Friday, April 18, 2014

The Fate Of Christ: The Solemnity Of This Day

Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people, "Ecce homo!
                                                            O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Our sins have marred the glory
...of thy most holy face,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bret Michaels Kicks Off Free Philly Concerts Fri.

Nationally renowned recording artist and rock superstar Bret Michaels (@BretMichaels) will open the Live! Stage Summer Concert Series at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia with a free performance, courtesy of Miller Lite on Friday, April 18 at 9:30 p.m. Miller Lite drink specials will be available throughout the concert.

2014 Summer Concert Series Schedule:

Friday, April 18                                  Bret Michaels
Saturday, May 31                               Buckcherry
Saturday, June 14                               The Hooters
Saturday, September 13                      Billy Currington
Saturday, September 20                      Reel Big Fish

Pennsylvania native Bret Michaels is the lead vocalist of iconic rock band Poison, and is also known for his appearances on VH1’s Rock of Love and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. Michaels recently released his solo single “A Beautiful Soul”.

For all of the latest announcements and information for the 2014 Summer Concert Series schedule, visit our website at xfintylive.com

XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is a dining and entertainment district centered in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The one-of-a-kind venue features over a dozen restaurant and entertainment choices, including six main venues: Broad Street Bullies Pub, PBR Bar & Grill (Professional Bull Riders), Philly MarketPlace, Spectrum Grill, Victory Beer Hall and the first-ever NBC Sports Arena. XFINITY Live! is a joint partnership between Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor and Baltimore-based The Cordish Companies.


Like us on Facebook.com/XFINITYLive and follow us on Twitter @xfinitylive

Christie Signs Bill To Improve NJ Drug Treatment

Governor Chris Christie today signed legislation that would allow the licensure of certain drug treatment programs to operate in State correctional facilities and county jails.
“Far too many drug users end up in jail as a result of actions fueled by their addiction,” said Governor Christie. “Today, I am signing a bill to improve drug treatment programs in our State that clarifies our current law and increases opportunities and services available to inmates who are showing a commitment to turn their lives around by graduating from these licensed drug treatment programs prior to release from incarceration. Those opportunities will help these individuals in their recovery and reintegration after incarceration and help reduce the likelihood they fall back into the cycle of addiction and criminality.”

The new statute also addresses a longstanding issue that prevented just-released prisoners from eligibility for General Assistance. It ensures that incarcerated individuals who participate in and complete drug treatment programs, which meet or substantially meet licensure requirements, are not denied eligibility for general public assistance benefits upon release from incarceration.

Governor Christie has long spoken of his firmly held belief that no life is disposable and everyone deserves a second chance through treatment if they haven’t committed a violent crime.Today’s bill signing is one of several initiatives the Governor has advocated to support the recovery of individuals battling addiction, continuing his commitment to fundamentally change the conversation and policies toward addiction and treatment.

Last year, Governor Christie followed through on his commitment to take a smarter and more effective approach in how the State treats drug-addicted offenders by signing into law two landmark, bipartisan bills that put in place a statewide, mandatory drug court program and provide legal protection to people trying to help a drug overdose victim.

And most recently, he announced the formal launch of a pilot program in Ocean and Monmouth counties that will train and equip police officers to administer the antidote Narcan to people experiencing an overdose of heroin or prescription narcotics.

Primary sponsors for A-2295/S-686 included Senators Raymond Lesniak and Nicholas Sacco, and Assemblymembers Vincent Prieto, Angelica Jimenez, Carmelo Garcia, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, and Raj Mukherji.

Video: Christie & McGreevey: Watch The Lovefest!



Today, in Jersey City, NJ: This video is so compelling and speaks so profoundly about these two men that no further comments are needed.

