flushed them away just like we flush other things.  The last day will be like this. Many will be caught off guard. They will live life thinking Jesus will never come and bam, He comes. We must stay away, as Christ says. No one will know the day the Lord will return (Matthew 24:36). We must take each day as if it were our last and be prepared. This is what the season of Advent is all about. We not only commemorate the coming of Christ on Christmas, but await His second day. We shout maranatha!  Let us praise Christ always and be prepared for His second coming! O Come O Come Emmanuel and save the captive world.

Here are some reflections by our saints:

"Christ did not forbid eating, drinking and marrying when he said "As in the days of Noah, they were eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage." He would never destroy what he himself established. Instead, he was commanding that what we do with our bodies, we do spiritually and to the glory of God so that our flesh might be made spiritual on account of the spiritual purposes for which we use it.…

Before the flood, people were fleeing from the fear of God and doing nothing for his glory. Everything they did was only for their own flesh. Whenever they ate or drank, they ate and drank only to satisfy their bodily desires, not to glorify God as the apostle had commanded. What Christ wanted to say here is that it will be like this again near the end of the world.…

At the end of the world, the destruction will be universal and sudden like it was "in the days of Noah." Just as every creature of the earth was destroyed in the flood, except only those who escaped in the ark, so also at the consummation of the world every heresy will be destroyed, but only one ark will be saved—the church of Christ, composed of the righteous. Everything outside of the ark died in the flood. Likewise, at the end of the world whoever is found to be outside the one true church will perish."
— St. John Chrysostom

(Homily 50," quoted in Manlio Simonetti, ed., Matthew 14-28, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 208.)

"To teach us that our ignorance of the date of his return (which his silence has kept hidden from everyone) is not without its usefulness, Christ warns us to keep all his commandments. We should also be occupied with constant prayer in order to guard against the coming of the thief. For the thief is the devil who seeks to invade our bodily homes with the darts of his thoughts and allurements in order to ruin us while we are sleepy and careless. It is good therefore that we be prepared. Our ignorance of the day of Christ's return should provoke us to be careful as we eagerly await his coming."
— St. Hilary of Poitiers

("On Matthew 26.6," quoted in Manlio Simonetti, ed., Matthew 14-28, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 210.)

"Or, Two men will be out in the field, found performing the same labour, sowing corn together, but not reaping the same fruit of their labour. The two women grinding together we may understand to be the Synagogue and the Church, which seem to grind together in the Law, and to make of the same Scriptures meal of the commandments of God."
— St. Jerome

(Quoted in Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers: St. Matthew, ed. John Henry Newman, vol. 1 (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841), 835.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro dead at 90

Abajo Fidel! This cry has been on the hearts, minds and mouths of many Cubans, especially those in America.  The day has finally come when the phrase has taken on reality. Today, Fidel Castro passed away at the age of 90.  Born Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz in 1926 and educated by the Jesuits, Castro would take on a big role as an adult. He adopted leftist (Marxist)ideas while studying at the University of Havana and was the son of a wealthy farmer. Fidel Castro would use these ideas to rule over Cuba after overthrowing the government. At first, he failed to overthrow President Fulgencio Batista in 1953 and was imprisioned. Afterwards, while in Mexico, he formed the "26th of July Movement" with his brother Raul and Che Guevara.  With this movement, he overthrew President Batista in 1959 and took over Cuba becoming its prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and then its president from 1976 to 2008.  The government of the United States did not like Castro and wanted to assasinate him. There were about 634 attempts to assasinate Castro with each failing.  Because of this, Castro became allies with the Soviet Union and allowed them to place nuclear arsenal on the island which began the Cuban Missile Crisis building up to the Cold War era.

