This week’s memory verse: There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Isaiah 4:6
  • 6/23 – 2 Timothy 1:7
  • 6/24 – Romans 15:4
  • 6/25 – Isaiah 54:11
  • 6/26 – John 14:27
  • 6/27 – Proverbs 10:25
  • 6/28 – Matthew 7:24-27
  • 6/29 – Isaiah 25:4

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, as I face the nighttime storms of my life grant me a clear vision of Your presence with me, Your power to overcome, and my call to perceive the Ark in which I am safe. Amen.

The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Last week we heard Jesus’ parable of the seed and the grower. We spoke about God’s imperative, that is the thing He has made vitally important and crucial and that He authoritatively commands, i.e., that we grow. We have work to do in this green season. Growth in our likeness to God and in His Kingdom is dependent on us. The seed planted in us must yield fruit.

Today we encounter one of those moments in the disciples’ journey with Jesus that has a lot packed into it. There is of course the display of Jesus’ power and authority over all creation – a teaching moment for the disciples. We see Jesus demonstrating His care for those He loves. There are themes of trust and faith. There is a recalling of the Ark tossed about in the storm, but now with God fully present and buoying the ship. It is no longer the Ark of Noah, but that of God in which we are all contained.

St. Paul goes further to remind us that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus and the way we regard, i.e., how we view and treat each other must be changed. Our way of life together is no longer about what one can do for the other, what one has, or how one looks, but completely about our likenesses to Jesus. We are all in the Ark of God, thus the way we view and treat each other reflects the way we view and treat Jesus.

This event in the boat, or the new Ark, is not a one-off isolated thing. It literally follows what we heard last week, where we ended on Mark 4:34. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. Mark 4:35 began, as we just heard, On that day

Jesus went right from a long discourse about discipleship, being light to the world, and growth to this nighttime journey.

We all have nighttime journeys, maybe in the past, now, or in the future. Let us ask God today for clarity when we encounter those journeys. Let us not just stop at ‘help me Jesus,’ but search deeper.

In my nighttime journeys do I perceive Jesus calmly at rest in the midst of it and from that gain confidence? We should. We should also recognize His power to overcome for us, not just ‘get us out of it,’ but to conquer. 

The storm is a call to growth in more than our own faith and trust, but also in our perception of the Ark we are in and who we are with. Growth requires our vision change. 

This week’s memory verse: And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11
  • 6/16 – Galatians 2:20
  • 6/17 – 1 Peter 1:2
  • 6/18 – 2 Timothy 2:21
  • 6/19 – Romans 6:6
  • 6/20 – Hebrews 10:14
  • 6/21 – Hebrews 12:14
  • 6/22 – 2 Peter 1:2-4

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You have changed and challenged me. Grant that I may meet the imperative You have set for me by growth through grace and evangelization to the Kingdom. Amen.

“This is how it is with the kingdom of God”

Today we re-enter Ordinary Time and the wearing of the Green. We had six weeks of Rose and Purple, ten weeks of White, and a brief week of Red.

Driving out to the Seminary and the Men’s Retreat was so refreshing. The land alive with growth, and on beautiful green display.

Holy Church uses green to convey a call to growth in our Kingdom citizenship. Not only that, it dedicates the majority of the weeks of the year, twenty-five in all in our Church, to growing.

In a beautiful way the call to growth is made imperative in today’s readings and gospel. Let’s look at that call.

In our first reading Ezekiel proclaims God’s promises of hope. He will restore Israel and plant it securely to grow and prosper. What had been broken and withered, reduced to nothing, will live again.

God likens Israel to the tender shoot from the top of the Cedar. We may not necessarily find cedars around us, but almost all types of evergreens put out tender shoots. Even the prickliest ones produce bright green, soft, fragrant shoots.

In Ezekiel, God does as He promises. The imperative things, that is the vitally important and crucial things authoritatively commanded, God Himself carries out. Israel had no power to restore itself, no army or political power. Israel is ‘new.’ So, out of His tremendous love and forgiveness, He will re-establish them. The imperative is from God and done by God.

Jesus Who came to usher in the Kingdom changes things up for us. Using nature and growth we see a different imperative. The focus is now on us.