Transcript:

Governor Christie: One of the reasons I agreed to come and talk about this today is because of him. Now the reason I say that is we need people who have had great accomplishments in their life, from both parties, being willing to work together with each other. 
And you know, all too often we set up a system in our political affairs where that becomes impossible, or if not impossible, frowned upon to the point where people become reluctant to do it. And I can tell you that from the time I’ve become Governor, I’ve reached out to him for advice and to urge him to get out more in public.
Because even though we don’t agree on every issue or nearly every issue - if we sat down and did a list of public policy issues, right? I mean it would be a relatively spartan list, right, that McGreevey and I agreed on. But what I will tell you is that has never stopped him from giving me advice. 
When you’re in these jobs, the advice you can get from somebody who’s actually sat in the chair is qualitatively different than the advice you can get from anybody else. I want him to continue to be a leader in this state on issues that he’s passionate about and cares about. 
And I want all of you to see that no matter what disagreements we may have on other issues, when we agree on something, we’re going to work together to try to make it happen and force, because we’ve been leaders in the highest office in this state, and force the people underneath us; the legislators, the mayors, the council people, the freeholders, the county executives, to not allow the partisan barriers to get up between them to prevent progress because if we can do it, then everybody else beneath us in terms of office status should be able to do it too. So his invitation today was really welcome and I appreciate it.

Governor McGreevey: Before the Governor leaves I just want to say a heartfelt thank you and I wasn’t even going to say this but you know obviously I’ve had my own challenges in life and there have been few people who have been as decent and kind and compassionate and good as Chris Christie. 
And so I want to thank him for being here today. I want to thank him for clear, strong, powerful voice as to the need for treatment over incarceration, for visiting our women in Hudson County, for Mary Pat coming to Integrity in the basement of one of our facilities and spending hours with our women and for the Governor being here at the mayor’s conference, to lifting up his voice, not only here in Hudson County, not only in this state, but god willing, nationally so that America can be her best not only for those in this room, but for those sitting in prison cells throughout this country. 
Governor, on behalf of all of us, a heartfelt thank you and blessed Easter.

XFINITY LIVE! Is Hdqts. For Hockey Flayoffs

XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is the official headquarters for the most loyal fans in hockey to cheer on the orange and black throughout the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs starting at the drop of the puck at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 17. Fans in attendance will have the opportunity to meet Flyers alumni, receive Flyers cheer cards and give-a-ways, experience Flyers in-arena entertainment during breaks in play and take part in Flyers trivia.
Fans can enjoy live bands on the Live! outdoor concert stage as well as Flyers inflatables. Drink specials and a "Hat Trick" sampler will be available for all Flyers playoff games.

The Flyers First-Round Playoff series schedule is below:
Game 1:  Thursday, April 17 – Flyers at Rangers, 7 PM
Game 2:  Sunday, April 20 – Flyers at Rangers, 12 PM
Game 3:  Tuesday, April 22 – Rangers at Flyers, 8 PM
Game 4: Friday, April 25 – Rangers at Flyers, 7 PM
*Game 5: Sunday, April 27 – Flyers at Rangers, 12 PM
*Game 6: Tuesday, April 29 – Rangers at Flyers, TBD
*Game 7: Wednesday, April 30 – Flyers at Rangers, TBD
*if necessary 
XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is a dining and entertainment district centered in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The one-of-a-kind venue features over a dozen restaurant and entertainment choices, including six main venues: Broad Street Bullies Pub, PBR Bar & Grill (Professional Bull Riders), Philly Marketplace, Spectrum Grill, Victory Beer Hall and the first-ever NBC Sports Arena. XFINITY Live! is a joint partnership between Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor and Baltimore-based The Cordish Companies. 

Like us on Facebook.com/XFINITYLive and follow us on Twitter @xfinitylive

Governor Christie Files Many Direct Appointments

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie filed the following direct appointments with the Secretary of State's Office.


