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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 08-21-11, Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.oef/New American Bible ^ | 08-21-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 08/20/2011 12:54:44 PM PDT by Salvation

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Insight Scoop

The Roots of the Papacy and the Primacy of Peter

Readings:
• Isa 22:19-23
• Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8
• Rom 11:33-36
• Mt 16:13-20

“The doctrine of the primacy of Peter is just one more of the many errors that the Church of Rome has added to the Christian religion.”

So wrote the Presbyterian theologian Loraine Boettner in his 1962 book, Roman Catholicism, a popular work of anti-Catholic polemics. Although the religious landscape has changed significantly since the early 1960s, there are still many non-Catholic Christians today who agree wholeheartedly with Boettner’s assertions. The Papacy is unbiblical! It has no basis in Scripture! Peter was never singled out as a leader of the apostles!

Growing up in a Fundamentalist home, I believed such statements. But I now agree instead with the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the ‘rock’ of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock” (par 881; cf. 551-53). Some of the reasons for the change in my beliefs are found in today’s readings, which provide some Old Testament context for the papacy and also describe a profound exchange between Jesus and Peter.

First, the Old Testament background. King Solomon and his successors had twelve deputies or ministers who helped the king govern and rule (cf., 1 Kings 4:1ff). The master of the palace, or prime minister, had a unique position among those twelve, as described in today’s reading from the prophet Isaiah. The prime minister wore a robe and sash befitting his office, and was entrusted by the king to wield the king’s authority. The symbol for that authority were “the keys of the House of David,” which enabled the minister to regulate the affairs of the king’s household—that is, of the kingdom. In addition, this prime minister is described by Isaiah as a “father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.”

Fast forward to about the year A.D. 30. Jesus and his disciples are in the region of Caesarea Philippi, a pagan area about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee. They likely were standing at the base of Mount Hermon in front of a well-known cliff filled with niches holding statues of pagan deities; at the top of the cliff stood a temple in honor of Caesar. Jesus first asked the disciples who other people thought he was. The variety of answers given revealed the confusion surrounding the identity of Jesus, quite similar to the confusion and controversies about Jesus in our own time. 

Jesus asked who they thought he was. It was Peter—brash but correct—who responded with the great acclamation, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”, confessing both the divinity and kingship of Jesus. Peter was then addressed singularly by Jesus, who renamed him Petros, or “Rock”. That name was unique among the Jews, reserved in the Old Testament for God alone. Jesus further declared he would build his Church upon the newly named Rock, and he gave Peter “the keys to the kingdom of heaven.” 

This dramatic moment makes little or no sense without the context provided by Isaiah 22 and other Old Testament passages. Jesus, heir of David and King of kings, was appointing Peter to be his prime minister, the head of the Twelve. “The ‘power of the keys’,” explains the Catechism, “designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church” (par 553). The binding and loosing refers to prohibiting and permitting; it also includes the function of rendering authoritative teaching and making official pronouncements.

Does this mean that Peter and his successors are sinless or even somehow divine? No, of course not. They are men in need of salvation, just like you and I. But God has chosen to work through such men in order to proclaim the Gospel, to lead the Church, and to teach the faithful. They are fathers (“pope” means “papa”) who hold a unique office for one reason: they were called by Christ to hold the keys of the household of God.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the August 24, 2008, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)

Related IgnatiusInsight.com Articles, Book Excerpts, and Interviews:

Peter and Succession | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
"Primacy in Love": The Chair Altar of Saint Peter's in Rome | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome | Stephen K. Ray
From "The Appeal to Antiquity", Chapter One of The Early Papacy to the Synod of Chalcedon in 451 | Adrian Fortescue
The Essential Nature and Task of the Church | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
On the Papacy, John Paul II, and the Nature of the Church | Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Papal Authority in von Balthasar's Ecclesiology | Raymond Cleaveland
Church Authority and the Petrine Element | Hans Urs von Balthasar
Motherhood of the Entire Church | Henri de Lubac, S.J.
Mater Ecclesia: An Ecclesiology for the 21st Century | Donald Calloway, M.I.C.
The Papacy and Ecumenism | Rev. Adriano Garuti, O.F.M.
The Church Is the Goal of All Things | Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
Excerpts from Theology of the Church | Charles Cardinal Journet
Authority and Dissent in the Catholic Church | Dr. William E. May


51 posted on 08/21/2011 7:20:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Our Lady of Knock

 on August 20, 2011 9:40 PM |
 
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In the Archdeacon's Room at Knock

On the evening of February 5, 2008, whilst on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, I was privileged to pray in the room where The Venerable Archdeacon Bartholomew Cavanagh, Parish Priest of Knock at the time of the apparition, died on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1897.

