Reflection for the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord


But when is the
first Sunday?

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

The Church’s calendar is a rather complicated endeavor. You have to be really good at math to properly assemble it, and understand various historical nuances.

In our parish, the calendar may seem a little odd. We continue to honor the Christmas season right through February 2nd, the Solemnity of the Presentation. Our Christmas decorations remain, yet the vestments we use will change to green next week. It will be the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Wait, ummmm, what happened to the First Sunday in Ordinary Time?

Technically, Ordinary Time is observed in two periods: The first period beginning on the day after the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord (which we celebrate today) and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday; and The second period beginning on the Monday after Pentecost (the conclusion of the Easter Season) and continuing until the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent.

That may be the right answer, but it really does not answer our question: When/where is the First Sunday in Ordinary Time?

We could see today’s Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord as replacing or offsetting the First Sunday in Ordinary Time or we could look at it another way. The Baptism of the Lord is a start, a beginning, a first thing we must live every day.

On this day God reveals that Jesus is indeed His Son, the Messiah. The identity of God is made know: On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Our lives are filled with ordinariness. But, it all depends on how we interpret our ordinary experiences. If we simply ignore our ordinary every day experiences or see them has having no importance, we are missing something very important. Our ordinariness is not meaningless. Every moment, our every beginning, is to be seen and experienced in Jesus.

Jesus came to show us that what is ordinary – what is us – is so very important to Him. He shows us that our ordinariness is graced and we can accomplish all through and in Him. He has taken us by the hand. Every Sunday and every ordinary moment is of first importance lived in Him.

Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family 2015


Bless and protect
our family.

Brothers and sisters: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.

How very important is St. Paul’s discourse with the people of Colossae in Asia Minor. The primary subject of the section of his letter we read today is how to live the ideal Christian life.

As Jesus had told us: [we] are not of the world, even as [He is] not of the world. But we must live here; we must work to transform the world, conforming it to Jesus’ way of life so that His kingdom may be made real among us. That is the job we accept in our baptism. As such we must strive to be living examples. We must work toward the perfection of life Jesus modeled for His disciples – that’s us.

The Church at Colossae was not without troubles. Paul had spent two years planting and building the Church in Asia Minor. Starting in Ephesus he branched out and as Acts tells us: “all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.” Of course, Paul wasn’t solely responsible, for the initial hearers of the word became proclaimers of the Word.

From prison, Paul had heard that the Colossians, who had at one time been strong in their faith, were now vulnerable to deception about the faith. He wrote to refute each of the errors the Colossians were tempted to embrace and which were dividing them. The letter, however, takes readers far beyond theology. Paul cared deeply that all of his readers (including us) understand the context of their lives within God’s Story, and what that looks like in their relationships. We can imagine the disputes that were taking place, the confusion, and people stepping forward as ‘thought leaders.’ Others saying, ‘Forget it, I’m quitting.’ Paul was calling them back to right faith and right action – that they be one body, one family. They were not to quit, even if offended, but to forgive, to become better, and to be living examples of life in the family of Christ.

He puts a fine point on this by saying: And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Whatever we do when we enter the doors of the Church, and when we leave is to be done in the name of Jesus. Very appropriate to us, the family of Christ blessed and protected at Holy Name of Jesus!

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus 2015


First reading: Exodus 3:13-15
Psalm: Ps. 113:1-6
Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11
Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25

Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the LORD is to be praised!

Today’s Solemnity holds special significance for our Parish, for it was established under the patronage of Jesus’ Most Holy Name. It is our patronal feast day.

All Churches are dedicated to the worship of God, of course, and when Christians first became able to build churches they built them on holy sites associated with events in scripture, the life of Jesus, or over the tombs of the martyrs. If the site where the parish church was being built had no particular significance the parish church would be dedicated in the name of God, the Trinity, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin, a saint, or an event from the history of salvation.