The United States would respond with an embargo as a way of forcing economic harm to small island-nation. The embargo had no real success, but the nation did fall into ruin. While its people are well educated and hospitals have well-trained doctors, the island is pretty much frozen in time with citizens using old vehicles from the 1940s and living in run-down edifices. Castro controlled every aspect of the Cuban people. He transormed the nation into one ruled by Communism, taking control of every facet of government and private life. All free speech and expression was suppressed. Those who spoke out against Castro were either killed or imprisioned. In 1999, Saint John Paul II met with him and spoke out against the abuses against human rights and religious freedom.  Shortly after, changes came. The Catholic Church was given more freedom to celebrate Christmas and other holy days. Even more changes came after Pope emeritus Benedict XVI visited in 2012 and told Castro that his political experiment no longer corresponded with the reality of the times.  Castro was the third longest serving head of state and holds the world record of the longest speech at the United Nations. His death was announced on state television by his brother Raul who announced a nine day mourning period. His remainds were cremated.  Many Cubans in exile took to the streets in Miami to celebrate the death of the dictator. World leaders commented on his death, some causing controversy such as Obama who failed to condemen his poor human rights record and the prime minister of Canada who praised him as a great leader.  President-elect Donald Trump and his vice president choice, Mike Pence both condemened Castro and hope for democracy to take hold in Cuba.

My thoughts
The response to Castro's death has been interesting with some praising him and others not so. As a Catholic Christian, I can only pray for his soul. His acts and words judge him by themselves, so I need not make a judgement. Based on what I know, Castro oppressed his own people. He restricted basic freedoms and while preaching Socialism and Communism, lived a lavish life full of riches while his people had to line up for rations. I understand why some are celebrating his death, however, I find that distasteful. We should never celebrate the death of another, even is that person was bad. All have sinned before God, excluding Mary the mother of Christ and Christ of course while on earth as a human male. We should pray for his soul. Fidel Castro was an atheist. Atheism has a long history of oppressing people and free thought.  He was a prime example.

Some atheists claim to be "good without God," however, we can see what happens to a person when he or she removes God from his or her life. The person becomes void of morals and conscience. Atheism has a bad human rights record in light of this. Fidel Castro was a product of indoctrination on campus. This is a big problem. Today, we see so many young people protesting and requesting "safe spaces" due to some leftist professors pontificating to them views that are irrational, yet chick. Universities can be great places to learn, but also dangerous places where some promote ideologies that threaten the moral and social fabric of humanity. It is sad that Cuba has suffered under dictator after dictator. We must hope and pray that Cuba will change and become a more viable democratic society that respects the basic human rights of its citizens. While Castro did improve education on the island, what good is it if the people cannot freely speak and express themselves?  When Jesus said "forgive them for they know not what they do," he had people like Fidel Castro in mind. Pray for his soul. Only God can judge Castro. May He have mercy on His soul.



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mercy Reigns! Christ the King of the Universe

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe and the closing of the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy. What a glorious day. Jesus Christ is King of all (1 Cor 15:20-26, 28). The king of the universe. The very word "Christ" means "Anointed one, or King."

This solemnity was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas. The day was originally called the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the king.  In 1969, Blessed Pope Paul VI in the motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis revised the title as "Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe."

Priests in the Catholic Church wear white or golden color vestments to show the glory and joy behind the celebration.  Other Christian bodies such as the Protestant and Orthodox adopted the day and have their own ways of celebrating it.  All those Baptized share in this Kingship of Christ (CCC 1241). This day which always falls on a Sunday is the last Sunday of the Liturgical calendar. The Sunday that follows is the First Sunday of Advent which starts a new Liturgical Year.  This is a reminder that Christ is the Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end (Revelation 21:6).  Jesus ends the Liturgical calendar and begins it.  He was at the beginning of time and will judge all at the end of it as we will read in the Gospel at Mass.


In the first reading, we read of David being anointed the king of Israel. This reading is significant because it shows the royal lineage of Christ who is a descendant of David. Christ is king, not just any king, but THE KING. He rules the entire universe.  As with any king, Jesus had royal blood in His veins being a descendant of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16, Matthew 1:1–17). This is why the book of Matthew was written for the Jews, per se.  The Gospel begins showing the genealogy of Jesus linking Him to David.  He is the "king of the Jews."  Unfortunately, many of the Jews in His time did not accept Him as their king and even mocked Him (Psalm 22:7-9, Matthew 27:29, Luke 23:37, Mark 15:18, John 19:3). When we sin, we do the same. We forget that the Lord is our king and disrespect Him with our bad thoughts and actions. This is why we must seek His mercyso that we can go rejoicing to the house of the Lord as the responsorial Psalm today tells us.  Today ends the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy. Our Holy Father Pope Francis ushered this year hoping the Church will recall mercy; mercy from God and showing mercy to one another.