DIRECT APPOINTMENTS

STATE BOARD OF EXAMINERS OF HEATING, VENTILATING, AIR CONDITIONING AND REFRIGERATION CONTRACTORS
Master HVACR Contractors
Appoint Kevin S. Clark (Galloway, Atlantic)
Appoint the Honorable William C. Barham (Monmouth Beach, Monmouth)
Executive Branch of State Government Representative
Appoint the Honorable Thomas C. Pitcherello (Bordentown, Burlington)
ELEVATOR, ESCALATOR AND MOVING WALKWAY MECHANICS LICENSING BOARD
Labor Organization Representative
Appoint Dennis O'Neill (Iselin, Middlesex)
Elevator/Escalator Manufacturing Representative
Appoint Scott D. Wallace, Jr. (Stafford, Ocean)
Elevator/Escalator Installation and Maintenance Representative
Appoint Edmund J. DeFilippis (Watchung, Somerset)
Elevator/Escalator Architectural Design Representative
Appoint James Boydston (Bloomfield, Essex)
Public Member/Municipal Government Representative
Appoint the Honorable James J. Byrnes (Bayville, Ocean)
Executive Branch of State Government Representative
Appoint Paulina M. Caploon (Montclair, Essex)
NEW JERSEY INDEPENDENT LIVING COUNCIL
Public Members
Appoint Barbara A. Lee, MA (Laurence Harbor, Middlesex)
Appoint Erin E. Seigh (Metuchen, Middlesex)
Appoint Christine R. Hines (Edison, Middlesex)
Appoint Patrice Elana Jetter (Hamilton, Mercer)
Appoint Colleen E. Roche (Montclair, Essex)
Appoint Frank P. Smith (West Deptford, Gloucester)
Appoint Robin Dehmer, L.P.N. (South Amboy, Middlesex)
NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR'S SCHOOL BOARD OF OVERSEERS
Public Members
Appoint Kim Case, Esq. (Green Brook, Somerset)
Appoint Marcela P. Tomasetta (Freehold, Monmouth) 
Co-Directors of the Governor's School in the Sciences (Non-voting)
Appoint Steve Surace, Jr., Ph.D. (Madison, Morris)
Appoint Adam G. Cassano, Ph.D. (Dover, Morris)
EDUCATION COMMISSION OF THE STATES
Public Member
Appoint Peter D. Renwick (West Orange, Essex)
NEW JERSEY HUMAN RELATIONS COUNCIL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Public Members
Appoint Louis J. Manzi (Riverton, Burlington)
Appoint Richard Rivera (Secaucus, Hudson)
Appoint the Honorable Joseph R. Santagata (Landisville, Atlantic)
Appoint Kathy Esquiche (Wayne, Passaic)
STATE COUNCIL ON EDUCATIONAL  OPPORTUNITY FOR MILITARY CHILDREN
State Superintendent of Education Representative
Appoint Melissa R. Fantozzi (Voorhees, Camden)
Superintendent of a School District with a High Concentration of Military Children
Appoint James Sarruda, Ed.D. (Sewell, Gloucester)
Public Member
Appoint Danielle Bracco (Westfield, Union)
NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES REHABILITATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
New Jersey Department of Education - Office of Special Education Representative
Appoint William Freeman, M.Ed. (Yardley, PA)
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. COMMISSION
Representative of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Reappoint Edith Savage-Jennings (Ewing, Mercer)
Public Members
Appoint Professor Wendel A. White (Galloway, Atlantic)
Appoint Theodora Smiley Lacey (Teaneck, Bergen)
Appoint Lynda Gallashaw (Paterson, Passaic) 
Appoint Darrell K. Terry, Sr., MHA, FACHE (South Orange, Essex)
Appoint Geraldine Hayer (Pleasantville, Atlantic)
Appoint Kimberly Smith (Ewing, Mercer)
Appoint Reverend Dr. Deborah Kathleen Blanks (Bordentown, Burlington)
Appoint Wanda Sims (Newark, Essex)
Reappoint Thomas R. Jones, M.P.A. (West Deptford, Gloucester)
Reappoint George V. Guy, Jr. (Lindenwold, Camden)
Reappoint Linda Coles-Kauffman (Ewing, Mercer)