The room is now used as the Oratory for the community of Daughters of Charity who conduct Saint Mary's Hostel for pilgrims. Sister Elma, the lovely Daughter of Charity then in charge of Saint Mary's Hostel, told me that, according to tradition, it was in that room that Our Lady came and conversed with the Archdeacon before his death.

A Priest Who Loved Mary

It was believed in the parish of Knock that the Archdeacon was frequently graced with visits of Our Blessed Lady. When questioned about this, the Archdeacon replied that "there were a great many other manifestations of which he would not care to speak." Archdeacon Cavanagh had a consuming desire to promote Our Lady's Cause; he habitually referred to the Blessed Virgin Mary as "The ever Immaculate Mother of God."

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Charity Toward the Poor Souls

It is not generally known that the apparition at Knock took place on the evening of the very day when Archdeacon Cavanagh had completed offering one hundred Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, without receiving any stipend from the people. Preaching at Knock in 1882, he said, "We leave all our actions at the disposal of the Blessed Virgin Mary for those holy souls who, when released from purgatory, will never forget us. They will pray constantly for us at the throne of God."

Saint Joseph and Saint John

There are particular graces reserved for priests at Knock. In Saint Joseph and Saint John who appeared there together with the Blessed Virgin, one discovers the models of a priestly holiness that is at once paternal and virginal. These are the two men destined by God from all eternity to live in a sacred intimacy with the Virgin Mary. I have the distinct impression that, at the present time, Our Lady is offering to all her priest sons the special grace of a sacred intimacy with herself.

"A rarely mentioned fact about the shrine of Knock is that the parish church is under the patronage of St. John the Baptist. That makes him a hidden but not insignificant presence at the apparitions and at the shrine today. How fitting that the Lord would choose the church of St. John the Baptist as the site for this wonderful apparition with all that it teaches. At Knock he is again acting as the precursor and herald of the Lamb of God. John the Baptist is the "friend of the Bridegroom", and therefore a friend to Christ the Bridegroom in each priest. How great will be his joy if the shrine of Knock would become a place of priestly renewal." Brother Augustine, O.F.M., Conv.

Intimacy With Mary

Could this not be the means by which Mary desires to purify, sanctify, and renew the priesthood in this age of the Church's life? In the intimacy with Our Blessed Lady represented by Saint Joseph and Saint John there is healing even for the most broken among her priest sons. For those most defiled by sin, in Mary's presence there is purity and the recovery of a spotless innocence. For those who have grown weary and lost the fervour of their youth, in Mary's company there is zeal for souls and apostolic boldness. For those who are depressed, close to Mary there is comfort, and to those who are despondent and anxious, she gives hope and peace. Finally, in the intimacy of Mary there is joy for those who fallen prey to the sadness that weakens the soul and opens it to sin.

Made Pure in the Blood of the Lamb

The Immaculate Virgin Mary presents herself to priests today as she presented herself to Saint Joseph and to Saint John. To Saint Joseph, her chaste spouse, she was the Virgin Bride, and to Saint John, the Beloved Disciple of her Son, she was a Mother. In the acceptance of this grace lies the remedy for the weaknesses and inclinations to sin that have soiled the priesthood and brought it low in the eyes of so many in recent years. The desire of Mary's Immaculate Heart is to purify the priesthood and lift it out of the infamy into which it has fallen, so as to make it shine with a wonderful holiness, and with the purity that comes from the Precious Blood of the Lamb. It is the Lamb in the apparition of Knock that casts the whole event in the light of the mysteries revealed to Saint John on Patmos.