Too many times, we get caught up in our faith and may forget to be charitable to others. We may receive the Sacraments and then live life thinking everyone else is a heathen. We look at lukewarm Catholics as horrible, Protestants as heretics, gays and women who support abortion as evil; the list goes on and on. This is wrong. We must remember the log in our eyes before we pinpoint the speck in the eyes of others (Matthew 7:5). We all sin (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus and Mary were free of sin. While we are free to admonish the sinner, this does not mean we are free to judge others (Colossians 3:16, Matthew 7:1-3). The "job" of judging belongs to Christ alone (1 Peter 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:1). Hopefully this Year of Mercy has reminded us of asking God for mercy and being merciful towards others. We must remind ourselves that we were "made fit" to share in the inheritance of God's kingdom, as the second reading tells us. Christ delivered us from the power of darkness through the sacrifice on the Cross.  He transffered us to His kingdom, we are now sons and daughters of the light (1 Thessalonians 5:5-15, Galatians 5:1). We must act like and son and daughter of God and not live double lives with one foot in the things of this world and one in the things of God (Matthew 6:24). All of the universe is Christ's footstool, we need not attach ourselves to the things of this world. We must learn to love another and forgive one another.

God will be watching us and how we treat one another. We must be humble like the "good thief" who asked Christ to remember Him. God remembers those who are humble, contrite and loving ( Psalm 106:4-5).  Today's Gospel not only reminds us that Christ is king, but that He is merciful. As Jesus was on the Cross, the people mocked Him. They called Him the King of the Jews and even placed a superscription with the latin INRI (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews) acronym. The people there were clearly wicked, yet Christ suffered and died for them as well (John 3:16).  With Him were two men who were criminals. One did not care about life nor God and mocked Christ while the other made mistakes in life and was contrite. This one rebuked the criminal mocking Christ and asked Christ to remember Him when He enters paradise. Jesus did not say to him, "Ok, I will remember you;" rather, he said that the criminals would JOIN HIM in paradise.  This is an awesome witness to Christ's Divine Mercy and an appropriate Gospel to end the Holy Year of Mercy with. God is merciful. A lasped Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Atheist etc may have lived life without caring for the truth or holiness, but at the deathbed, they can resort to God's mercy and be saved. This is because God is merciful and love (Psalm 145:8, Psalm 106:4-5).  Here is what some of our saints had to say on Christ's majesty and mercy:

St. Jerome - That flaming, flashing sword was keeping Paradise safe. No one could open the gates that Christ closed. The thief was the first to enter with Christ. His great faith received the greatest of rewards. His faith in the kingdom did not depend on seeing Christ. He did not see him in his radiant glory or behold him looking down from heaven. He did not see the angels serving him. To put it plainly, he certainly did not see Christ walking about in freedom, but on a gibbet, drinking vinegar and crowned with thorns. He saw him fastened to the cross and heard him begging for help, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" …
The cross of Christ is the key to paradise. The cross of Christ opened it. Has he not said to you, "The kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault, and the violent have been seizing it by force"? Does not the One on the cross cause the violence? There is nothing between the cross and paradise. The greatest of pains produces the greatest of rewards. ("On Lazarus and Dives," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 366-367.)

St. Ephrem the Syrian - One robber said, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us with you!" The Lord however did not take him down from the cross as he asked, in order to exalt the other robber on the right of the cross and who was believing in the crucified Savior. It would have been easy for him to use a miracle to conquer anyone as a disciple. He produced a more powerful miracle when he forced the scoffer of truth to adore him. That is why the apostle said, "That which is the weakness of God is stronger than human beings." He submitted all peoples to the weakness of the cross.
Stretch out your arms toward the cross, so that the crucified Lord may stretch out his arms toward you. The one who does not stretch out his hand toward the cross cannot approach his table either. He will deprive of his table the guests who should have come to him hungry but instead came full. Do not fill yourself before going to the table of the Son. He might then make you leave the table while you are still hungry. ("Commentary on Tatian's Diatessaron, 20.23," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 363.)

St. Ambrose - The superscription is written and placed above, not below the cross, because the government is upon his shoulders. What is this government if not his eternal power and Godhead? When asked, "Who are you?" he replied, "The beginning, who also speaks to you." Let us read this superscription. "Jesus of Nazareth," it says, "The King of the Jews."
The superscription is fittingly above the cross because Christ's kingdom does not belong to his human body but to his divine authority. The superscription is fittingly above the cross, because although the Lord Jesus was on the cross, he shines above the cross with the majesty of a king. ("Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 10.112-13," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 363.)

