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Monday, March 27, 2017

Trump reportedly handed Merkel a $374 billion invoice for NATO.

Trump reportedly handed Merkel a $374 billion invoice for NATO.

Isis's losses in Syria and Iraq will make it harder for it to recruit another Khalid Masood | The Independent

Isis's losses in Syria and Iraq will make it harder for it to recruit another Khalid Masood | The Independent

For U.S. Grad Students, Overseas Schools Beckon - WSJ

For U.S. Grad Students, Overseas Schools Beckon - WSJ

'People aren't spending': stores close doors in 'oversaturated' US retail market | US news | The Guardian

'People aren't spending': stores close doors in 'oversaturated' US retail market | US news | The Guardian

What’s the most convincing argument against porn? Science.

What’s the most convincing argument against porn? Science.


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicnews/2017/03/whats-the-most-convincing-argument-against-porn-science/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=FBCP-CAT&utm_content=catholicnews

Bishop Barron's Lenten Gospel Reflection: Lent Day 27 John 4:43-54



Your daily Lenten Gospel reflection!
Monday, March 27, 2017
Lent Day 27
John 4:43-54
Friends, our Gospel today tells of Jesus healing a royal official's son. The official asked him to heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." But the royal official persisted. And Jesus told him his son would live. The man believed Jesus and his son recovered.

Theologian Paul Tillich said that "faith" is the most misunderstood word in the religious vocabulary. And this is a tragedy, for faith stands at the very heart of the program; it is the sine qua non of the Christian thing. What is it? The opening line of Hebrews 11 has the right definition: "Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see."

Faith is a straining ahead toward those things that are, at best, dimly glimpsed. But notice, please, it is not a craven, hand-wringing, unsure business. It is "confident" and full of "conviction." Think of the great figures of faith, from Abraham to John Paul II: they are anything but shaky, indefinite, questioning people. Like the royal official, they are clear, focused, assured.

Trump administration weighs deeper involvement in Yemen war

Trump administration weighs deeper involvement in Yemen war


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-weighs-deeper-involvement-in-yemen-war/2017/03/26/b81eecd8-0e49-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.1860306f0b7f&wpisrc=nl_heads-draw6&wpmm=1

I gave up TV, then qualified for Olympic marathon trials and got my PhD


I gave up TV, then qualified for Olympic marathon trials and got my PhD


https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/i-gave-up-tv-then-qualified-for-olympic-marathon-trials-and-got-my-phd/2017/03/24/6d90aafc-ee38-11e6-9973-c5efb7ccfb0d_story.html?utm_term=.e8eecf795611&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

This Life: He never imagined being a priest. But then he felt the call — and it terrified him.


This Life: He never imagined being a priest. But then he felt the call — and it terrified him.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/this-life-he-never-imagined-being-a-priest-but-then-he-felt-the-call--and-it-terrified-him/2017/03/26/092fa206-fb81-11e6-be05-1a3817ac21a5_story.html?tid=hybrid_collaborative_2_na&utm_term=.f9d5301303a3

UK Economic Outlook March 2017: PwC UK

UK Economic Outlook March 2017: PwC UK

Trump to create White House office for ‘American Innovation’ to be headed by Kushner | TechCrunch

Trump to create White House office for ‘American Innovation’ to be headed by Kushner | TechCrunch

Intelligent Machines Google’s AI Explosion in One Chart


Intelligent Machines

Google’s AI Explosion in One Chart

Surging investment in machine learning is vaulting Google into the scientific stratosphere.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603984/googles-ai-explosion-in-one-chart/?set=603987

A.I. Versus M.D. What happens when diagnosis is automated?

A.I. Versus M.D.