Priests at Knock

It seems to me that Our Lady desires that Knock should become a place of pilgrimage for priests. A dimension of Knock, not yet fully developed, is that it must become a place of healing for priests, a place where Mary can restore them to purity and to holiness of life by drawing them into her company. Knock invites all priests to share their lives with Mary by opening their homes and their hearts to her, and by living every moment in her presence.

bw_adcottage.jpg

At Home With Mary

As Virgin Bride, Mary is the image of the Church. Just as Saint Joseph took his Virgin Bride into his home, so too must every priest welcome Mary and discover in her intimacy the nuptial quality of his dedication to the Church. Just as Saint John, obeying the word of Jesus from the Cross, took Mary into his home, so too must every priest shelter her in the space that is most personal to him. The gift of sacred intimacy with the Blessed Virgin Mary, suggested by the apparition at Knock, may well be among the heavenly secrets reserved by her for this time of trial for the Church.

She will impart this gift to every priest who desires it. She will make herself known as the Virgin Bride who brought joy to Saint Joseph, and as the Mother entrusted to Saint John and to those priests in whom the Johannine grace is renewed in every age.

A Pilgrimage for Priests

It is time, I think, for priests and their bishops to go -- as priests together -- in pilgrimage to Knock. Our Lady's Merciful and Immaculate Heart waits for them there. She is ready to open a wellspring of purity, holiness, and renewal for all priests, beginning with those of Ireland. Our Lady of Knock beckons to all priests. She would have her priest sons wash themselves in the Blood of the Lamb, and unite themselves to her Son, Priest and Victim, in the mystery of His Sacrifice. Yes, Knock is for all people, but I believe that it was, from the beginning, destined to be a place of healing and of abundant graces for priests.

A Radiant Priestly Holiness

As I prayed in Archdeacon Cavanagh's room, I understood that Mary longs to show herself to all priests as Virgin Bride and Mother. In Mary's intimacy we priests will find the holiness desired by Christ for each one of us: a radiant holiness, a holiness to illumine the Church in these last days with the brightness of the Lamb. Knock invites priests to remain in adoration before Mary's Son, the Lamb Who was slain. Knock invites priests to wash themselves in His Precious Blood by seeking absolution from all their sins. Knock invites priests to follow Saint Joseph and Saint John by consecrating themselves to Mary as Virgin Bride and Mother.

No Need to Remain Alone

Our Lady of Knock, praying with uplifted hands, is the Mediatrix of All Graces. She is the New Eve given to Christ the New Adam, and given by Him, from the Cross, to all His priests, those whom He has called to continue His mission of salvation in the world. There is no need for any priest to remain alone. The Virgin Mary's Heart is open to all her priest sons, and she will not refuse, to those who ask for it, a participation in the unique grace given Saint Joseph and Saint John in the beginning.


52 posted on 08/21/2011 7:24:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Vultus Christi

At Knock: Our Lady of Silence

 on August 21, 2011 9:33 PM |
Knock_shrine60copy.jpg

Grandma Tells Me About Knock

As a small boy, I heard many times about Knock from my Grandmother Margaret Gilbride Kirby (1900-1993). Her Aunt Mary had gone from Finisklin in the Parish of Kiltoghert, County Leitrim to Knock on pilgrimage. Aunt Mary sent my grandmother a little bottle of blessed water from the shrine. Grandma told me what she knew about the apparitions.

Pilgrimage in 1988

Years later, in 1988, I went to Knock together with my parents and my brother Terence. I had the privilege of celebrating Holy Mass on the site of the apparitions: the gable end of the parish church. Several other pilgrimages to Knock marked my life including one in the company of my cousin Mary Parady, and one with my dear friends John Flynn and Father Dan Leary. The grace of Knock clings to me.

Silence

The apparition at Knock is unusual in that the Blessed Virgin remained silent. She spoke no message and uttered no warning; she asked for nothing. Our Lady was silent and, at the same time, intensely present to the Immolated Lamb upon the altar, and to the people who watched the apparition. The silence of the Mother of God speaks to my own understanding of actuosa participatio (actual participation) in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is a silent inward cleaving to the Mystery of the Eucharist that precedes and perfects all other forms of participation in the Holy Sacrifice.