St. Pope John Paul II - The Good Thief crucified with Jesus came in some way to the heart of this truth. Indeed, in a certain sense he became a prophet of this eternal Kingdom when, hanging on the cross, he said: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). Christ said in reply: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43)... In the second reading the Apostle Paul explains the nature of the kingdom of which Jesus speaks. He writes to the Colossians: we must give thanks to God who “has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (1:13-14). It is precisely this forgiveness of sins which the good thief inherited on Calvary. He was the first to experience the fact that Christ is King, because he is the Redeemer. (SPECIAL ASSEMBLY FOR OCEANIA OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS. EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION. HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II. Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. 22 November 1998.

Let us always be loving and merciful. The Year of Mercy is every year, not just 2015-16. We must be merciful to others and ask God to remember us and have mercy like the good thief did.  May Christ the King reign in the hearts of all men, women and children!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Day Is Coming

As we approach Advent, today's readings remind us that the day is coming. This day is of course the last day or judgment day.

The first reading from Malachi tells us that this day is coming and will be like a blazing oven. All those who are proud and evil will be disposed of.  There will be neither root nor branch, the reading describes. The reading uses metaphors with imagery of fire burning a tree leaving nothing behind. This of course is a description of hell. God will come to judge all people from every nation (Zephaniah 3:8, Isaiah 3:9, Matthew 25:31-46, Acts 17:31, 2 Peter 3:7). No one will escape this judgement (Isaiah 28:14-16). This day will be the day of justice where the good and the bad will receive their just reward. The good will reap "the sun of justice with its healing rays" while the wicked will burn in the flames.  God is a just God and will rule the earth with justice as we read in the responsorial Psalm.  All of the earth praises the Lord. Each creature, each natural phenomenon praises Him. We join this praise with our lives as we advance in grace. God is coming and we must be prepared.  We must behave in accordance to the faith just like Paul and the disciples set an example to the early Catholic Christians. Living a good example is very important in the faith. We cannot live as hypocrites.

Nothing turns off people from the faith than a hypocritical Catholic who does not walk the talk, so to speak. This is why we must set a good example to others so that they can see the Gospel alive in our lives. Saying that we pray is not as powerful and praying with someone. Reading the Gospel and Works of Mercy is not the same as actually carrying them out in day to day living. We must be our faith. This is the best way to preach the Gospel. Imagine if St. Teresa of Calcutta just sat in a monastery and talked about helping the poor of the poor, would she have become a saint?  Imagine if St. Francis of Assisi sat in the Portiuncula and spoke only about helping lepers while never going out to actually help them, would he have become a saint? We must go out into the world and get our hands dirty, so to speak. The Church is like a field hospital as our pope tells us constantly. Work in important in the Church. Those who do not work, should not eat. If we do not work to become saints and let sin take over, then we should not approach the Lord's table to eat. Moreover, we must work in this world in order to make a living. No one is entitled to live a work free life full of luxury and "freebies." We all must earn a living, including the clergy and religious who earn a salary in their respective ministries.

Lastly, we read in the Gospel, Christ telling the people about the destruction of the temple and the signs that warn of the times ahead.  The temple will be destroyed and there will be famine and other unpleasant and scary things. These things are described as happening in the New Testament, but we must also watch for the signs in our day. With the election of Donald J. Trump, many protesters are gathering on the streets out of paranoia. We are still seeing the divisions and discord that Jesus warned about. Nations are still at war with each other. Earthquakes, famines and plagues are still taking place and we see awesome sights in the sky just like the Super moon that will be visible tonight and on Monday. While these things happen naturally, we must always be on alert. We must ignore those who claim to know the day of the Lord. No one knows the day nor the hour. As Advent approaches, we must call on the Lord to come or Maranatha (Revelation 22:20)! While we wait for His coming, we must be patient and bear with the persecution that is upon us.  We will be hated because of Jesus. Even those close to us will hand us over and betray us. We will secure our lives with our perseverance. We cannot be quitters when the time gets rough.