The naming of parish churches keeps the history of salvation before our eyes and in our thoughts in a particular way. As such, the celebration of a parish feast ought to be something special, full of prayer and fellowship. It is a celebration, a kind of birthday party. It is something that every parishioner should participate in, giving thanks to God for our place of worship, for God’s mercies to us, for the intercession and protection of our patron in our walk through life. For our parish family and our fellowship it is Jesus’ Holy Name.

We can see that our parish family truly recognizes the import and power of Jesus’ Holy Name. We notice that when Jesus’ name is spoken in the liturgy – and hopefully also in our personal lives – we bow our heads. Jesus’ Holy Name is recognized when we say ‘Praise be the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ’ and we reply ‘now and forevermore.’

This Solemnity is interesting. In our Holy Polish National Catholic Church it has been consistently celebrated. Not so in other places. This Solemnity has been celebrated on any number of days or not at all. In some Churches it has been celebrated variously on January 1st, in some places as only an optional celebration on January 3rd, 8th, 14th, 15th, or 31st. In some places on August 7th. On February 14th, 1969 the Roman Church removed the feast and only later restored it in 2002.

As a Church and a parish we have consistently recognized the power and beauty of Jesus’ Holy Name. It is in His Name that we are saved. It is in His Name that we are blessed and reconciled. It is in His Name that we are made the children of God and co-heirs to the promises of heaven.

St. Bernard, writing on the Holy Name of Jesus, tells us that reciting Jesus’ Holy Name produces holy thoughts, fills the soul with noble sentiments, strengthens virtue, begets good works, and nourishes pure affections.

We are all in great need. There is a cure for our needs. In the faith-filled invocation of Jesus’ Holy Name we are sustained, cured, led away from ills like anger, pride and inappropriate passions. In Jesus’ Name we are given the powerful grace needed to conquer, and assurance of His life giving compassion. The Name of Jesus is the purest, and holiest, the noblest and most generous of names. If we allow the Name of Jesus to reach the depths of our heart, we will be changed and filed with heavenly virtue.

St. Bernard tells us that when we take up our pen, write the Name Jesus: if we write books, let the Name of Jesus be contained in them, If we are ill, call on Jesus’ Name. It we are troubled, call on His Name. If we are in danger, spiritually or bodily, call on His Name. No temptation, no weakness, no coldness of heart can resist His Holy Name.

Yet today, blasphemies against Jesus’ Holy Name are rampant. We, as the special beneficiaries of the graces we receive in Jesus’ Holy Name, must never take it in vain or use it as a weapon against anything or anyone. It should be seen solely as our defense against evil. If we hear it being misused, say a prayer for that person, that they might come to realize the beauty and power of what they so recklessly step on. Not that they be punished, but that they be saved.

We, as a parish and a Church have been greatly blessed in honoring Jesus’ Holy Name. May His Holy Name ever remain before our eyes, hearts, and minds. Let us hold it in highest honor and love it. In doing so we are and will continue to be blessed. Amen.

Thank You Lord for the Year Past and Bless Us in the Year Ahead

We give Thee our most humble and hearty thanks O God, for blessings without number which we have received from Three in 2014, for all Thy goodness and loving kindness, for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life. And, we beseech Thee, give us that due sense of all Thy mercies, that our hearts may be truly thankful for all things, and that we show forth Thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to Thy service and by walking before Thee in holiness and righteousness all our days. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord, we pray for all mankind in 2015, that we may brought to know, love and serve Thee. We pray for Thy Holy Church throughout all the world and especially for our own part of the Church, for our Bishops, Priests, Deacons and People.

We pray for the employed, that they may work as unto Thee and not unto men. We pray for the unemployed, that they may find work and be saved from despondency. Be Thou their strength in adversity.

We pray that the sick be healed, the hungry fed, the mourners comforted, the poor succored and the afflicted in mind and body be firmly held in Thy deep peace, that peace which passeth all understanding.

Bless our friends and enemies and grant us all the spirit of penitence, that we may be forgiven through the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ or Savior, who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.

