Bible Study for the First Week of Passiontide

  • 3/25 – Colossians 3:13 – Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to forgive as I have been forgiven, with generosity and compassion.
  • 3/26 – Philippians 1:6 – Lord Jesus, You have given me the gospel message. Grant that I may put what You have taught into practice so to fulfill what You have begun in me.
  • 3/27 – Matthew 18:21-22 – Lord Jesus, You have been merciful to me without measure. Grant that I may never keep score or count the cost of the forgiveness I offer.
  • 3/28 – Luke 6:37 – Lord Jesus, through Your grace keep me from judgment and condemnation of others for I live in hope that You will not judge me worthy of condemnation.
  • 3/29 – Matthew 6:14-16 – Father, Your Son taught us to pray to You. May I never count this prayer as words only, but may it be the standard by which I live.
  • 3/30 – Mark 11:25 – Father, grant that my prayer may be filled with love toward those who have hurt me and who I have hurt. Grant me the courage to seek out those I have wronged to make amends.
  • 3/31 – Mark 6:12 – Lord Jesus, open my ears and heart to Your message so that I may repent of my sins and find forgiveness in You.

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of freedom from sin.

Reflection for Passion Sunday

Mom, Dad, tell him to stop bugging me!
Can’t you get along?

“He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

On Monday morning, October 2, 2006, a gunman entered a one-room Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. In front of twenty-five horrified pupils, thirty-two-year-old Charles Roberts ordered the boys and the teacher to leave. After tying the legs of the ten remaining girls, Roberts opened fire on all of them, killing five and leaving the others critically wounded. He then shot himself as police stormed the building. His motivation? “I’m angry at God for taking my little daughter,” he told the children before the massacre.

The story captured the attention of broadcast and print media in the United States and around the world. By Tuesday morning some fifty-television crews had clogged the small village of Nickel Mines, staying for five days until the killer and the killed were buried.

The blood was barely dry on the schoolhouse floor when Amish parents brought words of forgiveness to the family of the one who had slain their children. The outside world was incredulous that such forgiveness could be offered so quickly for such a heinous crime.

Three weeks after the shooting, “Amish forgiveness” had appeared in 2,900 news stories worldwide and on 534,000 web sites.

Fresh from the funerals where they had buried their own children, grieving Amish families accounted for half of the seventy-five people who attended the killer’s burial. Roberts’ widow was deeply moved by their presence as Amish families greeted her and her three children. The forgiveness went beyond talk and graveside presence: the Amish also supported a fund for the shooter’s family.

Today we are presented with the gift of forgiveness. As the family of God we are offered this wonderful gift, this chance, and not just once, but over and over. Jesus did become the source of salvation to all who obey Him, and the words we must obey, as the family of God, are to forgive. We are to forgive as the Amish did.

Next week the crowds will greet Jesus with adulation, and we will strike the cross with our sins. We will then hear Jesus say clearly: “Father forgive them…” for no sin is so great that it cannot be overcome by His love. Let us stand in awe – and always remember that regardless the burden, God’s heart is open to us.

Holy Week and Easter in Schenectady

A Friend needs you!

Someone’s in trouble and He needs you!

Imagine if a family member were to call and say, “I’m going through something, could you visit with me? It would really help. Please.” That’s exactly what happens during Holy Week. Jesus is facing the toughest week of His ministry on earth. He’s put it all out there, has told it like it is, and He’s being hunted down.

From the heights of adulation on Palm Sunday, to His last meal on Maundy Thursday, His agonizing death and burial on Good Friday, and His time in the tomb, He needs you to sit with Him, to reassure Him of your love and support. Most of His apostles have run off, the crowds are gone. You are the only family He has left. Our Lenten theme has centered on family. Jesus created us as Church, not to be an organization, but to be real family to Him and each other. We all need to step up in His time of need, so please come. He needs you this week.

Then, on Easter Sunday, come back. He wants you to celebrate with Him. Find the stone rolled away, the tomb empty, and your heart filled. Don’t just look for an Easter church… Find the gift of salvation, love, community, family, the Word of God, and freedom with your Christian family at Holy Name of Jesus!

Holy Week and Easter service schedule

Sunday, April 1st: Palm Sunday

  • Blessing and Distribution of Palms, Worship Service, 9:30am.

Thursday, April 5th: Maundy Thursday

  • Reception of Holy Oils and Chrism, Holy Mass, Procession and Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Stripping of the Altars, 7pm.
  • Private Devotion, 8:30 – 9pm.

Friday, April 6th: Good Friday

  • Church opens for private devotion, Noon.
  • Stations of the Cross, 1pm.
  • Bitter Lamentations, 2pm.
  • Opening of the Tomb, 3pm.
  • Liturgy of the Presanctified, 7pm.