What happens when diagnosis is automated?



http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/ai-versus-md

Interrupting the Silence:It's Not About the Math

Interrupting the Silence


It’s Not About the Math

by Michael K. Marsh
Forward Day by Day, John 6:5, Feeding the 5000, Hunger
John 6:5. "When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him,
Jesus said to Philip, 'Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?'”
Do the math: one loaf for every thousand people and half a fish for every one thousand two hundred fifty people. “Six month’s wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”
We have probably all been in situations that demanded more of us than we had or could produce. We did the math, got the answer, and found we were short. Despite the math, the correct answer to any question, regardless of subject matter, isn’t about the quantity of our resources but rather about the quality of our seeing and living.
Philip and Andrew have the math right, but they fail the test. I wonder if that’s often true for us, if we sometimes forget that spiritual hunger cannot be fed by a loaf of store-bought bread, that life is not an equation to be reconciled to the last digit, and that spiritual problems are not solved by fancy administrative techniques. When I forget the quality of the life I see around me and get sucked into quantifying my life, I always seem to be hungry.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.

Mnuchin "Not Worried" About Robotization Of America's Workforce Despite Shocking New Report | Zero Hedge

Mnuchin "Not Worried" About Robotization Of America's Workforce Despite Shocking New Report | Zero Hedge

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Your Pension Will Be At The Center Of America's Next Financial Crisis | Zero Hedge

Your Pension Will Be At The Center Of America's Next Financial Crisis | Zero Hedge

Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities In Preparation For The Coming American Apocalypse

Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities In Preparation For The Coming American Apocalypse

"Much Worse Than Watergate", Former CIA Officer Admits Trump 'Wiretapping' Likely True | Zero Hedge

"Much Worse Than Watergate", Former CIA Officer Admits Trump 'Wiretapping' Likely True | Zero Hedge

CA Gov Brown: Not 'Christian' to Build Wall to Keep Out Illegal Immigrants - Breitbart

CA Gov Brown: Not 'Christian' to Build Wall to Keep Out Illegal Immigrants - Breitbart

Trump = Obama = Bush = Clinton On 4 Core Issues

Trump = Obama = Bush = Clinton On 4 Core Issues

Ted Koppel Tells Sean Hannity He’s ‘Bad for America’ - Truthdig

Ted Koppel Tells Sean Hannity He’s ‘Bad for America’ - Truthdig

CNN Analyst: Sources Say Mike Flynn May Have Turned on Trump and Become a Witness for the FBI


CNN Analyst: Sources Say Mike Flynn May Have Turned on Trump and Become a Witness for the FBI

CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem discussed the possibility in a panel discussion Friday.
http://www.alternet.org/right-wing/cnn-analyst-sources-say-mike-flynn-may-have-turned-trump-and-become-witness-fbi