We wish you every blessing in the year ahead.

Fr. Jim and the Parish Committee of Holy Name of Jesus

January 2015 Newsletter – Happy New Year! Happy Abundant Life!!!

January, we are left with a question. For all we have learned about abundant life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will we decide to participate in that abundance? The New Year always presents an opportunity to make a turn, to pledge our lives to Christ and to membership in His Holy Church. This January we continue our celebration of the forty days of Christmas, we expand our Holy Mass schedule, and we continue our charitable work. Come be lavished with abundant life in your church – right here in Schenectady.

You may view and download a copy of our January 2015 Newsletter right here.


Reflection for the Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds 2014

Come to Me

Getting even

Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands afar off; say, `He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’

Today we celebrate a special day within our Holy Church. Uniquely, we celebrate this Solemnity in honor of the humble shepherds that God chose to first hear word of His Son’s coming among us. He chose these simple shepherds, who were generally outcasts from society, to not just hear of His Son’s birth, but then to go forth and proclaim it to all: And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.

In these days after the celebration of the Solemnity of the Nativity we may be tempted to relax a bit. The hustle-bustle seems to have died down a bit, yet if we look at our Church’s calendar we will notice that we are just getting started. That’s what happened to the shepherds. Their mission was just starting that night in Bethlehem. They recognized the preciousness and joy of the Lord’s birth and then got busy.

Getting busy means that we too recognize the meaning and import of the tremendous joy that is the coming of the Lord. This requires two things, two kinds of busyness.

We must keep this solemn season before our eyes and in our hearts. Jesus’ coming was not a one-time event. His coming as man marks only a beginning. He constantly stands before our doors, always knocking, asking that we allow Him to enter our homes and our lives. We have to get busy in answering the door. We need to open ourselves to Him and carry out His will for us. We have to recognize that His coming again remains immanent. We have to get busy in making His presence known to those who are not hearing the knock, who do not recognize it.

We must also respond in a special way, particularly the men among us. We encourage them to get busy in answering Jesus’ special call, for He needs those men to go out, as those humble shepherds did. Jesus is knocking and they are being called to make known the saying which had been told them concerning this child.

Our Holy Church is so blessed for we are not a Church at rest. Right here, in our community, we are busy working diligently at making the Lord’s coming known. We have among us those humble shepherds who have responded with joy to the Lord’s call to be busy about the work of the Lord as bishops, priests, and deacons. Let us give thanks for God’s tremendous blessings to our community and our Holy Church, for all who commit their lives to being busy about the Lord’s work.

Refleksje na Boże Narodzenie


W Dzień Bożego Narodzenia przychodzimy do Kościoła, aby dotknąć tajemnicy Betlejem – domu chleba.

Przychodzimy, aby oddać chwale Bogu, który, jako jednorodzony Syn Boży przybywa pełen laski i prawdy.

Przychodzimy, aby dotknąć wielkiej tajemnicy Boga i człowieka.

Przychodzimy, aby rozmyślać nad naszym własnym zyciem.

Przyjście Jezusa na świat przyniosło ludzkości nadzieje, radość, pokój, wiarę w lepsze zycie.

Boże Dziecię ogłasza Dobra Nowinę o Zbawieniu.

Naszym zadaniem jest nieść ta Dobra Nowinę wszystkim, z którymi się spotkamy.

Życzę wszystkim radosnych, pogodnych i ciepłych Świat Bożego Narodzenia. Niech Boża Dziecina wam blogoswawi w waszym zyciu rodzinnym i osobistym.

Reflection for the Solemnity of the Nativity 2014


The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light…

We know by faith that God is from eternity and for eternity. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live in unity, peace, and complete mutual love and giving. They have always been and will always be together. They have it all – absolute truth, perfection, and justice. They have what we might consider, abundant life. They have abundance that is abundant!