Blessed John Paul II on Silence

The silence of Our Lady at Knock reminds me of a splendid page in Blessed John Paul II's Orientalis Lumen:

One draws close to this presence [of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit] above all by letting oneself be taught an adoring silence, for at the culmination of the knowledge and experience of God is his absolute transcendence. This is reached through the prayerful assimilation of scripture and the liturgy more than by systematic meditation.
In the humble acceptance of the creature's limits before the infinite transcendence of a God who never ceases to reveal himself as God - Love, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the joy of the Holy Spirit, I see expressed the attitude of prayer and the theological method which the East prefers and continues to offer all believers in Christ.
We must confess that we all have need of this silence, filled with the presence of him who is adored: in theology, so as to exploit fully its own sapiential and spiritual soul; in prayer, so that we may never forget that seeing God means coming down the mountain with a face so radiant that we are obliged to cover it with a veil (cf. Ex 34:33), and that our gatherings may make room for God's presence and avoid self - celebration; in preaching, so as not to delude ourselves that it is enough to heap word upon word to attract people to the experience of God; in commitment, so that we will refuse to be locked in a struggle without love and forgiveness.
This is what man needs today; he is often unable to be silent for fear of meeting himself, of feeling the emptiness that asks itself about meaning; man who deafens himself with noise. All, believers and non - believers alike, need to learn a silence that allows the Other to speak when and how he wishes, and allows us to understand his words.

Saint Joseph and Saint John

The presence at Knock of Saint Joseph and of Saint John the Evangelist is especially significant to me. They are the two men chosen by God to share most intimately in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saint Joseph obeyed the word of the Angel of the Lord: "Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost" (Mt 1:20). Saint John, for his part, obeyed the word of the crucified Jesus: "Behold thy mother." "And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own" (Jn 19:27).

The Rosary of the Seven Dolours

Praying the Rosary of the Seven Dolours, one discovers the role of Saint Joseph in the life of the Blessed Virgin by meditating the first three mysteries: 1) the Prophecy of Simeon, 2) the Flight into Egypt, 3) and the Disappearance of the Boy Jesus.

In the last four mysteries, Saint John is present: 4) the Encounter of the Blessed Virgin with Jesus bearing His Cross, 5) the Death of Jesus on the Cross, 6) the Descent of the Body of Jesus from the Cross, 7) the Burial of Jesus. It is reasonable to assume that the Beloved Disciple accompanied the Blessed Virgin along the via crucis; he stood with her at the foot of the Cross, witnessed the removal of Jesus' lifeless body from the Cross and His burial.

Into the Sacrifice of the Lamb

Saint Joseph and Saint John entered in the silence of Blessed Virgin. One cannot live in the company of Mary without being drawn into her silence, that is, into the ceaseless prayer of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, and into the Sacrifice of the Lamb renewed in an unbloody manner on the altars of the world.


53 posted on 08/21/2011 7:26:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

How Did Peter Know?
INTERNATIONAL | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (Aug. 21, 2011)

August 21, 2011
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus went into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me an experiential knowledge of you.

1. Many People Say Many Things: When Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” he receives many answers. Everyone has his own opinion. Perhaps they are satisfied that their opinions are correct and have stopped seeking; perhaps they are too lazy to pursue the truth any deeper. It is easy to say something, to toss out an answer, to draw a superficial conclusion. We must be careful not to come to a hurried conclusion or be satisfied with what might only apparently be true. Many people say many things about Christ. We must have the tenacity to pursue the profound truth about who he is.

2. How Did Peter Know? How did Peter know that Christ was the Messiah, the Son of the living God? Peter did not say, “The heavenly Father told me that you are the Messiah.” He was probably not even aware that the Father has been working in him. Peter has been traveling with Christ, hearing him speak and seeing him work miracles. He reflected on all this and began to perceive that Christ is much more than just a brilliant teacher. Peter began to see Christ for who he truly is. In the same way God works in our mind and heart, helping us to see clearly the truth of supernatural things. We may not even be aware that the heavenly Father is present, but when we sincerely strive to know Christ and are open to the action of God’s grace in our soul, we, too, come to know Christ for who he really is.

3. Responsibility: Peter’s openness to the action of God’s grace and his recognition of Christ as God bring with them a responsibility – Peter is given the keys of the Kingdom. He is given the task of shepherding and building up the Church. Like Peter, my recognition of Christ comes with a responsibility. God gives me the gift of faith and along with it the responsibility to spread his Gospel. I must take this responsibility seriously. I need to make sure that the good news of the kingdom is proclaimed to all mankind.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, please help me to delve deep into the truth about who you are and not to be satisfied with simply having some vague idea. I want to know you intimately, the same way St. Peter and many holy saints have known you. Grant me this grace not just for my sake, but also for all those souls with whom I will come into contact.