Reappoint Bahiyyah Abdullah (Barnegat, Ocean)
Reappoint James L. Ballentine (Irvington, Essex)
Reappoint Richlyn F. Goddard, Ph.D. (Atlantic City, Atlantic)
Reappoint Nancy L. Axelrod (Haddonfield, Camden)
Reappoint Geraldine R. Clark (Guttenberg, Hudson)
Reappoint Stephenine S. Dixon (Atlantic City, Atlantic)
Reappoint Kenyon C. Burke, Ed.D. (Maplewood, Essex)
Reappoint Sarah M. Dundas (Morristown, Morris)
TASK FORCE ON IMPROVING SPECIAL EDUCATION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS
Parent/Guardian of a Public School Student Receiving Special Education Services
Appoint the Honorable John J. Driscoll (Paramus, Bergen)
Parent/Guardian of a Student Attending a Private School for Students with Disabilities
Appoint Jean Pasternak (Short Hills, Essex) 
Public School Special Education Teacher
Appoint Kristin P. Hennessy (Point Pleasant Beach, Ocean)
Director of Special Education Services for a School District
Appoint Kerri Lee Walsifer (Sea Girt, Monmouth)
ARC of New Jersey Representative
Appoint Kevin Sturges (Annandale, Hunterdon)
New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities Representative
Appoint Deborah M. Spitalnik, Ph.D. (Stockton, Hunterdon)
New Jersey Parent-Teacher Association Representative
Appoint Catherine M. Lindenbaum (Brick, Ocean)
New Jersey Association of School Administrators Representative
Appoint Kevin W. Ahearn, Ph.D. (Matawan, Monmouth) 
New Jersey School Boards Association Representative
Appoint Donna M. Kaye, Esq. (West Windsor, Mercer)
New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association Representative
Appoint Barbara E. Frascella, Ph.D. (Allentown, Monmouth)
New Jersey Association of School Business Officials Representative
Appoint Corinne Steinmetz (Phillipsburg, Warren)
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey Representative
Appoint Margaret Kinsell (Browns Mills, Burlington)  
Garden State Coalition of Schools Representative
Appoint Lynne Strickland (Rumson, Monmouth)
Association for Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped Representative
Appoint Chris Sarandoulias (Medford, Burlington)
New Jersey Education Association Representative
Appoint Marie Blistan (Harrisonville, Gloucester)
American Federation of Teachers Representative
Appoint Princess Hogue (Newark, Essex)
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER VETERANS' TASK FORCE
Public Member -  Knowledge of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Mental Health
Appoint Anthony Riccio (Hamburg, Sussex)
Public Member - Knowledge or Experience of the New Jersey Judicial System
Appoint Joseph V. Biancamano, Esq. (Glen Ridge, Essex)
Public Member - Statewide Officer of a Veterans’ Organization
Appoint Herb Worthington (Manchester, Ocean)
LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS EDUCATION AND SAFETY BOARD
Industry Representatives
Appoint Michael G. Merrill (Chester, Morris)
Reappoint William P. Curcio (Sparta, Sussex)
Reappoint Larry A. Horowitz (Perrineville, Monmouth)
Reappoint Thomas A. Leahy (Brick, Ocean)
Representative of a Gas Public Utility Involved in the Storage and Distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas
Reappoint Gene Doughtery (Franklinville, Gloucester)
Public Members/Fire Safety Professionals
Appoint Louis B. Kilmer (Cinnaminson, Burlington)
Appoint Robert H. Zander (Colts Neck, Monmouth)
Public Member
Appoint Michael Ticktin (Roosevelt, Monmouth) 
Environmental Community Representative
Appoint Chuck Feinberg (Rockaway Township, Morris)