I like to imagine the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit having a Board meeting in heaven, a sort of Parish Committee meeting. They were sitting around their table of abundance and were working out a plan. How can We possible share all this abundance with humanity? In Their perfect and abundant love They never brought up the fact that humanity had largely rejected Them, or that the the chosen people continued to walk in darkness after all They had done for Them. They focused on one thing – sharing Their abundance with humanity – not counting sins, but giving love. They worked out their plan. The Son would divest Himself of the abundance of heaven, its beauty and perfection, and would take up humanity. He would empty Himself of everything, even His life, so He could put it all in a big basket and hand it to us.

Nine months ago an angel appeared to Mary. He asked a question and she said yes. The Son was immediately sent to carry out Their plan. He was sent, as He would later say: so that we may have life and have it abundantly.

This night He lies in a manger. We must look beyond our symbolic mangers in church and at home to the manger of our hearts. His beautiful face is cradled in our hearts. His love is within each of us. His abundance fills us. He offers Himself to us – truly abundant life – over and over.

Certainly, life is not always easy nor does it seem abundant if we look at it with worldly eyes. Difficulties, struggles, and even suffering come. Yes, Jesus Christ’s abundance is greater and overcomes every obstacle because as His anointed and commissioned followers we fully share in His abundance. He has given us abundance without bounds or end.

On this day we have a chance. It is a great chance, an opportunity, a moment. Let us agree together to accept His abundance once again, to re-connect to it. Let us say: I desire only His abundance. I accept His promise and gift of abundant life.

I was remarking while watching TV a few days before Christmas that we are going to be seeing Valentine’s Day commercials starting the day after Christmas. Within a few seconds a Valentine’s Day commercial came on. Here too is an opportunity and a blessing. Remember that the theme of Valentine’s day is love. Today marks the start or re-start of our acceptance of abundant life in Jesus, the great gift of love shared with us as planned by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They gave us everything. Over the next fifty-one days between Christmas and Valentine’s Day let us give thanks and more closely recognize how blessed and loved we are. We have abundant life, love, healing and protection because on this night He emptied Himself so He could give it all to us. Thank you Lord for coming to give us abundant light, life, and love. Amen.

Advent and Christmas Holy Mass and Event Schedule


Keeping Advent and the forty days of Christmas at your neighborhood church. All are welcome to join in prayer and celebration as we come to know, love, and serve the Lord and each other. He came to give us abundant life!


  • December 14: 3rd Sunday of 
 Advent: Holy Mass at 9:30 am. Parish Vigil Pot-luck dinner and Youth Christmas Performance
  • December 21: 4th Sunday of 
 Advent: Holy Mass and Confirmation at 9:30am. Greening of the Church and Free Lunch on Sunday


  • December 24: Vigil of the Nativity
  • December 25: Nativity of the Lord, Holy Mass at Midnight and Morning Holy Mass at 10:30am. Festive Repast follows each Holy Mass
  • December 26: Feast – St. Stephen, Proto-Martyr
  • December 27: Feast – St. John, Apostle & Evangelist. Holy Mass at 5pm with the Blessing of Wine
  • December 28: Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds. Holy Mass at 9:30am
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve
  • January 1: Solemnity of the Circumcision. Holy Mass at 9:30am. Happy 2015
  • January 2: Solemnity of the Holy Name of Jesus. Holy Mass at 7pm
  • January 4: Feast of the Holy Family. Holy Mass at 9:30am
  • January 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of our Lord. Holy Mass with blessing of chalk, charcoal, and incense at 7pm.
  • January 11: Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. Holy Mass at 9:30am

December Newsletter (delivered on Thanksgiving)

December, a journey through Advent and on to Christmas. Will you be going to church? If so, do you expect condemnation and judgment or joy? We should be expecting joy! This December is jam packed with events, from an ordination to our vigil dinner and children’s Christmas presentation, free lunch on Sunday, Christmas decorating and the joy of beginning the forty days of Christmas. Be an active part of the church this December, discover joy, and greet the Lord.

You may view and download a copy of our December 2014 Newsletter right here.