St. Ambrose tells us, "It was spoken then of the temple made with hands, that it should be overthrown. For there is nothing made with hands which age does not impair, or violence throw down, or fire burn. Yet there is also another temple, that is, the synagogue, whose ancient building falls to pieces as the Church rises. There is also a temple in every one, which falls when faith is lacking, and above all when any one falsely shields himself under the name of Christ, that so he may rebel against his inward inclinations (Quoted in Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers: St. Luke, ed. John Henry Newman, vol. 3 (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1843), 674.)." We must focus on the temple within us where the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19). God does not care about church buildings or man-made temples. What He cares about is our souls. This is why Christ came and died for, our souls (John 3:16).

St. Cyril of Alexandria reminds us stating, "Some of them showed Christ the mighty works that were in the temple and the beauty of the offerings. They expected that he would admire the spectacle as they did, although he is God and heaven is his throne. He did not allow any regard for these earthly buildings, since they were unimportant. Absolutely nothing compared with the mansions that are above. Dismissing the conversation about them, he turned to what was necessary for their use. Christ forewarned them that however worthy of admiration they might think the temple was, yet at a certain time it would be destroyed from its foundations. The power of the Romans would tear it down and burn Jerusalem with fire, and retribution would be required from Israel for the Lord's murder. They had to suffer these things after the Savior's crucifixion ( "Commentary on Luke, Homily 139," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 319)." We must care for our souls by living the faith, receiving the Sacraments especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to authentically live our Catholic faith. We must not hide our faith. We will be persecuted and mocked. There is no way around this. Some of us may even be martyred for our faith. However, the death of a Christian is not the end. If we die with Christ, we shall also rise with Him (2 Timothy 2:11, Philippians 3:10). Our mortal bodies will come back to life glorified in Christ (Philippians 3:20-21). St. Augustine tells us, "We should have no doubt that our mortal flesh also will rise again at the end of the world.… This is the Christian faith. This is the Catholic faith. This is the apostolic faith. Believe Christ when he says, "Not a hair of your head shall perish." Putting aside all unbelief, consider how valuable you are. How can our Redeemer despise any person when he cannot despise a hair of that person's head? How are we going to doubt that he intends to give eternal life to our soul and body? He took on a soul and body in which to die for us, which he laid down for us when he died and which he took up again that we might not fear death ("Sermon 214.11-12," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 321)." God is in control, we have nothing to be afraid of. Not one of our hairs will be harmed if we trust Him and live for Him. Let us prepare for the day when Christ returns.  May Jesus be praised!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#ElectionNight 2016

After much drama and back and forth bickering, election day is here. This election has been one of the most strangest in United States' history. Both main candidates have been accused of being dishonest, vulgar, hypocritical and so on. In fact, many Americans have felt that this election would be hard to decide because either candidate could ruin America.  However, now the time has come to decide one. While there are other candidates, these have also shown themselves to be ignorant of many issues.  Now it is the time fro Americans to decide.  Here is a poll I started on Twitter which shows Trump is the choice:

I will update this throughout the night.

Donald J. Trump has just won the US Presidency!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Hope in the Resurrection

So far, not enough donations are coming it and I am concerned. Without your help, I may have to shut this site down and cancel my ideas of evangelization in order to avoid debt. This means that you and many others will not have these Sunday reflections and other articles which encompass a variety of fields and issues.  Already, some atheist trolls are mocking my fundraising campaign on Twitter claiming Catholics do not care about their faith and do not help out with donations. Is this the witness we should give to atheists and others?  Please consider donating or becoming a regular benefactor by donating to or on the Paypal linked to this site.  God will reward you for your help. 

Today's readings remind us to hold fast to the faith and the resurrection.

