Made whole.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.

Isaiah prophesies about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ In fulfillment Jesus came, not to destroy the reed or put out the wick, but to take brokenness and smoldering away. Jesus has healed and re-ignited us, has brought us into the Kingdom, into lives vastly differently.

Through this Lent we reflected and acted on our call to be vastly different. We looked at our inward selves and our outward actions and have worked to reform them through more ardent prayer, sacrifice, study, worship, and giving. We came to realize that those in the Kingdom live like this year-round, not just during Lent.

Today, St. Paul speaks of that change in him. Paul accomplished much in his youth; he was at the top of his profession. He contrasts his life in Christ to that prior life, not in exaggerated detail, but in broad strokes. 

Paul tells us that everything he was before, all that he had, is loss – i.e., nothing, worthless, even a waste. Everything before his encounter with Jesus, and his acceptance of Christ in faith, Paul says with more than a little hyperbole, is rubbish compared to where he is and where he is going. 

That seems extreme until we realize how much more excellent life in Christ is. Paul got that! Paul came to realize, very clearly, what he was before Jesus. Indeed, Paul was, a bruised reed, a smoldering wick giving neither light nor warmth. Now all things are different. Jesus has changed him, and he now presses forward, as in a race, to attain, to possess the fullness of life in Christ we will know in heaven.

Paul challenges us to go forward in faith with eyes on the heavenly prize of eternal companionship with Christ. Faith is not backward-looking, nor does it rest on its laurels. We must constantly continue our pursuit of excellence in the Kingdom life, in walking the gospel path.

We see, brothers and sisters, the realization of God’s promises in Isaiah, the new thing He is doing, that is our Kingdom life today begun in Christ Jesus. That new thing is the removal of the bruise in us. It is the re-ignition of the fire within us. His doing is not at all reliant on our past, for it is out of complete mercy that He gives us that same new life Paul lived.

Illustrating all this in such a poignant way is Jesus in the confrontation over the sinful woman. In this confrontation the scribes and Pharisees remain steadfast in their past, they live so completely in the past that they fail to see the Messiah standing before them, they walk away. On the other hand, the woman recognizes the new thing God present is doing in her life, she goes forward, like Paul, changed – the past bruise is gone, she is reignited.

We are healed and made on fire for the Kingdom of God.  We are made whole. Our Lenten journey has revealed what God has done for us. Then let us let go, forget the past as God has, and press on to fulness of life here and forever with Christ.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

At the start of the month we are nearly five full weeks into the Lenten season. On April 3rd we enter into Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent, a time marked by the somberness of veiled statues and candles and deep reflection on the Passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So I ask, are you somber?

I know, from my own experience, that there have been years in which a deep somberness would overcome me by Passiontide since I had done nothing to reform my life. I did not engage in more diligent prayer, fasting, worship, or giving. I was not turning from my sins, nor did I change direction. I had great intentions at the beginning, on Ash Wednesday, but did not take any concrete steps. I would feel that, well, it is too late now… In other years I would start off wonderfully and then get stuck and would start going backward. So the question many somber people ask: Am I too late?

The scripture above from Jeremiah 29:13 says no. God’s infinite mercy says no. The very fact that we feel a somberness in ourselves is proof of God’s acting on us to change, turn away from sin, and go in His way. Is it easy to change, to yank the sinfulness out of ourselves, and to walk more closely with Jesus? No, it does take work – but turning with our whole heart has the full support and assistance of the Holy Spirit, our Guardian Angel, and the whole Church. So we must not despair nor be somber. We must start now. What makes a difference is setting aside the idea of intention. ‘I intend to’ is no more than words. We have to act. The Prophet Joel told us on Ash Wednesday: rend your hearts and not your clothing. That statement means we cannot just stand on the intention of change and return without ever doing anything. Intention is no better than tearing our clothes, an outward appearance. Rather, even today, we can actually change our hearts, our whole self, and find God waiting to embrace us. Seek wholeheartedly and find Him.


Welcome to our April 2022 Newsletter. At the start of April we enter Passiontide, then Holy Week, and finally arrive at Easter. We have tons of opportunities to finish Lent well with daily Holy Mass, Stations of the Cross, Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie Żale, and our directed giving program. We invite you to join us for all things Holy Week and Easter. During the Easter Season we will also hold a welcome back/renewal day. Beyond all that, read about our engagement to help Ukrainian refugees.

There’s more to check out as well: We have blessed Polish Easter Baskets for sale (a portion of the proceed will be donated to Ukranian relief efforts), our amazing Basket Social is April 24th at the South Schenectady Firehouse, we are planning for the wonderful activites coming up Churchwide, and now is the time to apply for music scholarships.

All this and more in our April 2022 Newsletter.

Made whole.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.

Jesus came to fulfill what Isaiah had written about centuries before. Isaiah writes about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ Jesus came, not to destroy the reed or put out the wick, but to take brokenness and smoldering away. Jesus has healed and re-ignited us, has brought us into the Kingdom, into lives vastly differently.