Resolution: I will make a special effort in prayer to come to know Christ better.


54 posted on 08/21/2011 7:29:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Why Don’t You Tell Your Face?

August 20th, 2011 by Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Is 22:19-23 / Rom 11:33-36 / Mt 16:13-20

On Sunday morning a man showed up at church with both of his ears terribly blistered, so his pastor asked, “WHAT happened to YOU?”

“I was lying on the couch watching a ball game on TV while my wife was ironing nearby.  I was totally engrossed in the game when she went out, leaving the iron near the phone. The phone rang, and keeping my eyes on the TV, I grabbed the hot iron and put it to my ear.”

“How dreadful,” gasped the pastor. “But how did the other ear get burned?”

“Well, you see, I’d no sooner hung up and the guy called back!”

+            +            +

He just didn’t get it. Lots of folks never get it, never understand how life really works, even at the simplest levels. That’s why Jesus is pressing his followers — and us — so insistently in Sunday’s Gospel: “Do you understand who I am,” he asks, “and what my being here means for you?”

It’s a crucial question.  And there’s one sure way of finding the answer, and that is by checking how we’re living. Are we living like people who know for sure that a loving God is walking at their side at every minute?  Let’s see:

+ Have we stopped wasting our time worrying?

+ Have we put aside posing and posturing and fretting about our image?

+ Have we stopped closing our eyes to our dark side? And stopped avoiding things that seem too much for us?

+ Do we welcome life with a happy heart. Are we glad to wake up in the morning?

+ Do we see how gifted and special we are? At least sometimes, does seeing our own giftedness just make us want to smile?

+ Do we have hearts so full of thankfulness that we instinctively work at helping others be as happy as we are?

If that’s the way we’re living, then we understand who Jesus is, and we know what it means to have him walking with us. It means that we’ve been set free from all kinds of chains and fears and sadness. It means that no matter what, we’re going to be okay. It also means that we have the power to help set other people free from all manner of sadness by showing them HIS face mirrored right here in our own.

A long time ago there was an old Indian chief whose little granddaughter was something of a sourpuss. “Are you happy?” he asked her one day.

“Yes, grandpa,” she replied.

“Well then, my dear, why don’t you tell your face?”

We have every reason to be very happy right here and now because we already have everything we really need: We have God himself!

Why don’t we tell our face, and our heart?

We’ve already got it all!


55 posted on 08/21/2011 7:33:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, August 21, 2011 >> 21st Sunday Ordinary Time
Saint of the Day
 
Isaiah 22:15, 19-23
Romans 11:33-36

View Readings
Psalm 138:1-3, 6, 8
Matthew 16:13-20

lections
 

THE KEYS

 
"I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." —Matthew 16:19
 

Eliakim was given "the key of the House of David" (Is 22:22). With this key, he could open doors which could never be shut and shut doors which could never be opened (Is 22:22).

Jesus gave this key and other keys to Peter, the apostle on whom He has built His Church (Mt 16:18). These keys are not only the key of David; they are "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 16:19). These keys give the Church such authority that whatever it binds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever it looses on earth will be loosed in heaven (Mt 16:19).

We all need the keys to shut up whatever is destroying us. We need to turn the keys to open up "the floodgates of heaven" (see Mal 3:10) by opening up our hearts to God's love and truth. The Church is the only place where we can get the keys we need. So, if we're addicted, unforgiving, or guilt-ridden, we should go to Church. If we're looking for answers, hope, or peace, we should go to Church. Her preaching and praying are the keys we need. The Lord especially has made the Sacrament of Confession the key by which we are freed. The Church has the keys. Go to Church!

 
Prayer: Father, may I not sit in prison for years when the keys are right in front of me.
Promise: "How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable His judgments, how unsearchable His ways!" —Rm 11:33
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus! You are "the First and the Last and the One Who lives" (Rv 1:17-18). All glory, honor, and praise to You, "King of kings and Lord of lords"! (Rv 19:16)

56 posted on 08/21/2011 7:35:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
 
At the Cross, Mary mourns her Son's death.
 
In today's world, Mary mourns the deaths of all the aborted children.
 

57 posted on 08/21/2011 7:36:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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