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God Has NO Favorites, We must Work – 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings deal with the theme that God has no favorites and that we must work for Salvation.

In the first reading from the Prophet Ezekiel, we are reminded that we are responsible for our lives and how we behave.  We cannot blame others for ourselves, especially our bad behavior.  Many of us complain saying: “The Lord’s way is not fair!” We complain about the many “commandments” that we have to follow which we cite as being restrictive to living life. Atheists often call God immoral for punishing people and for the mere fact that there is a hell. However, God is in fact fair. God is the creator.  He made us. We are responsible solely to Him.  It would be absurd to think that a parent does not set down rules for children.  Moreover, it would be absurd to think that justice and punishment are not connected.  Some criticize the idea that a hell exists.  How can a merciful loving God have a hell?  Well in order for there to be order and justice, there needs to be a hell just like in order for our justice system to work, there needs to be a court and jail system.  What good are rules or laws if there are no consequences for breaking them?  We have the free will and ability to refrain from breaking the laws.

In the responsorial Psalm , we recall how God is merciful. We read how God makes known to us His ways and teaches us the right path.  God is our savior.  God loves us and never changes this love.  The love that God gives is not conditional.  God is in fact merciful.  He will forgive any sin as long as we are open to accepting His mercy and make the effort to be forgiven.

The second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians tells us that we must live in love and unity. We must care for one another, not just ourselves. By doing this, we act in Christ.  The things we do in life must not be for selfish reasons or to see glorification.  They must serve others. Unfortunately, there are sometimes a few of us who trying to scale the “latter of success” in the Church. We may want to be promoted faster, or seek to be honored for things we may have done.  This is not what it is supposed to be about.  It is about service to God and others.  This service allows for personal spiritual growth.

Finally, in the Gospel we read of how a man has two sons.  To the first, the man tell hims to go and work in the vineyard.  The first son says he will not but then does the work.  The second son is approached the same way and relies “yes” to the command, but does not go to work.  This parable from Jesus reminds us that we cannot become complacent as Catholics.  Many times, we feel we are saved just because we are Catholics. There are even some who only go to Mass twice a year whom are often called “A&P Catholics.” They feel this is enough to please God and perfect our souls.  This is far from the truth.  Moreover, we often see at Mass people leave before it is over. Judas did the same thing at the Last Supper.  In this parable, Jesus psychoanalyzes the two types of believers: the one who says no but then realizes what is at stake and does the work and the one who says yes immediately, but does no work.

Which one are we?  Do we say “YES’ to the creed on Easter and then do not do the work the rest of the year?  Or are we the ones who come to God lazy at first, but then realize that we are offending Him, others and ourselves and then go out and do the work? This is what we must ask ourselves. Nothing is guaranteed in simply calling ourselves “Catholic.” We must put that word into action. Catholicism must be living in us and not just something we do on Sunday or even twice a year.  Our works do not save us, nor does solely our faith (James 2:14-26).  We must incorporate both with the free grace that God gives us.  God has no favorites in this regard.  Just because we may be Jew or Christian by name, does not guarantee that we will be with God at the end of time or at death.  We must earn our keep, so to speak.  This can only be done by responding to God’s grace with faith and works.

 

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092814.cfm

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White House

In a time where terrorism seems to be everywhere and threats against America are being made, it is expected that security must be a priority.  However, the house that is supposed to be heavily secured was breached recently by a man who scaled fences and literally entered that house.  The house I am referring to is the American fortress known as the “White House.”

The White House is the residence of the sitting president of the United States of America.  It is there that he conducts the business of the people. He governs and observes intelligence from there. This place is often surrounded by snipers, secret service agents as well as DC police.  The house is thought of to be impenetrable. This seems to be far from reality since a man entered the White House armed with a knife.

It is unthinkable to learn that the White House can be breached so easily. This house has inspired action movies in Hollywood where the movies show the security surrounding the resident. One would expect the same thing in real life, but this is apparently not so. The fact that a man can easily enter it is disturbing and scary.  Why isn’t our president safe? Why isn’t the People’s House safe?  Keeping this house impenetrable sends a message around the world regarding America’s power. If a man with a knife can easily enter it, imagine terrorists.  Recently, ISIS said it would raise the Islamic flag at the White House.  Well with the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if this literally happens!