Saturday, April 7th: Holy Saturday

  • Blessing of fire, holy water, renewal of baptismal promises, reading of the Exhortations, blessing of Easter foods/baskets, 4pm.

Sunday, April 8th: Solemnity of the Resurrection/Easter Sunday

  • Finding of the empty tomb, Resurrection procession, Holy Mass, 9:30am.
  • Easter Gathering/Święconka, 11am.

On behalf of Fr. Adam, the Parish Committee and with the deepest confidence in your love and support as members of the Christian family, I invite you to join us as we walk with and support our Lord through Holy Week and celebrate with Him at His resurrection.

— Deacon Jim

Basket Social – 4 weeks away!

Our amazing, wonderful, ever popular Basket Social is just 4 weeks away.

Our annual Basket Social will be held on Sunday, April 15th at the VFW Hall at 1309 Fifth Avenue in Schenectady. Doors open at noon. Besides our usual wide array of baskets, there will be door prizes, homemade afghans, and our traditional Polish kitchen serving all your favorites. Homemade desserts too…

Baket social, raffle, door prize, Polish food, Schenectady, Albany, Troy

Bible Study for the Fourth Week of Lent

  • 3/18 – Ezekiel 37:27 – Lord God, thank you for showing us that You are not separate and apart from us, but one with us and active in our lives. Grant me the grace to recognize your presence each day, a presence I long to be with forever.
  • 3/19 – Hebrews 10:34-35 – Lord Jesus, the things in my life may come and go, but my true treasure is with You. Grant that I may recognize where my treasure truly lies.
  • 3/20 – Hebrews 11:1-2 – Lord Jesus, grant me the gift of faith and blessed assurance so that I may stand fast knowing my inheritance is with You.
  • 3/21 – Hebrews 11:8-10 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may venture forth each day, strong in faith, sure that Your kingdom is where I will dwell forever.
  • 3/22 – Hebrews 11:13 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may see past the allures of the world which hold little value to the heavenly kingdom which is my true treasure.
  • 3/23 – Hebrews 11:16 – Lord God, You have prepared a beautiful city in which all Your faithful will live forever. Grant that I may never loose sight of what You hold in store for me.
  • 3/24 – Revelation 21:1-4 – God, I look forward with eager anticipation to the new heaven and the new earth. I cry out with joy, Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, I long to dwell in the new and heavenly Jerusalem.

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Are we there yet?
its only 5,615 miles…

Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!”

We’ve all heard or seen those instances on a trip where someone in the car or airplane asks: “Are we there yet?” It is usually a small child who is impatient with the trip.
Our Lenten journey can be like that. By the time we close in on Easter we might ask ourselves (or others), “Are we there yet?”

If we were saying that now, it wouldn’t be uncommon because from a time perspective we are more than half way there. Yet we may still be at the bottom of the hill.
The Jewish people had been exiled from Jerusalem for 70 years.

They longed to return. They lost their music, their joy, and in their penance found reconciliation with God.

We must continue on our journey to find reconciliation with God. We may need to refresh and renew our Lenten sacrifice. We may need to reconnect to where we should be, and get back on the road.

The days ahead will be an uphill struggle. Penance will increase. We will find it harder to comply with the Church’s requirements and with our best intentions.

This is where family becomes essential to our journey. We do not need to travel 5,615 miles to get to Jerusalem the city or to family. The city is of no matter because it is only a place. Where we’re headed is the new and heavenly Jerusalem. This is our family dwelling, the house that belongs to us because we are His children.

We can be assured that our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, in faith, has put us on the road. Our membership in the family of faith, the Church, gives us the love and support we need to get there.

“Are we there yet?” Yes. “Are we still on the road?” Yes, that too. We have both a home and a family to support us as we journey there.

Bible Study for the Third Week of Lent

  • 3/11 – Ephesians 1:22-23 – Lord Jesus, You are the head of the Church. Grant that I may always recognize Your leadership and follow only those who faithfully follow You.
  • 3/12 – Galatians 3:26-27 – Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of baptism by which we are regenerated and joined to Your Holy Church. Grant that I may live in accordance with my promises to You and Your Church.
  • 3/13 – Ephesians 5:25 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may follow You in the way I love my family and my brothers and sisters in faith.
  • 3/14 – Ephesians 2:16-19 – Lord Jesus, grant that all who claim the name Christian may strive together, not to clutch after positions, titles, and offices, but in preaching the Gospel to all, showing the true road to salvation.
  • 3/15 – Romans 8:16-17 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may never count the cost of following You, but rather that I may strive to truth through my work and struggle. Grant that each may be seen only as a joy.
  • 3/16 – 1 Peter 1:3-4 – Lord, our inheritance is with You. Grant that Your Holy Church may always lead Your people to that inheritance.
  • 3/17 – 1 Timothy 3:15 – Lord Jesus, grant strength and growth to Your Holy Polish National Catholic Church so it may continue as a pillar of truth and a buttress against evil.