Departmental Appointments Subject to the Governor’s Approval
Governor Christie approved Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez’s appointments for the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Board of Trustees. These approved appointments do not require Senate confirmation.  

GREYSTONE PARK PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Public Members
Reappoint Eric J. Marcy, Esq. (Long Valley, Morris)
Reappoint Mary Anne Marra, R.N., M.S.N. (Clifton, Passaic)
Reappoint Kimberly A. Donnenberg (Hampton, Hunterdon)
Reappoint Professor John D. Lydon (Hamburg, Sussex)
Appoint Gerard A. Figurelli, Ph.D. (Washington Township, Bergen)
Appoint Mary Jo Buchanan (Basking Ridge, Somerset)
Appoint Sylvia W. Lippe, CADC (Ringwood, Passaic)


Some Thoughts To Ponder This Easter



Comedian Brad Stine pokes fun at one of the most widely heard defenses against belief in God … and totally kills it!

Gallup Poll Figures Show Obamacare's A Loser

Okay, so the Gallup Poll is out with some new numbers on Obamacare signups (or lack thereof) and the figures are revealing.
As you might expect, NBC is spinning the poll to place it in the best possible light for Obama proclaiming that Obamacare has helped as many as 9.9 million to get new health insurance. And the headline, stretches it further, shouting "Obamacare helped up to 10 million get insurance."
But, remember -- we're talking about as many as and also up to here and those are obvious fudge words. And don't assume that all of these people signed up through Obamacare. They didn't.
When you dig into the story, here's what you find:

  • "Probably 7.26 million people" got health insurance since the last quarter of 2013.
  • There are still 36.3 million people in America without health insurance. 
  • Though 4.2 percent of Americans got a new healthcare policy using the federal and state exchanges ion 2014 only about half of those (2.1%) were without insurance coverage in the first place. The rest used the exchanges to replace policies they already had -- or ones they may have just lost -- because of Obamacare in the first place.
  • The people who are buying these insurance policies rate themselves as less healthy than the general population. Not good for the financial state of affairs for Obamacare.
  • And the worse news of all, for Obamacare: Younger people aged 18-29 tended to gravitate to buying health insurance directly, not on the exchanges, while those signing up on the new exchanges tended to be in the 50-64 age group. This younger group is vital to the success of Obamacare and it's not yet sold on the program -- not by a longshot. Younger, healthier people need to make up a huge part of the program so they can offset (and pay for) the older, less-healthy insurance enrollees. 
  • Finally, buried deep in the story is this stunning statistic: 54 percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of Obamacare. Only 43 percent approve.
No, the number of uninsured has not dropped significantly under Obamacare.
No, the number opt signups has not made a significant dent in the overall numbers.
No, the all-important youth group is not signing up at anywhere near the numbers that are needed to make the program a success.
And no, people have not changed their minds about Obamacare. They still don't like it.


Bay State's Loss Will Be Granite State's Gain!



With your help, Scott Brown can make it happen - for New Hampshire and for America!
Click here to get involved now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rapper Cuts Off Penis, Jumps From Building

A member of Northstar, a Long Beach, Cal. hip-hop group reportedly cut off his penis this morning and then jumped from a Los Angeles apartment building.
Police reports say the rapper, along with his recovered penis was taken to Cedar-Sinai Medical Center. That's where Andre Johnson is being treated. Johnson's hip-hop group was a member of the Wu-Tang family according to the Wu-Tang Clan website. He performs under the name of Christ Bearer.
He recorded the song "When The Guns Come Out" which was part of the 2004 song "Blade: Trinity."


'Exquisite' Lady Day Extends Broadway Run

As a result of strong critical response and public demand Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Lanie Robertson’s play with music, starring Audra McDonald, announces that the production will be extending its limited engagement at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street, btwn. Broadway and 8th Avenue) through August 10, 2014.
 
“Audra McDonald is GENIUS! One of the greatest performances I Ever Hope to See.”
New York Magazine

MESMERIZING! Pouring her heart into her voice, Audra McDonald breathes life into Billie Holiday’s greatest songs.”
The New York Times

“A SPELLBINDING TOUR DE FORCE!”
Daily News

“The best 90 minutes you’ll ever witness!
Audra McDonald is again AUDACIOUSLY AWESOME.”
NY1

“STUNNING & HEARTBREAKING. The performance of her career!
Get to the Circle in the Square theatre – pronto!”
Huffington Post

“One of the most exquisite & haunting performances of the year!”
Entertainment Weekly
 
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, which began previews on March 25, 2014, and opened on April 13, 2014, recounts Holiday's life story through the songs that made her famous. 1959, in a small, intimate bar in Philadelphia, Holiday puts on a show that unbeknownst to the audience, will leave them witnesses to one of the last performances of her lifetime.  Through her poignant voice and moving songs, one of the greatest jazz singers of all-time shares her loves and her losses.   
 
Among the songs that will be performed: “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness.”
 
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill is directed by Ms. McDonald’s frequent collaborator, Lonny Price. The pair have been developing and working on Lanie Robertson’s play with music for more than two years. The intimate setting of the Circle in the Square provides a unique theatrical experience, drawing audiences – especially those seated at the tables onstage – into the performance.
 