In the first reading, we read of a family who was arrested and tortured.  They were forced to eat pork which violates the Jewish law of refraining from eating unclean animals (Leviticus 11:7). These laws were given in order to ween the Jew off of Pagan rituals which called for the consumption of meat offered to idols. These animals were seen as "unclean" because they were offered to these idols and because they often caused sickness (Exodus 34:15). The swine is known to contain many pathogens which can cause severe sickness, especially when the meat is not well prepared. Christ declared that all foods are clean, so we can have pork and other foods that were avoided by the Jews (Mark 7:19). This family of seven brothers and their mother refused to give in to the king's demands to betray Jewish laws. They preferred to face torture and death rather than break God's laws.  We too are called to this brave stance in the face of persecution. When the time comes - and it will come - we must remain firm and not betray God like Judas Iscariot did (Matthew 26:14-16). We must remember that even if we lose our lives, this does not mean that we disappear into oblivion (Colossians 3:3). God will raise us up in Christ (Romans 8:11). This family we read about in the first reading believed in the resurrection. We will read in the Gospel today how the Sadducees used this first reading to create a riddle for Jesus in order to stump Him. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection and wanted to make Jesus look stupid by presenting a riddle based on the laws of cultural marriage found in Genesis 38:8 and Deuteronomy 25:5. They worded it to Him based on today's reading of Maccabees.  It is interesting to note that our Protestant friends do not accept the books of Maccabees despite it being referenced in the Gospels showing the books were part of the Judaism Jesus practiced and were seen as inspired Scriptures. We must remain faithful even till the end. Christ will appear in glory and raise the dead. We will be filled with joy as today's responsorial Psalm tells us.  Faith in God extremely important. With this faith comes loyalty. We must ask God to keep us as the apple of His eye, metaphorically speaking. We must die as saints so wecan wake in God and be content in His presence.  The second reading reminds us to be faithful and to trust in God who will strengthen us and protect us from the evil one. We all know who this evil one is. This is Satan who wills our destruction. God will deliver us from the wicked. We see on the news how Isis and other evil organizations are killing Christians. These people parade around believing they are victorious. However, when Christ returns, we will see these brave Christians return glorified in Him who they believed in.

Lastly, in the Gospel, we read of the Sadducees placing before Christ a riddle based on the family we read about in the book of Maccabees. They try hard to make Christ contradict Himself. Remember, Christ was not well educated. He did not have a doctorate in theology (like He needs it) nor did He have the same education the Sadducees and Pharisees had. He was a humble carpenter's son (Mark 6:3). Christ was truly human and truly God. Anyhow, the Sadducees posed to Him a riddle about the law that required the brother of another brother who died to take his wife. Today, we may see this law as strange.  Radical feminists see it as a humiliation of women by making her an heirloom that is passed on.  This is not the case at all. This law was instituted so the woman could be taken care of, instead of abandoned. In America, women who were left as widows could not claim the property of her husband. Many women ended up homeless after their husbands died. Only a man could hold money and property, so widows were left out. This law requiring the brother to take his dead brother's wife was meant to prevent this kind of situation. It is a law that reflects the time, circumstance and culture of a period long ago.  Therefore, we must understand it in that light and not fall into presentism. The Sadducees want to force Jesus to make the idea of the resurrection look foolish. If a woman has several husbands, then at the resurrection, who is she really a wife of?  Jesus outsmarts them by exposing their ignorance. Marriage, relationships, sex are all things of this age. In heaven, there is no marriage.  It is not necessary. Marriage is a reminder of the union between man and God (Article 7, Catechism of the Catholic Church). This is why Matrimony is a Sacrament or visible sign of God's grace (CCC 1601). St. Augustine tells us,"What did the Lord say to the Sadducees? He said, 'You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection they marry neither husbands nor wives; for neither do they start dying again, but they will be equal to the angels of God.' The power of God is great. Why do they not marry husbands or wives? They will not start dying again. When one generation departs, another is required to succeed it. There will not be such liability to decay in that place ("Sermon 362.18-19," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 313.)."  Heaven is perfection. We will not need marriage, families, or even love because we will be with the one who is perfect love, God.  The Sadducees in their ignorance failed to capture this important fact. Moses believed in the resurrection. God reveals it indirectly when He presents Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  These men have died, so why would God speak of them as if they still existed? He did so because they still did exist despite being dead and will rise when the day comes.