As we journey through this Lenten season, we reflect and act on our call to be vastly different. We look at our inward selves and our outward actions and reform them through more ardent prayer, sacrifice, study, worship, and giving. We come to really connect with the fact that those in the Kingdom live like this year-round, not just during Lent.

Today, Jesus presents us with a perfect example of someone who is bruised and smoldering, the youngest son of a very generous father. How is he made vastly different?

There are two key elements in Jesus’ parable, the first being the self-imposed bruising of the son. This is the way sin works for us too. 

The son, not content in the father’s house and service wants ‘what is his,’ and takes off with every intent of harming himself. 

The son did not outwardly say: I am going to go hurt myself. Certainly, he thought he was getting his way with what was his – and that very self-centeredness was at the root of his many sins. The rejection of the father’s house, the partying and the prostitutes were the expression of his self-centered life. It was the way he pulled himself out of the kingdom and put himself in the world. He bruised himself and he did it hard, full speed.

The second key is how the son was changed, healed, and reconciled.

Many have stated that the moment of turn around by the son, repentance, a change in direction back to the kingdom and away from himself and the world was his getting up amid the swine – as Jesus says: he came to his senses.  But not so fast – he was still self-centered, thinking about his father’s servants and food.  Something greater had to change within him, his life had to be made vastly different by something more powerful than just return and food.

The great change in the son was the moment of forgiveness, of full welcome back. This really spoke to his selfish heart and taught him – there is another way to live. There is a vastly different way – that of the father who gives his all not for his own pleasure – but for the sake of me. That is the way the kingdom started, by God giving His all for us, and that is the way it works today where we give our all for the purpose of reconciliation as Jesus asked, one for another who are in the kingdom. 

Lent is about return certainly, but more so about true understanding of our life in and encounter with the One whose great love and self-giving greatly changes us. Changed, we then are the vastly different of the Kingdom who self-give as the Father does to draw many to Jesus and into His Kingdom.

Made whole.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.

Jesus came to fulfill what Isaiah had written about centuries before. Isaiah writes about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ Jesus came, not to destroy the reed or put out the wick, but to take brokenness and the smoldering away. Jesus has healed and re-ignited us. Jesus has brought us into the Kingdom, into lives vastly differently.

As we journey through this Lenten season, we reflect and act on our call to be true citizens of the Kingdom, to live up to our call. We look at our inward selves and our outward actions and reform them through more ardent prayer, sacrifice, study, worship, and giving. We come to really connect with the fact that those in the Kingdom live like this year-round, not just during Lent.

Over the past two weeks we have been reminded of our healing from our bruises and how we have been re-ignited to passionately partake in God’s work. We live in the reality that we have been made new, whole, and on fire for the gospel, and to do each day all that this status entails. 

We have been called to continue to be different, to fully live the Kingdom life and call others to be saved, to share in this Kingdom life which is vastly different from that of the world.

Today, St. Paul speaks of what happened to many of the people of Israel as they journeyed to the promised land. Most were struck down because of their unfaithfulness, and that fact was written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.

Now here is the key element for us who were bruised and smoldering before our entry into the Kingdom life – do we wish to continue to live?

Jesus presents us with a stark reminder of our obligation as Kingdom people. We live to bear fruit. We have been healed, we have been re-ignited, we are whole and new, and the gospel path is before us. We must never lose the passion to live differently, to walk the gospel path in the footsteps of Jesus. We must not grow weary and say, no fruit today. Yes, God’s expectations are high because His promise for us is great.

Being committed as Kingdom people to be the difference that draws others into the Holy Church, the Kingdom life, being the change necessary to transform the world is our mission. Jesus has made us whole for a reason, and this is the reason – the bearing of abundant fruit. The consequences of being barren are a warning to us.

Let us then take advantage of Jesus’ mercy – this time of allowance, this Lent, for the change needed to bear fruit. As our Entrance Hymn taken from Isaiah says: Happy the just, for it will be well with them, the fruit of their works they will eat.

Made whole.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.

Jesus came to fulfill what Isaiah had written about centuries before. Isaiah writes about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ Jesus came, not to destroy the reed or put out the wick, but to take brokenness and the smoldering away. Jesus has healed and re-ignited us. Jesus has brought us into the Kingdom, into lives vastly different.

As we journey through this Lenten season, we reflect and act on our call to be true citizens of the Kingdom, to live up to our call. We look at our inward selves and our outward actions and reform them through more ardent prayer, sacrifice, study, worship, and giving. We come to really connect with the fact that those in the Kingdom live like that year-round, not just during Lent.

One day a Rabbi walked into a classroom full of Jewish religious students. The class was full of excitement. Rabbi, Rabbi, they said in unison, the Messiah has come. The Rabbi walked past the students and went to the window. He turned around, went to his desk, and told his students to sit. He said: The world looks no different; therefore, the Messiah has not yet come.

