The Peace Pulpit: "We are the presence of Jesus in the midst of the world ... That calls us to change our lives, to follow the way of Jesus."
An hourlong meeting Saturday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first such personal encounter between the leaders of the two neighboring countries since 1958.
The session held during the Summit on the Americas, in which Cuba participated for the first time, was the most visible step toward ending a half century of strained relations dating back to the Cuban revolution.
A not-insignificant part of the diplomatic coup pulled off by the White House and Cuban leaders Dec. 17 was that hardly anyone knew they had been working toward a reset in relations between the two neighbors and longtime antagonists.
I applaud President Barack Obama's historic step to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. He displayed courage and boldness in doing so.
There is no reason why we should not have formal ties with Cuba, 90 miles from the U.S., while we have ties with other countries with which we have disagreements over certain matters. I'm thinking of China; Vietnam, with whom we fought a war with that led to almost 60,000 American soldiers being killed; or Saudi Arabia, one of the most undemocratic countries in the world.
Faith and Justice: The Vatican's report on the sisters and its role in repairing relations between the U.S. and Cuba overshadowed a third diplomatic milestone.
"We think that our nation now is on the right side of history. This will be good for the United States and for Cuba."
"I want to thank His Holiness Pope Francis, whose moral example shows us we should work for the world as it should be instead of accepting it as it is."
Last Sunday, we heard the earlier part of Matthew's Gospel where Matthew describes how John the Baptist is the one coming to prepare the way of the Lord. Remember, John began to teach in the desert of Judea.