St. Cyril of Alexandria says, "The Savior also demonstrated the great ignorance of the Sadducees by bringing forward their own leader Moses, who was clearly acquainted with the resurrection of the dead. He set God before us saying in the bush, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' Of whom is he God, if, according to their argument, these have ceased to live? He is the God of the living. They certainly will rise when his almighty right hand brings them and all that are on the earth there. For people not to believe that this will happen is worthy perhaps of the ignorance of the Sadducees, but it is altogether unworthy of those who love Christ. We believe in him who says, 'I am the resurrection and the life.' He will raise the dead suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, and at the last trumpet. It shall sound, the dead in Christ shall rise incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For Christ our common Savior will transfer us into incorruption, glory and to an incorruptible life ("Commentary on Luke, Homily 136," quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 313.)." Heaven will be a totally new experience like nothing we could ever imagine. This is why the Catholic faith celebrates chastity and celibacy. These will be the norm in heaven. There will no marriage or courtships. It will be eternal joy with our Creator.  All things of the flesh or carnal ideas will be left behind. St. Ambrose says, "Mystically, this woman is the synagogue, which had seven husbands, as it is said to the Samaritan, Thou hadst five husbands, (John 4:18.) because the Samaritan follows only the five books of Moses, the synagogue for the most part seven. And from none of them has she received the seed of an hereditary offspring, and so can have no part with her husbands in the resurrection, because she perverts the spiritual meaning of the precept into a carnal. For not any carnal brother is pointed at, who should raise seed to his deceased brother, but that brother who from the dead people of the Jews should claim unto himself for wife the wisdom of the divine worship, and from it should raise up seed in the Apostles, who being left as it were unformed in the womb of the synagogue, have according to the election of grace been thought worthy to be preserved by the admixture of a new seed (Quoted in Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers: St. Luke, ed. John Henry Newman, vol. 3 (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1843), 665–666.)."  Let us trust God alway even in times of trial. Let us hold fast to the hope in the resurrection. We all will die but will rise on the last day. It will not be a zombie apocalypse kind of rising, but a glorious one like the one of Christ. Keep the faith!  May Jesus be praised!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

'Billy Goat Curse Over:' Chicago Cubs Win World Series 2016!

The Chicago Cubs have just won the World Series!  This win is significant and historical. The Cubs have not won a World Series in 108 years. To put it in perspective, the last time the Cubs won was in 1908. In this year, Babe Ruth, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart were still alive; some, even children! Moreover, the Titanic did not even sail yet. In other words, this was a very long time go that the Cubs held a World Series trophy. Moreover, they won after coming back from a 3-1 situation where the Indians were just one game away from winning.

After a century, the Cubs finally made it to the series facing the Cleveland Indians who themselves have not won since 1948. Many attribute the winning drought to the "Billy-Goat Curse." The story goes that William Sianis, who was called "Billy Goat" was stopped from entering Wrigley Field in 1945 for Game 4 of the series. The reason he was prevented entry was because of his goat who he named Murphy.  Fans complained of the goat's stench and the fact that they did not want to sit next to one. Sianis, had purchased a ticket for the goat!  Afterbeing prevented entry, Sianis told the people present, "You are going to lose the World Sires and ya'll ain't gonna ever win another World Series again."  Afterthis, the Cubs never won again.  Some have even believed that the curse continued with a black cat that ran in front of the dugout where the Cubs were sitting in the 1969 season when the Cubs did not make it to the playoffs. Furthermore, Cubs fan Steve Bartman has also been blamed for alledgedly continuing the curse after in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, he deflected the ball while trying to catch it which prevented left fielder Moises Alou from catching it.  This led to a disastrous loss.

In keeping with a fun sense of superstition, the Cubs even tried to "get rid" of the curse by inviting the nephew of William Sianis to bring a goat which was descended from Murphy, the goat. They even invited a Greek Orthodox priest to bless the dugout with holy water. Well, it seems, the curse was finally broken on November 3, 2016. The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning 8 to 7. Chicago was winning the game most of the time until former Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman was put in to close the game in the 7th inning. He had poor control which led to a tying home run by Rajai Davis of the Indians. This led to extreme panic and stress among the Cubs and their fans. In fact, pitcher Aroldis Chapman started crying in the dugout possibly feeling guilty that he ruined the Cubs' chance to finally win the World Series. However, this was not the case.  The Cubs would come back after a 17-minute rain delay and win the game after Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled a run home.  The game ended at 12:47 AM with a throw to first base.  Immediately, the Cubs ran on the field in celebration  Cubs fans present in Progessive Field erupted with cheers and back home in Chicago, the fans there went to the streets to celebrate. Ben Zobrist was named the series' MVP and was given a convertible car.

