Let us be poured
out for Him.

When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her. Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me.”

Twelve days after Christmas we celebrate the visit of the Magi, the Kings, the Wise men. They came to pour out their gifts for Jesus – gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. So too they poured out the time (almost a year), effort, and treasure it took to make the journey. Their gifts were poured out with joy in recognition of Jesus’ kingship and were also poured out in preparation for His burial.

Jesus comes to Jerusalem, well aware of what was to occur. As He enters the city the people pour out praise. They acclaim Him King, the One who comes in the Name of the Lord.

Today a woman comes and pours out costly perfume for Jesus. Mark notes that she anoints His head. John says she anointed His feet and washed them with her tears. In either case, she pours out her time, treasure, and tears for Jesus. She stands up to ridicule and pours out an embarrassing amount of love for Jesus, her Savior.

In Good Friday’s reading of the Passion we hear of Joseph of Arimathe’a and Nicode’mus who will come, risking their lives before Pilate and those who plotted against Jesus, asking for His body. Nicode’mus pours out a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight.

Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry people came to Him. They poured out their sins, needs, troubles and tears. They poured out their expectations and their love. They poured out hatred and mistrust as well. For thousands of years since people have continued to do the same.

For all that humanity has poured out, Jesus came to pour out far more. He did not limit His ministry to what was being poured out to Him, but rather poured Himself out to take all darkness away. Through His pouring out we have been freed. Even what we fear to pour out is taken away. The deepest and darkest recesses of our lives – the places were sin and evil have taken root – Jesus came to take those away. Psalm 116 asks: What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me? Let us pour out faithfulness, love, praise, worship and thanksgiving to Jesus who poured Himself out for us.

What is from

God's free gift

In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing: “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!”

Cyrus the Great is counted as the patron who delivered Israel from Babylonian captivity. Cyrus was the king of Persia. He was not Jewish. There is some speculation as to his religion, but as with many civil rulers to this day he believed in whatever may have suited him politically at the moment. So here is this politically savvy ruler who captured Persia, founded the Achaemenid Empire and conquered most of Southwest and Central Asia and the Caucasus. His rule stretched from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Indus River in the east. So why, in the first year of his reign, would he make a decree that the Temple should be rebuilt in Jerusalem and that the Jewish people who wished could return to their land for this purpose? He even allowed the treasures of the Temple, captured by Nebuchadnezzar, to be returned.

We can look at this like many look at faith – with incredulity. A savvy and strong political leader being generous – Who can believe that? Why would he empty his treasury and let these people go? There are all kinds of speculation as to why. Maybe it was a political move, gaining allegiance from all of the people Cyrus had conquered. Maybe he had an affinity for their belief system. Maybe… a thousand reasons.

St. Paul tells us: …by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God. Paul tells us that God gives us tremendous gifts specifically so that we might have life. Cyrus is held up as an image of God’s generosity. Cyrus owed Israel absolutely nothing and they could do nothing for him. He had power and control and turns to these people and gives them everything.

The lesson is that God’s generosity is inestimable and unexplainable. God is self-sufficient yet desires to love and care for us He emptied His treasury and sent His only Son to die for us so we might enter into His eternal and heavenly city. What is from God is not power or security, or even health as the world understands those things. It is the gift of faith that is far more generous. By the gift of faith that is from God alone we enter into relationship with Him have life for all of eternity.

faith and worry

Sometimes the test
is almost impossible.

God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” he replied. Then God said: “Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you.”

Over recent weeks it seems that the number of troubles among those I know have increased greatly. These aren’t little problems, but those deep, life-shattering types of troubles that some may never experience. How life-shattering it must have been for Abraham, to face having to sacrifice his son.

A preacher was delivering a sermon before a large congregation. He pointed out that believers aren’t exempt from trouble. In fact, some Christians are surrounded by trouble — trouble to the right, trouble to the left, trouble in front, and trouble behind. At this, a man stood up and shouted, ‘Glory to God, it’s always open at the top!’

God’s test of Abraham’s faith was exactly about that. We can imagine that in walking to Mount Moriah, with his son carrying the wood that he would be sacrificed on, Abraham was in tears. His heart was breaking, the knife at his side weighed heavy, and his soul was crying out to God. He climbed the hills where Jerusalem would later stand, where the sacrificial fires of the Temple would be built, the place where Jesus would take up the wood of the cross (as Isaac carried the wood for his sacrifice). He was surrounded on every side, front and back, and could not help but look up.

What happened when Abraham and Isaac arrived at God’s designated site of sacrifice? …the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. “Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger. “Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God.” The response to Abraham’s troubles came from on high, from the top, from heaven.

Here’s the real test. Can we trust God enough to look up when those life-shattering troubles come? Can we place our reliance on Him? St. James noted: Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Troubles will either break us down, seem impossible, and cause us to look down or they will teach us to persevere and look up to heaven. The promise is that our perseverance, our looking up, will be rewarded and that we will lack for nothing particularly in eternity. We should repeat with the Psalmist: From whence does my help come? and answer: My help comes from the LORD.

lent-inviteLenten Retreats in parishes and Seniorates all over the country and Canada are scheduled for this season. The retreats are only one of eight initiatives set forward by this past national Synod for “each and every parishioner to play a role in bringing about a renewed and active spiritual life in the parishes and in the entire Church” as Prime Bishop Anthony wrote in January’s God’s Field. Our Mohawk Valley Seniorate will conduct its Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 7th at at All Saints Parish, 801 Hickory Street, Rome, NY from 10am to 2:30pm. All our parishioners are invited to participate in this national and international effort for a program built around the theme: Return to Me with Your Whole Heart. There is no charge for this spiritual exercise.