God has scattered the seed – what we covered in the past few weeks – His sacraments and the depth of His Word given us, He has implanted in us by Jesus and has given us a place to dwell, His Holy Church, symbolized by the mustard bush the largest of plants with large branches, where the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.

As Jesus states: Of its own accord the land yields fruit. The imperative remains from God but now it must be done by us. Growth in ourselves and in the Kingdom is dependent on us. We must yield fruit.

So, we are to grow ourselves: our sanctification growth into the image of God filled with complete self-giving love. We are to evangelize, to draw people into the Kingdom. It is imperative!

This week’s memory verse: But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Luke 11:28
  • 6/9 – Colossians 3:16
  • 6/10 – Isaiah 40:8
  • 6/11 – Proverbs 30:5
  • 6/12 – James 1:22
  • 6/13 – 2 Timothy 3:16
  • 6/14 – Job 23:12
  • 6/15 – Romans 10:17

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the beloved gift of Your Word. As I study and listen to Your Word grant that I be filled with the Father’s transforming grace. Amen.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. 

Two weeks ago, we began considering the word mystery and the fact that we are now in a short transitional season between the fifty days of Easter and the start of ‘Ordinary Time’ next week.

We have already considered the mysteries of the Holy Trinity and the Body and Blood of Jesus. Today we consider the mystery of the Word whose Solemnity our Holy Church has instituted.

All these mysteries flow out of Pentecost which is their lynchpin. The power of the Holy Spirit and His gifts are given to us so we may better appreciate and draw grace from our contemplation and celebration of the mysteries of God’s Being, Feeding, and Word.

We are so privileged, for our Holy Church is the only one that believes and teaches that the Word of God proclaimed and taught has sacramental effect in our lives.

Many of us likely have a vague recollection of what sacramental effect is. It has been a while since catechism class. So, a little refresher.

A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of God’s inward and spiritual grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification and salvation. Sacraments give sanctifying grace, and each gives a special sacramental grace through the merits of Jesus Christ Who instituted them.

Catechism of the PNCC 280, 283, 284.

That is a beautiful definition, and it covers a lot, but to make it more accessible let’s consider sacraments this way: God has great love for us and His love is so powerful that it changes us in the most remarkable and essential of ways. It causes us to grow into the image of His beloved Son Jesus and to become those who, when they appear before Him, are embraced just as the Father embraces His Son Jesus.

So, God has this love, but it must be transmitted, we need an infusion of His love, and it must occur in real, recognizable ways. Think of the sacraments as food for eternal life. We need to receive this food so to be filled and satisfied.

God’s Word Who is Jesus filled the world with all goodness at creation. His Word filled the people of Israel on their journeys, and His Word fills us today for through the Word people learn and grow, we are fed, filled and are enabled to confidently approach the throne of grace.

Volunteers are needed to Assist in the Launch and Operations of a New Community Food Pantry in Mont Pleasant, Schenectady at Holy Name of Jesus.

The Daily Bread Food Pantry in collaboration with Concerned for the Hungry, Schenectady Shares, and Holy Name of Jesus are opening a Food Pantry on Mondays from 3 until 6pm.

We need volunteers to:

  • Call guests Monday morning from Daily Bread 
    from 9 until 11am.
  • Pack orders and serve guests from 2 until 4pm at
    Holy Name of Jesus

For more information contact Jackie at 518-836-5310 or by E-mail.

Daily Bread is located at 1247 State Street, Schenectady.

Holy Name of Jesus is located at 1040 Pearl Street, Schenectady

This week’s memory verse: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

John 6:35
  • 6/2 – Matthew 4:4
  • 6/3 – John 6:27
  • 6/4 – Psalm 107:9
  • 6/5 – John 6:51
  • 6/6 – Revelation 3:20
  • 6/7 – Acts 2:46-47
  • 6/8 – John 6:26-68

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, Thank You for the beloved gift of Your Body and Blood. As I feed on Your flesh and drink Your blood grant that I be transformed into Your image. Amen.

“Take it; this is My body.” “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.”