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jessica Genick, and Will Trice, who are joined by Ronald Frankel, Rebecca Gold, Roger Berlind, Ken Greiner, Gabrielle Palitz, Irene Gandy and GFour Productions.
 
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill made its award-winning premiere with off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre in 1986.
 
Tickets are available via Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or at the box office of Circle in the Square.

 

Video: Christie Gives Student Words To Live By


Transcript:

Student: I understand being a Governor can be a stressful position.

Governor Christie: [laughter]

Student: Is there a certain quote that can help guide you through your daily life as Governor?

Governor Christie: A certain quote?

Student: Yeah, a favorite quote or –

Governor Christie: Oh man [laughter], I don’t know why you think that being Governor is stressful. I don’t understand. You know, I’ve gotten lots of interesting quotes over time that people have given me. You know, I always go back to the long Teddy Roosevelt quote about, you know, being in the arena. That while there’s stresses and problems and you might get beaten and knocked down that what really matters is being in there and having the fight and trying to lead. That inspires me. I had a funny one that somebody gave me about a year ago from Winston Churchill. He said when you’re going through hell, keep going. That’s pretty good, too. But, you know, in the end what inspires me to continue to do the work that I do is how privileged I am to have the chance. Think about it, what grade are you in?

Student: Eighth grade.

Governor Christie: You’re in eighth grade, ok. It may be hard to believe but at one day I was in eighth grade. And I was in eighth grade at Heritage Junior High School in Livingston, New Jersey and I can tell you that sitting in eighth grade I was not thinking about the fact that someday I’d be Governor of New Jersey. But I am. And I think all the time about how lucky I am to have the chance to do this, not once, but twice. The people of in this state where I was born and raised gave me the chance to do this twice. And so that alone, I think, keeps me going and you know, I think if you talk to anybody, you talk to your own parents, you talk to other adults that you know, every job is stressful. Every job is stressful. Mine just is stressful on the front page of the newspaper, which makes it a little bit different. But in the end, every adult who’s working out there and has a family to raise and responsibilities feels the stress that comes from their job. Wanting to do as well as they can for the people they work for and with. Wanting to make sure they provide for their families. Wanting to make sure they have time to do things with their families away from work. All that stuff creates stress and if you ever get a really bad boss that creates real stress, too. So, like, all that stuff contributes to it. I don’t think mine is any worse that anybody else’s. I just think mine everybody knows about and maybe you know, for other folks you don’t necessarily know about their stress. But, the Teddy Roosevelt in the arena quote, you should go look that one up if you don’t know it already. I think that’s pretty inspirational in terms of wanting to at least spend some of your life in public service to help folks beyond your own family.

A Gala, Golden Jubilee 'Thank You!' To Wawa!

Wawa 50th Anniversary! Thanks for 50 years!