Many are crediting, General Manager Theo Epstein for putting together this great team. Ironically, he helped break another famous curse, "The Curse of the Bambino" which was believed to have been placed on the Boston Red Sox after they sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1918. After this transaction, they never won a World Series only coming up short in 1986 against the New York Mets. In 2004, the Red Sox finally "broke" this alleged curse and brought back a World Series win after 86 years. The Sox would repeat a win in 2007.  However, credit must be given to the players and manager Joe Maddon, who did an excellent job managing the game even when he made some mistakes.

As a Yankee fan, I congratulate the Cubs on their win. They truly earned it and deserve it. 108 years was just way too long.  Many people passed on waiting to see the Cubs win. Those of us who witnessed it today are extremely fortunate. In related news regarding superstitious ideas, some believe the movie "Back To The Future" with Michael J. Fox starring as Marty McFly predicted the win.. sort of. The movie shows a scene where Fox's character Marty goes to the future and sees a marqee board stating that the Cubs won the World Series. The year is 2015. Moreover, even more accurate "predictions" come from a year book and a tweet. In a 1993 year book, student Michael Lee wrote that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2016. Twitter user, "RaysFanGio" tweeted in 2014 that the World Series would have a faceoff between the Cubs and Indians and that the game would be tied and run into extra innings!

In any event, we all know that the great talent of the Cubs is what led them to win. Curses and other things of that nature are non-existent and used to give some drama to sporting events. I must say that this year's World Series was amazing and will go down as one the best. Usually, World Series without the New York Yankees are a bore, but this one was worth the admission price, so to speak. The Cleveland Indians did a great job as well and are not "losers." This team fought hard and earned their spot. They did not quit and performed nicely on the field. They deserve an applause.  Chicago is now an active party scene with people flocking the streets celebrating. This is one celebration that will last possibly months!  Here are some tweets showing the course of events:



Catholic Church (751) God (405) Atheism (342) Jesus (335) Bible (306) Jesus Christ (280) Pope Francis (229) Atheist (227) Liturgy of the Word (192) Science (152) LGBT (146) Christianity (138) Pope Benedict XVI (79) Rosa Rubicondior (79) Gay (78) Abortion (75) Prayer (65) President Obama (57) Physics (53) Philosophy (52) Liturgy (51) Vatican (50) Christian (49) Blessed Virgin Mary (43) Christmas (43) New York City (40) Psychology (40) Holy Eucharist (36) Politics (34) Women (34) Biology (30) Supreme Court (30) Baseball (29) Religious Freedom (27) NYPD (26) Traditionalists (24) priests (24) Space (23) Pope John Paul II (22) Racism (21) Evil (20) Health (20) First Amendment (19) Pro Abortion (19) Protestant (19) Theology (19) Christ (18) Astrophysics (17) Child Abuse (17) Death (17) Evangelization (17) Illegal Immigrants (17) Pro Choice (17) Apologetics (16) Donald Trump (16) Police (16) Priesthood (16) Pedophilia (15) Marriage (14) Vatican II (14) Divine Mercy (12) Blog (11) Eucharist (11) Autism (10) Gospel (10) Jewish (10) Morality (10) Muslims (10) Poverty (10) September 11 (10) Easter Sunday (9) Gender Theory (9) academia (9) Human Rights (8) Pentecostals (8) Personhood (8) Sacraments (8) Big Bang Theory (7) CUNY (7) Cognitive Psychology (7) Condoms (7) David Viviano (7) Ellif_dwulfe (7) Evidence (7) Barack Obama (6) Hell (6) Hispanics (6) Holy Trinity (6) Humanism (6) NY Yankees (6) Spiritual Life (6) Babies (5) Cyber Bullying (5) Gender Dysphoria Disorder (5) Massimo Pigliucci (5) Podcast (5) Pope Pius XII (5) The Walking Dead (5) Angels (4) Donations (4) Ephebophilia (4) Pope Paul VI (4) Catholic Bloggers (3) Death penalty (3) Evangelicals (3) Pluto (3) Pope John XXIII (3) Baby Jesus (2) Dan Arel (2) Eastern Orthodox (2) Encyclical (2) Founding Fathers (2) Freeatheism (2) Oxfam (2) Penn Jillette (2) Pew Research Center (2) Plenary Indulgence (2) Cursillo (1) Dan Savage (1) Divine Providence (1) Fear The Walking Dead (1) Pentecostales (1)