The program outline for this day of reflection and recollection is given here:

Adult Program:

  • 10:00 – Welcome! Presentation in the Temple – The Mission of the Church, Fr Sr. Marian Pociecha
  • 10:30 – Coffee break
  • 11:00 – Penitential Service, The Sacrament of Penance will be administrated in the end and private confession will also be available, Fr. Mark Gnidzinski
  • 12:00 – Lunch served by All Saints Parish
  • 1:00 – Concelebrated Holy Mass, Fr. Sr. Walter Madej – Homilist
  • 2:30-3:00 – Quick Seniorate Meeting (Calendar for 2015 in Mohawk Valley Seniorate)

For Children and Youth:

  • 10:00-12:00 Program for children will be running in parish hall and office if necessary, Fr. Rafal Dadello and Fr. Jim Konicki
  • 11:00 – Children who have already received their First Holy Communion will join the adults for the Penitential Service, younger children will remain in the hall
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 1:00 – Holy Mass (those who are altar servers in their parishes, please bring your liturgical vestments)

March is here and we begin to think about Easter. It is getting close and we wonder, will I go back there (to church). We reflect on the fact that Jesus welcomes us and opens His arms to us regardless of our mess-ups. This March we go deeper into our Lenten experience. We also have news about our Holy Week and Easter schedule, our Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle winner, and answer more Church Questions (should’t we read the Passion on Passion Sunday?). Remember too that we now have an expand Holy Mass schedule and find tons of great information in our Newsletter. Come be welcomed by Jesus no matter the mess-up – right here in Schenectady.

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



The latest issue of God’s Field is now available online. This edition features Lenten reflections, updates on our Year of Regeneration, and details on getting a subscription to God’s Field. Information on other upcoming programs including Lenten Retreats is also included.

Articles for the March issue are being accepted now through March 1, 2015. You may E-mail items and photos or send them to:

God’s Field
Polish National Catholic Church
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505


The time is
here and now.

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

Mark’s rendition of Jesus’ time in the desert is very short. It also focuses us on one of Mark’s key themes; Jesus’ ministry is confrontational. Think of the very real confrontations with sin, temptation, and wild beasts that Jesus engaged in in the desert. Mark shows Jesus as the One who had come to combat and defeat the forces determined to counteract God’s will for our lives and our well-being.

Mark does not portray Jesus as sent to fight human ignorance, religious or political authority. He wasn’t that kind of revolutionary. Of course those things existed, but they were only the symbols and tools of what Jesus was really confronting. Jesus came to confront the evil, the negative spiritual force that oppresses human bodies and minds and defy human attempts to subdue them.

Jesus’ experience in the wild and untamed wilderness symbolizes the difference between God’s way of life and the wilderness of life without God. The desert shows us how Jesus confronted and defeated the powers of chaos and destruction. He walked out of the desert as a victor and the bringer of God’s kingdom. He began to proclaim the kingdom to all who would hear Him.

Jesus proclamation of the in-breaking of God’s kingdom announces the arrival of God’s future for humanity. This will be a new era and a new state of affairs, one in which God rules and we no longer have to use merely human efforts to defeat evil. With the expression kingdom of God Jesus does not speak of taking people away to a new place in a far-off land. He tells those who will listen that they have the power to build the kingdom if they work in and with Him. He invites us into the kingdom’s awakening and gives us the means (by grace) to make it real and complete. The old ways and the old rules no longer have power. Evil, sin, negative spiritual forces hold no sway over us because Jesus is victorious. He has won the confrontation.

As we will see through Lent, and in particular on Good Friday, Jesus’ revolution is dangerous. As members of His kingdom and its operatives we are working to destroy the last vestiges of sin, evil, the negative spiritual force. We are the forces of the kingdom. Those tied to worldly ways and mores will resist and hate us. They are the forces of the untamed wilderness. They fight against transforming the world. The time is here and now. We must be confident kingdom builders, assured of our victory in Jesus and ready to transform all we encounter.


Lent began with Ash Wednesday, February 18th. Holy Mass with the blessing and distribution of ashes took place at 7pm on the 18th. We invite you to join with us in fellowship and worship throughout Lent in Schenectady as we have the opportunity to not only look back, but look forward. We will explore these important questions throughout Lent: Am I living the way I should really live? and How can I come to new life? This Lent Christ calls us to discover a new motive for living. To answer those questions.

We are called to live as people challenged to be changed. We have the opportunity this Lent to change through faith in Jesus. The answer to: Am I living the way I should really live? is living as:

  • changed to no longer live for myself.
  • changed to no longer see with worldly eyes.
  • changed because I am reconciled and forgiven.
  • changed because I can truly see and recognize what God is doing in my life.
  • changed and empowered to take action and bring the challenge to be changed to others.

As we not only look back but truly focus forward let us allow our Lenten practices to come to grips with God’s challenge to be changed:

  • In small ways by fasting and abstinence on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent as we abstain from meats on those days as an act of sacrifice. By charity through our directed giving program that provides gifts of food helping those in our local community. By prayer at Stations of the Cross prayed every Friday in Lent at 7pm. By worship at Holy Mass every Sunday at 9:30am or 11:30am.
  • In seeing that sin and the world hold no more power over us because we have God’s grace.
  • In big ways by changing the direction of our lives and coming to understand what life is really all about. It is life fully lived in Jesus’ Good News. Repented, believing, having faith in Jesus and through living the way I really must live. Coming to new life.

February tends to remind us of our loves and our obligation to love. It presents an opportunity to renew our love toward God and to give thanks for the abundant unconditional love we receive from Him. This February we enter into the Pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima, hold our Outrageous Valentine’s Raffle, and begin the season of Lent. Remember too that we now have an expand Holy Mass schedule and find tons of great information in our Newsletter. Come be lavished with abundant love in your church – right here in Schenectady.

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