Pope: In Darkness, Jesus' Light Shines Through

The suffering of Jesus on the Cross, that reflects the pain of humanity and represents the divine response to the mystery of the evil that is so difficult to understand, was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during the general audience held today, Holy Wednesday, in which the liturgy presents the story of Judas' betrayal and Christ, it emerges, has a price.
“This dramatic act marks the beginning of the Passion of Christ, a painful path that He chooses with absolute freedom. He says this clearly Himself: 'I lay down my life. … No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord'”. The path of humiliation begins here, with this betrayal, with Jesus as if he were on the market: he is worth thirty pieces of silver. And Jesus undertakes the path of humiliation … unto the end”.
The humiliation of Christ culminates with his death on the Cross, which is “the worst death, reserved to slaves and criminals. Jesus was considered a prophet, but died like a criminal. When we look at Jesus in His Passion, we see as if we were looking in a mirror the evil and pain of death. Often we feel horror at the evil and pain that surrounds us and we ask, 'Why does God allow this?'. It wounds us profoundly to see suffering and death, especially of the innocent. It pains our hearts when we see children suffering. It is the mystery of evil, and Jesus takes upon Himself all this evil, all this suffering. This week it will do good to all of us to take a crucifix and to kiss Christ's wounds. He takes all human suffering upon Himself, He vests Himself with this suffering”.
“We expect that God, in his omnipotence, will defeat injustice, evil, sin and suffering with a triumphant divine victory. Instead, God shows us a humble victory that in human terms seems to be a failure”, continued the Holy Father. “And we can say this: God wins in failure. Indeed, the Son of God on the Cross appears to be a defeated man: He suffers, He is betrayed, He is vilified, and finally dies. But Jesus allows evil to set upon Him, He takes it all upon Him in order to vanquish it. His Passion is not incidental; his death – that death – was 'foretold'. It is an unsettling mystery, but we know the secret of this mystery, of this extraordinary humility: God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”.
“This week, let us consider Jesus' pain, and let us say to ourselves: it is for me; even if I were the only person in the world, He would have done this, for me. Let us kiss the crucifix and say: 'For me, thank you Jesus, for me ...”. When all appears to be lost, when no-one remains because the shepherd has been smitten and the flock has scattered, God will intervene with the power of the resurrection. Jesus' resurrection is not the happy ending of a fairy tale, it is not the happy ending of a film, but rather it is God's intervention at the point where human hope is shattered. … When all seems lost, at that moment of pain when many people feel the need to kiss the Cross, this is the moment closest to the resurrection. The night is at its darkest just before dawn breaks, just before the light emerges; in the darkest moment, God intervenes and resurrects”.
Jesus, who chose to take this path, “calls us to follow Him on His path of humiliation. When in certain moments in life we are not able to find any way out of our difficulties, when we sink into the deepest darkness, it is the moment of our humiliation in which we are entirely laid bare, in which we discover that we are fragile and sinners. It is precisely in that moment that we must not mask our failure, but rather open ourselves up, trusting in our hope in God, just as Jesus did”.

“This week”, the Holy Father concluded, “it will do us good to take a crucifix in our hands, to kiss it many times and to say, 'Thank you Jesus, thank you, Lord!'”.

Flyers Pep Rally Today At Rittenhouse Square!

The Philadelphia Flyers are inviting fans to literally “jump on the bandwagon” at a Playoff #ClutchTime tour pep rally as a flatbed truck rolls through center city and ultimately parks on 18th Street (Rittenhouse Square) from 11:30 AM till 1 PM today, Wednesday April 16 recruiting fans with a live band on the truck. 
The Flyers Fun Patrol will distribute surprises to all in attendance with appearances by Flyers alumni, a raffle to win tickets to see the Flyers face off against the New York Rangers in Game Three of their First Round playoff series at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, April 22 at 8 p.m., as well as allow fans to shoot on goal to win a signed Lecavalier jersey.

The Flyers start the Divisional Semifinals in New York at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers on Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The series continues with Game Two, also in New York on Sunday, April 20 at noon. The series moves to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Tuesday, April 22 at 8 p.m. and Game Four on Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m., both at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets are on sale now by calling 215-218-PUCK or by visiting PhiladelphiaFlyers.com.

For a complete Divisional Semifinal (Round 1) Playoff schedule of fan events for the Flyers Playoff #ClutchTime tour, visit PhiladelphiaFlyers.com/ClutchTime.

#ClutchTime: Because It's the Cup™

Official Flyers Social Media Pages:

Twitter: @NHLFlyers; Facebook: Philadelphia Flyers; Instagram: PhiladelphiaFlyers

Reimagined 'Superstar' Headed To Philly In August

Jesus Christ Superstar, the global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, is reimagined for the 21st century as an arena rock spectacular that will makes its way to Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, August 16. The biggest ever North American arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s groundbreaking rock musical will hit the road this summer with an extraordinary cast of rock, pop and R&B superstars.

Brandon Boyd, Grammy® nominated lead vocalist of rock band Incubus, is confirmed for the role of ‘Judas Iscariot’, Grammy® nominated *NSYNC vocalist, JC Chasez, will play ‘Pontius Pilate’, Grammy® Award winner and member of Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams, will take the female lead as ‘Mary Magdalene’, English singer-songwriter and lead singer in Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Sex Pistols, John Rotten Lydon, will play ‘King Herod’ and introducing British actor and singer, Ben Forster, who won England’s ITV Superstar competition in 2012 and played the lead role in the UK and Australian arena tours of Jesus Christ Superstar, will revive his role as ‘Jesus.’ With over 50 cast and musicians on stage this is one arena show that can’t be missed!