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, may I ever cherish Your Holy Church and my membership in its family.

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Institution of the PNCC

If I’m part of the vine…
can I drink more wine?

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

We have been studying family as our Lenten theme. Today, we lighten our Lenten practice a bit and engage in a celebration of – no wait – yes family. Amazing isn’t it?
Today we celebrate the organization of our Holy Polish National Catholic Church.

Church can be a lot of things to a lot of people, but one thing it certainly isn’t is a stagnant shell of a corporation based on dusty old books.

Church is the reality of our relationship as family in Christ. There are so many quotes about that, but a key one is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 4:4-6:

There is one body and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all.

We have been grafted onto Jesus. He is the vine and we are the braches. That makes us one being, one entity, and sharers in His nourishment and love.

If Church were dusty old books, it would not be a living entity. If it were a stagnant shell, we would have no reason to be part of it, or feel alive in it.

Being part of the vine does give us reason to celebrate, to become intoxicated with the happiness that comes from being part of the living body of Christ.

Our Holy Church is a beacon and the joy of life. It is a place of happiness, reconciliation, mutual labor and support, the one place where we can endeavor together to reach God.

In the Holy Church we find ourselves already connected to God, part of Him, members of His family – and as St. Paul focuses on, one in every aspect of who we are.

We are not strangers who bump into each other on occasion. We are Polish National Catholics who live and abide in Jesus Christ, who bring His life filled Church, His life-giving message, to the world. There we will gather and join others to the life-giving vine, the place where we will all drink the wine of joy!

Bible Study for the Second Week of Lent

  • 3/4 – Matthew 12:48-50 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may see a brother or sister in the face of every person who seeks to do Your Father’s will.
  • 3/5 – Romans 12:4-5 – Lord Jesus, thank You for making me part of Your one body, the Holy Church. Grant that I may joyously use the gifts You have given me in fulfilling my role in the Church.
  • 3/6 – 1 John 4:20 – Lord Jesus, grant that I may never shut the door to anyone who seeks You, for You created every person in Your image, and all are my brothers and sisters.
  • 3/7 – Hebrews 10:25 – Lord Jesus, grant me the perseverance to worship You in the company of my brothers and sisters, even when I am tired or discouraged.
  • 3/8 – 1 John 4:12 – God, every man and woman is created in Your image. Grant that I may ever recognize that fact.
  • 3/9 – Galatians 3:28 – Lord Jesus, dispel the sin of prejudice and bigotry from among us. Grant that we may not relish in division, but celebrate in our faith in You.
  • 3/10 – Hebrews 13:1 – Lord Jesus, show me where I have failed to treat others as brother or sister, and grant me the gift of repentance and the will to reconcile.

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, may I recognize my brother/sister in the face of every person.

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent

Can I trade in this kid?
Ummm, NO!

“God put Abraham to the test… ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ ‘Here I am!’ he answered. ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy. Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.’”

Relatedness – The dictionary tells us that relatedness means a particular manner of connectedness or relationship. Unrelatedness means the lack of any particular manner of connectedness.

We might wonder if Abraham had any troubles with his son Isaac. Maybe, at one time or another, he regretted his relatedness to Isaac, and thought, maybe I could trade this kid in for something better.

God puts Abraham to the test, he asks him to sacrifice his son. Scripture tells us that Abraham loved his son, but maybe, somewhere in his mind he thought, maybe God is going to give me an even better son on trade. It is one of the unfortunate consequences of our humanity, our ability to set aside our relatedness. We all have someone with whom we have a strained, distant, or disconnected relationship.

Being part of God’s family, being the brothers and sisters of Jesus and of each other can put us to the test. How do we exercise our relatedness – how do we keep connected?

God Himself has told us that we are connected, we are related, and we are part of one body. He never abandons His relationship with us because we share the DNA of Jesus; it is imprinted in our hearts and souls.

Our Lenten journey is about correcting those instances where we feel we have grown unrelated. We have to recapture those markers of a healthy relationship with God. We have to rebuild what is strained between sister and brother.

We bear the signs of family, our shared birth in water and the Holy Spirit, our shared language of prayer and praise, the way we work together and support each other. We know, as members of God’s family, there are no trades allowed. The Father gave His Son for this family. What Jesus did to bring us together as one family is worth rebuilding; wherever it might be strained. Let’s set to that task.