Interrupting the Silence: Seeing All There is to See- A Sermon on John 9:1-41

Interrupting the Silence


Seeing All There is to See – A Sermon on John 9:1-41

by Michael K. Marsh
Today’s gospel (John 9:1-41) offers multiple possibilities for a sermon. We could talk about the disciples' question and the relationship of sin and this man’s blindness. Is it a punishment? Is that how God is? Or we could talk about Jesus making a mud salve for the man’s eye. What’s that about? It offers a sermon on healing. I was blind and now I see. What’s that all about? Another sermon could focus on the man’s neighbors and their failure to recognize him. Can they only see him as a blind beggar? Another sermon might look at Jesus as a law breaker, one who heals on the Sabbath. Another possibility might be the man’s parents’ fear of the religious authorities and how religious institutions too often instill fear in people. Or we might consider why the religious authorities are not able to conceive of God acting in ways that do not fit their experiences and expectations. Are we open to God surprising us? The formerly blind man’s confession of faith, “Lord, I believe,” offers another sermon possibility.
That’s eight possibilities, and I am sure there are more. The good news for you today is that I don’t intend to try and cover all those. I wanted to name a few of the other possibilities, to tell you where we not going with this text so we can let those go, so they don’t become a distraction, so we can narrow our focus.
Lent 4A, Judgment, Blindness, Seeing, Healing, Judgment, Prophet, Spiritual Blindness, Sermon, John 9:1-41
Today I want to talk with you about Jesus as a prophet who comes for judgment and what that might mean for us. What does a prophetic Jesus have to say about you and me, our country, our world? What is his judgment?
Jesus as prophet and judgment get to the heart of the questions I think many of us are asking today. In light of the Prophet Jesus and his judgment, what are we to make of what is happening with security, border control, healthcare, refugees, hunger, poverty, violence, and war? How are we to respond to these? What about our responsibility to one another? How might Jesus as prophet help us there? I think the Prophet Jesus and his judgment have something to say about what it means to be a neighbor, especially to those who differ from, frighten, or threaten us. The last six or seven weeks have brought this parish a lot of sadness and pain. I think the prophetic Jesus and his judgment have something to say about the recent deaths we’ve experienced; the loss and fragility of life. What are the values that guide our lives and decision making? What are faithful choices and how then are we to live? The one who comes for judgment guides our way.
We face these questions and issues as individuals, a nation, and a world. The scale might vary but the struggles are the same.
Prophets and judgment tend to make us a bit uncomfortable. Prophets speak words we often do not want to hear. They show us truths we often do not want to see. They ask us to change. And judgment often leaves us thinking about wrong doing and punishment.
Prophets generally do not work within the system, but often stand outside the system and work against the injustices and abuses perpetrated by the system. Prophets speak against that which diminishes human dignity and impoverishes life.
Think, for example, of the prophetic work of Martin Luther King, Jr, in America, Gandhi in India, Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador, or Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa. They called the people of those times and places to see anew and live differently. Behind each of them stood the Prophet Jesus, and they made present his judgment.
On a smaller more personal scale think about the people who have spoken a difficult truth to you, called you to change, or offered you words of consolation and hope, and in so doing opened your eyes to a new life, a new seeing, a new understanding, a new faith. They too were prophets with whom Jesus stood. They too presented Jesus’ judgment.
We don’t often think or speak of Jesus as a prophet and yet that’s exactly how the man who has been given new sight sees Jesus. “He is a prophet,” he tells the Pharisees. Jesus affirms the man’s seeing. “I came into this world for judgment,” he says.
That’s what prophets do. They open our eyes to see what is, and cast a vision of what might be. Their judgment stands in the gap of those two seeings. They call us back to our truer selves. Prophets remove the cataracts from our eyes. They offer us clarity and insight. They challenge us to not look on outward appearances, but to look deeper; to see as the Lord sees, and look on the heart of the person or situation (1 Samuel 16:7).
That’s the judgment for which Jesus comes; that we might see the world, one another, and ourselves differently. The judgment for which Jesus comes into this world is not so much a judgment about good or bad, right or wrong, in or out, saved or damned. It is a judgment about our seeing. Today’s gospel tells us the man born blind had his eyes opened, with the implication that they had been closed. This is not about physical sight. This is about spiritual seeing. Do we see with eyes opened or do we see with eyes closed?
For most of us, I suspect, the answer is yes. Sometime we see with our eyes open and other times we see with our eyes closed.
When we live and see with our eyes closed we withhold mercy, live in fear, let anger control our lives. When we are unforgiving of ourselves or another we see with eyes closed. Sometimes we either refuse or are unable to see the pain or needs of another. We’re too busy to respond, to important to deal with it, to afraid to risk it. In those times we see with closed eyes. When we love ourselves more than our neighbor we are seeing with eyes closed, blind to the value of the other’s life. When violence becomes our default response we are seeing with closed eyes. In all those and a thousand other ways we see with our eyes closed. We focus on the outward appearances but neither feel nor establish an inner connection with the person or situation.
Other times we recognize the injustice of a situation, we feel the other’s pain as our own, we see the needs and life of another as valuable and important as our own. In those times we are seeing with eyes open. When we offer peace, forgive, act with compassion we are seeing with eyes open. Our eyes open when the news of another bombing makes us sick to our stomach, when we refuse to participate in the same old agenda-based conversations, when we reach out to make amends with someone we’ve hurt. In all those and a thousand other ways we see with our eyes open. In those times we are looking beyond outward appearances. We are seeing as God sees, and looking into the heart of the other person or the situation.
Jesus did not say that he came into this world to make judgments, but “for judgment.” His judgment is not a series of individual decisions. Rather, his very life and presence are the judgment.
  • His Word is a judgment on our own words and the rhetoric of our leaders.
  • His compassion is a judgment on our indifference and apathy.
  • His justice is a judgment on injustice.
  • His nonviolence is a judgment on our violence.
  • His mercy is a judgment on condemnation.
  • His forgiveness is a judgment on guilt.
  • His welcome is a judgment on exclusion.
  • His hope is a judgment on despair.
  • His reign is a judgment on the politics of the day.
  • His seeing is a judgment on our blindness.
  • His light is a judgment on darkness.
  • His life of prayer is a judgment on our attempts at living self-sufficiently.
  • His simplicity is a judgment on our overly busy and cluttered lives.
  • His truth is a judgment on lies, falsehoods, and alternative facts.
  • His wholeheartedness is a judgment on our fragmented and divided world.
  • His self-surrender and crucifixion are a judgment on the powers that be.
  • His resurrection is a judgment on death.
Everything about Jesus, his life, his words, his actions, are a judgment on our lives and world. That judgment offers us the chance to see as he sees, to live as he lives, and to be as he is. His judgment, however, is not an adjudication for the purpose of punishment. Rather, it is a diagnosis for the purpose of healing and life. Jesus always casts his judgment with an eye toward change and transformation. Its purpose is to show us the way, the truth, and the life.
Jesus’ judgment is not a once and forever judgment. It’s conditional. It lasts only as long as we see with eyes closed. And there is no one as blind as the one who chooses not to see, who chooses to live and see with eyes closed. We need only look to the recent past to understand what happens when we see and live with eyes closed. Let’s not be closed eyed people. Let’s see with open eyes. Let’s see the beauty, the hope, the goodness. Let’s see the pain and disfigurement. Let’s take it all in, and then, by God’s grace, let’s begin to close the gap between what is and what might be.
Love lies at the heart of Jesus’ judgment. With open eyes he sees in us more beauty, more goodness, more holiness, than we often see in ourselves and each other. His judgment in intended to open our eyes to see anew; a new life, a new world, and new possibilities. What we often don’t understand is that his judgment is in our favor and for our good even when it doesn’t feel that way. He is a prophet who has come into this world for judgment.
Where does Jesus’ judgment intersect your life? My life? What is it asking of us? Where does our seeing diverge from his seeing? What possibilities and hope does his judgment offer you and our world?
“Surely, we are not blind, are we”?
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Cook County Illinois Suffers Largest Population Drop In Entire US