Tickets are available exclusively through ComcastTIX, online at ComcastTIX.com, by phone at 1-800-298-4200, or in person at the Wells Fargo Center Box Office. A limited number of Gold Circle tickets and Superstar Premium VIP packages are available.

The North American leg comes on the heels of the wildly successful UK and Australian arena tours, which began in the UK in September 2012 and commenced in Australia in May 2013. The Times said “The show gets the right balance between the spectacular, the jokey and the sincere. The performances from the well-choreographed supporting cast are fine throughout. Honestly, it’s enough to give rock opera a good name.” The Evening Chronicle exclaimed, “the extravagance of the production, a flamboyant spectacle of acrobatics, dramatic flames and provocative pole dancing,” and Liverpool Daily Post claimed, “Restored to its rock roots, the star-studded second coming of Jesus Christ Superstar is big, brash and bold…” and the Manchester Evening News stated, “from the very opening strains the pounding music, the huge and sophisticated video backdrops and pulsating energy from a talented ensemble cast make this a true spectacle.”

The Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular North American Tour is presented by S2BN Entertainment and The Really Useful Group.

Christie On Realty Transfer Tax: 'Dump It!'



Transcript:

Scott Packwood: Good morning, Governor. I’m a recently retired State Trooper after doing 25 years of service. I worked pretty hard. I worked through 9/11, Hurricane Floyd, Hurricane Andrew. I worked hard. I put all my money to the bank, saved it. Two weeks ago, I sold my home. I’ve lived here since 1989. I sold my home, property taxes are just out of control. The HUD statement says I that I had to pay a tax of $5,435 for realty transfer fee. And I’d just like to know what that is and -

Governor Christie: I’m glad you got up and said you said what you said because of taxes, you get rid of your home. 
Because they tell me that people like you don’t exist. 
When I tell the Legislature people leave this state every day because they can’t afford to live here, they tell me I’m crazy. And then if I give them examples they go, well it’s only rich people. 
Well I don’t know. I kind of know what we pay State Troopers, and you’re there for 25 years, I don’t think you got rich being in the State Police. 
And so the point is members of the Legislature who are here or who are listening, he exists, he exists, and he’s angry, I can tell. 
You know it’s funny because when I came over here to answer her question I was looking at him, and I could see he’s—there’s something on his mind man. Like he won’t look up at me, he was kind of looking down. He looked a little bit angry, and then when he raised his hand I’m like, well, I can’t let this guy go away angry so he may yell at me. I’m not so sure how this is going to go, but the point is we need to put a spotlight on folks like you who are not rich, who are leaving here because you can’t afford to stay here, and the Legislature when I say cut taxes to make your life more affordable, they say no, no, no, no, no. There’s not people like that. There are no people like that. This is craziness. Between 2005 and 2009 an independent study by Boston College said $70 billion in wealth left this state in those four years, 70 billion in wealth, and people are leaving, and they leave for the reasons that he just talked about, and then the great gift that Governor McGreevey and the state Legislature gave him was that, oh yeah, you’re going to leave us? We’ll take 5400 bucks from you on the way out the door. Thank you very much. And it makes no sense. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. 
A sales tax? There’s a rhyme or reason to it. An income tax? There’s a rhyme or reason to it. A corporate business tax? There’s a rhyme or reason to it. 
A realty transfer fee? Man, I’ll tell you, from my perspective it makes no sense, and I had no better luck explaining it to that lady whose son was on the other team playing my son. She’s like, can’t you fix this? Man, I wish I could. Yeah—and here’s the thing: I’d fix it tomorrow if they’d let me. 
I’ve suggested all different kinds of ways to reduce taxes in this state, none of which get done. And they don’t get done because they believe that just taxes should just continue to go up. And they’ll say that they don’t believe that, but when I give you all different kinds of tax cut plans and you don’t vote for any of them and send them to my desk well what the heck am I supposed to believe?