The secret service is asleep on the job.  There needs to be inquiries and investigations made as to why the White House was breached.  In 2011, a man shot at the White House and the secret service didn’t even know until the housekeepers found the damage on the windows and facade of the building. This is totally unacceptable.  Are we going to let the White House become a target for any kind of attack?  The White House was burned centuries ago by the British.  Is history going to repeat itself?

Source:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/29/fence-jumper-white-house-front-door/16445471/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/omar-gonzalez-white-house-fence-jumper-made-it-farther-inside-n214316

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-house-fence-jumper-previously-thought-sources/story?id=25847524

Derek Jeter #RE2PECT #FarewellCaptain

The day Yankee fans have dreaded is finally coming to fruition.  Yankees renown shortstop Derek Jeter will be playing his final home game at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.  Jeter, a twenty year veteran decided this season would be his last.  Unfortunately, the Yankees were eliminated yesterday so Derek Jeter will not be in the postseason.  It is not sure if there would be a game tonight due to heavy rain.  However, MLB has stated that it will try to get the game played.

I will update this post if the game is played**

The game is over with the Yankees being victorious.  However, guess who won the game?  If you have guessed Derek Jeter, then you are correct!   The game was a bit nerve wrecking.  As the crowds chanted ‘Derek Jeter,’ the Orioles hit a homer scoring the first run. This seemed to have dampened the mood of fans looking to see the last home game of the Yankee shortstop.  They continued until the Orioles hit another homerun. However, Jeter would come up and hit a double bringing in the first run of the game. The Yankees would eventually take the lead.  Jeter was obviously nervous. He looked emotional at times perhaps thinking that this was his final game and it would be the last time that he saw the crowd, heard the noises and played the game on the field.

As the 7th inning came, everyone thought it would be Jeter’s last at bat.  The game looked like it would go in the Yankees favor until consecutive home runs would tie the game in the 9th.  Yankees closer David Robertson blew the save.  However, in the bottom of the 9th inning with a Yankee on based, Derek Jeter would come up and hit one of his famous ‘Jeterian’ hits and brought in the winning run.  The stadium blew up with excitement.  Jeter ended his last game at the new Yankee Stadium in a magical way that seemed scripted.  Only Derek Jeter can come into the batter’s box and bring about what seems to be impossible plays that put the Yankees on top.  It is no wonder why they call him “Captain Clutch.”

His fellow players came on the field to embrace him.  As he was celebrating with them, some of his older team mates were by home plate waiting for him: former manager Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, and Tino Martinez.  Their presence along with the end of the game signaled the end of an era.  Jeter’s family was also present.  We got a glimpse of his nephew Jaylin even tipping his cap to his uncle.

There will be no other player like Derek Jeter.  He is truly a legend and will be missed.  He deserves nothing more than Re2pect for being such a great player and class act who at the end of the game congratulated the Baltimore Orioles for making it to the playoffs even stating that they deserved it. Derek Jeter is a true role model in the sports world for young people.

Another thing that was interesting about the game is that it was with the Baltimore Orioles. The last

game at the old Yankee Stadium was played with the same time.  What a coincidence that Jeter’s last game at home was with the Orioles.  It is interesting to note that the Yankees were once the Orioles. They were moved to New York and were called the “Highlanders.”

Source:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/09/derek-jeter-new-york-yankees-last-game-re2pect

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/the-most-fitting-end–derek-jeter-hits-walk-off-single-in-final-yankee-stadium-game-022355428.html

http://7online.com/sports/derek-jeter-wins-final-home-game-for-yankees/322150/

http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/2014/09/25/derek_jeter_hits_gamewinning_single_in_last_yankee_stadium_game.html

http://www.tsn.ca/yankees-beat-orioles-on-jeter-s-walk-off-single-1.91562

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/09/watch_derek_jeter_deliver_winn.html