 

Cook County Illinois Suffers Largest Population Drop In Entire US

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-26/cook-county-illinois-suffers-largest-population-drop-entire-us

Dear GOP, where is Jesus in what you are doing?

Dear GOP, where is Jesus in what you are doing?

A Handful of Trump Voters Are Coming to the Painful Realization That They've Been Had | Alternet

A Handful of Trump Voters Are Coming to the Painful Realization That They've Been Had | Alternet

Proof Comey's Testimony Is a Turning Point in Trump's Presidency | Alternet

Proof Comey's Testimony Is a Turning Point in Trump's Presidency | Alternet

It’s Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP Crusade Against Health Care - Juan Cole - Truthdig

It’s Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP Crusade Against Health Care - Juan Cole - Truthdig

Defund Islamophobia Now « LobeLog

Defund Islamophobia Now « LobeLog

The Inside Story on Our UN Report Calling Israel an Apartheid State | The Nation

The Inside Story on Our UN Report Calling Israel an Apartheid State | The Nation

Michael Hudson: Trump is Obama’s Legacy. Will this Break up the Democratic Party? | naked capitalism

Michael Hudson: Trump is Obama’s Legacy. Will this Break up the Democratic Party? | naked capitalism

Bishop Barron's Lenten Gospel Reflection March 26, 2017



Your daily Lenten Gospel reflection!
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Lent Day 26
John 9:1-41
Friends, today’s Gospel is the story of the man born blind, which is a microcosm of the spiritual life. “As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.” Jesus responds by doing something a little weird: he makes a mud paste and rubs it on the blind man’s eyes. And then Jesus tells the man to wash in the pool of Siloam.