Moses anointed the people with the blood of bulls as a sign of the covenant between them and God. As the Letter to the Hebrews tells us, we have something so much better now, not cleansing or agreement through the blood of goats and bulls, but through the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We began last week considering the word mystery and the fact that we are now in a short transitional season between the fifty days of Easter and the start of ‘Ordinary Time’ two weeks from now.

In this time, we contemplate the mysteries God has revealed to us in His word, by the revelation, work and teaching of Jesus, and by the teaching of the Apostles and Fathers.

Last week we focused on the mysteries of the Holy Trinity. Today we continue in consideration of the mystery of the Body and Blood of Jesus which began Thursday and is so important it is celebrated and contemplated for an Octave, eight days. Next Sunday we consider the mystery of the Word whose Solemnity our Holy Church has instituted and requires to be celebrated on the third Sunday after Pentecost. No, next Sunday is not an Ordinary Sunday.

All these mysteries flow out of Pentecost which is their lynchpin. The power of the Holy Spirit and His gifts are given to us so we may better appreciate and draw grace from our contemplation and celebration of God’s mysteries of God’s Being, feeding, and Word.

It is so important that we be very careful in our consideration of the mystery of Jesus’ Body and Blood. We are not called to philosophically explain it, only to believe.

We are very privileged within our Holy Church because we have continually taught and lived the reality of what we receive. The dignity of the sacrament and how it is handled indicate that this is not some ordinary thing. Unfortunately, in some Churches they have thrown that all out. It is why more than a third of their churchgoers no longer believe that they receive Jesus’ true Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. What a sad life bowing to bread and wine and thinking there is nothing there. 

If we do not believe, then there is no encounter with Jesus’ eternity during the Canon, we are not pulled into heaven with Him. We kneel to nothing. We receive nothing. We leave with nothing in us.  

Jesus gave us this mystery and gift so that we might be continually connected to His wholeness and He to us. This is what we believe. What an amazing and wonderful gift.

But there are some things that you cannot be sure of. You must take a chance. 

Ecclesiastes 11:4 goes on to tell us: If you wait for perfect weather, you will never plant your seeds. If you are afraid that every cloud will bring rain, you will never harvest your crops.

This past May brought us some pretty awesome weather. We had quite a bit of August in May.  Did we expect that? Perhaps not. On Memorial Day we expected cold and rainy weather, but we persevered and held Holy Mass at the parish cemetery. The rain stopped, the sky cleared, and the sun came out. It was perfect. Every cloud did not bring rain.

In our faith lives – which should define the entirety of our lives – Ecclesiastes advises us that taking a chance, setting aside worry, is worth it. In fact in Matthew 6.25-34 Jesus commands his followers not to worry. He even goes so far as to say that worrying is a characteristic of an unbeliever. We are called to be the same kind of risk takers the Apostles and saints were because if we take those risks we build the Kingdom.

Setting fear aside and taking chances in small things leads to doing so in bigger ways. We realize that even if we make a few mistakes or get rejected once and awhile God will work it all out for good. Indeed, God makes good use of us if we only trust and move forward with Him. Moses had a speech impediment and told God, “I can’t talk.” Gideon told God, “I’m too young.” Abraham said, “I’m too old.” Yet look at what God accomplished with them once they trusted in Him and accepted His call.

What is God saying to us right now? What dreams has God placed in our hearts? What steps have we been hesitant to take? Now is the time to hear Him, pursue those dreams, take those steps, and watch as God opens doors, provides resources, and works miracles in our lives. Today, choose faith over fear. Trust that God’s plans for us are good, even if the path ahead seems uncertain. There are some things that you cannot be sure of. You must take [the] chance God offers.

Welcome to our June 2024 Newsletter. This beautiful month is filled with celebrations of God’s goodness. We pray especially for His gift of vocations to the priesthood and diaconate. We celebrate dads. Join us for worship, thanksgiving, and a wonderful breakfast on Father’s Day. We consider our offering to support our retired priests and bishops. It Men’s spiritual Retreat time — be there. We also prepare for all the wonderful summer events ahead of us. Take a look at some great offers from the PNA (IRAs, insurance, and annuities); the rates are really good. Also, how do you speak truth in love when it comes to admonition? Take a look at God’s advice. All this and more in our June 2024 Newsletter.