When the man comes back able to see, his neighbors are confused. Some say it’s the same guy, and others say it just looks like him. This is wonderful. Once you’ve put on the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re changed in every aspect of your life to the point where you may seem odd and different to others.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. It then takes a dramatic turn. The Pharisees interrogate the healed man. It becomes clear that Jesus healed him on a Sabbath day and so they condemn Jesus. They throw the formerly blind man out, but Jesus looks for him. He asks the man: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jesus wants us to put every ounce of our trust in him—and our vision will deepen. This in many ways is the heart of the matter: de-center your ego and re-center it on Christ. And now that you see, believe!




Sent to: micheletkearney@gmail.com

Fourth Week of Lent- And the Union That Nothing Be Lost

Franciscan Friars
"...Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost."
—John 6:4
Read 'The Union That Nothing Be Lost'
Franciscan Friars
Franciscan Friars of the Atonement
www.AtonementFriars.org
GRAYMOOR P.O. Box 301, Garrison, NY 10524
For more information, call us at 888-720-8247.
© 2017https://www.atonementfriars.org/fourth-week-lent-union-nothing-lost/?utm_source=3_26&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=lent

Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death by Michael K. Marsh



Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

by Michael K. Marsh
Forward Day by Day, Death, Light, Psalm 23:4, Good Shepherd, Valley of the Shadow of Death
Psalm 23:4. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Someone whose husband recently died said to me, “I never realized the twenty-third psalm was about me. I thought it was about my husband, but it’s not. I’m the one walking through the valley of the shadow of death.”
For each of us, there comes a time when we realize we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It might be the death of a loved one, the recognition of our own mortality, the death of a dream, the end of a relationship, a diagnosis, or a failure. Whatever the loss may be, it highlights the fragility and temporal nature of this earthly life.
We are always living under the shadow of death. What comfort is there in this darkness? Why not fear evil? The psalmist says there is something of God upholding us—that God is with us in the midst of the dark valleys of this life. Maybe what the psalmist knows (and what we often forget) is that there can be no shadow without light. The ever-present shadow of death reveals and points to the ever-present light of God.
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Pretending Israel Is Innocent of Apartheid

 

Pretending Israel Is Innocent of Apartheid

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/24/pretending-israel-is-innocent-of-apartheid/

One in four children will live with water shortages by 2040: UNICEF

One in four children will live with water shortages by 2040: UNICEF

Parting the Veil of Impossibility

Interrupting the Silence


Parting the Veil of Impossibility

by Michael K. Marsh
Forward Day by Day, Luke 1:34, Annunciation to Mary, Archangel Gabriel, Blessed Virgin Mary, Angel Gabriel, Veils,
Luke 1:43. "Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?'”
In the innermost courts of the temple in Jerusalem, a veil separated humanity from the Holy of Holies, where the Spirit of God rested upon the Ark of the Covenant. An ancient, non-biblical story says that the Virgin Mary was one of the young women chosen to weave a new veil for the temple and that she was doing so when the Angel Gabriel arrived to announce his strange and beautiful message. One way to interpret Mary’s question to Gabriel is that she sees her virginity as a veil separating her from the reality of Gabriel’s announcement.
We all have veils that separate us from God—veils of fear, shame, and guilt. We live behind the veil of what we have done and left undone. We are veiled in logic and rationalism, unable or unwilling to abandon ourselves to Mystery. Often, our veils are the lives we have created for ourselves, what we see is what we get.
We may offer excuses and hide ourselves behind all the veils we can find, explaining and exclaiming why Gabriel’s announcement cannot be true for each of us, and the angel will proclaim in our own ears: “Nothing will be impossible with God.”
*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.