This is a powerful statement.  We know the Messiah; the Christ has come. We know that He is Jesus, the Son of God. Yet the world looks little different with its wars, obscenities, angers, covetousness, and all the other evils that surround us. What has changed?

One hundred twenty-five years ago a group of people looked about them and said the very same thing. They were immigrants, faithful and hardworking, but their lives were not getting any better. They were persecuted and called names. Their pastors continually castigated them. How could they have a Messiah if nothing changed?

They joined together and in a great act of faith and trust in Jesus and organized the Polish National Catholic Church. It would be faithful to the teachings and structures of the pristine undivided Church. It would have the passion of the first Christians who not only believed but acted on the fact that they had been healed and ignited by the Messiah. It would be the Kingdom Church Jesus had established, where they, their descendants, and anyone seeking the Kingdom could fully live out the Kingdom life, be the change Jesus called us to carry out, where life is indeed different, holy, loving, giving, and self-sacrificing.

So here we are in this body called the Church, with all necessary to live the Kingdom life fully, to bring about justice, to live in dignity together as Jesus’ body. So let us continue in prayer, sacrifice, study, worship, and giving. Let us continue to be different and call others to be saved, to share in life that is vastly different because of Jesus.

Made whole.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.

Jesus came to fulfill what Isaiah had written about centuries before. Isaiah writes about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ Both analogies speak to something at the point of death, at the point of losing everything. 

We previously discussed the fact that the word bruise in Hebrew really meant a very severe injury, injury to the point of death. So too the smoldering wick. We see the light as dying, going out and away into nothingness.

As we journey through this Lenten season we will focus on aspects of our brokenness and what is smoldering within us. We will see how Jesus has taken brokenness and the smoldering away, how He has healed and re-ignited us, such that we may bear great witness; so that we fulfill His purpose every day; that we have life eternal.

It is sort of odd, the tenses of the words used here. We speak of Jesus having already healed us, having already re-ignited us. Yet, we often see ourselves as still bruised reeds and smoldering wicks. Perhaps we do not feel complete healing within ourselves nor the fire, the passion we should have for the gospel life?

It is not uncommon to feel this way. Still, we should set those thoughts aside because we already possess the healing, the re-igniting we desire. We have been mightily changed by Jesus.

As a special blessing we have the example of Kassidy Colleen before us today. Today Kassidy enters the Holy Church through the waters of regeneration. She becomes a full-fledged member of the Kingdom of God which Jesus established.

Regeneration means as it sounds, to be re-made, re-born, made whole, perfected. No matter how many years ago we were baptized, we remain in our regenerated state.

You see, Jesus did not come to leave things as they were, to just hope for some change in the world. As He faced off against Satan in the desert, He drew a clear distinction between what life in the Kingdom is and what life outside is. In the Kingdom the reborn, those with healed bruises and re-ignited flames, place their reliance on God alone. The world’s allurements are nothing to us. We have something so much better, something Kassidy owns today – life in the Kingdom.

We, healed of our bruises and re-ignited to passionately partake in God’s work, see the blessing of this day, a reminder of our own baptism, and this Lenten season. Here is our chance to realize our state as truly healed and re-ignited, to return our understanding to what it means to have been regenerated – made new, whole, and on fire for the gospel, and do each day all that this status entails.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being [remodeled] day by day.

Have you ever remodeled your home? Maybe you have rebuilt a car or truck? Maybe you changed the way things are done at work – improved them. In any event, consider what is involved in a remodel or re-do. My wife and I are in the process of updating our home. We watched HGTV and saw lots of nice things we might like to do. Finally we pulled the trigger and embarked on the remodel. Oh my… Well, it is nothing like HGTV. It will not happen in a weekend or in a sixty-minute episode. At each turn there is something unexpected, something one might consider frustrating. That, and the cost, the necessary investment. You like that vanity and sink – it will be eight to twelve weeks. We got the bathroom tile in, but now need to shave down your door. The moulding is disintegrating – you will need new moulding. It goes on.

Here we are in Lent. Here we are in this season of spiritual remodeling. Some parts of us may need a major redo, other parts, just a nice touch of paint. Nonetheless, we all need a remodel, a re-do in some measure. As we enter Lent we might view it like an episode of the other HGTV – Holy Grace TV. We think we can get it done quickly, but then reality sets in. It takes grace and work. Some of what we undertake is going to take time. Some of what we attack is going to require far more. Perhaps we need to bring in a consultant (a spiritual director, Holy Scripture, a good and proper Christian study book…). As with any work we need to do, we must begin by taking account of what we are willing to invest. Our investment: What things we can sacrifice to make more time for our Lenten re-do (prayer, charity, holy reading, sacrifice, diligence). Once we set to work we must fully expect the frustrations that will come along the way. It will not be easy, but wait till you see the result! Let us then enter our Lenten re-do, our internal renewal without delay.


Welcome to our March 2022 Newsletter. It is packed full of info on the season of Lent and all of the great opportunities we have to increase prayer, devotion, almsgiving (charity), and scriptural study. We need folks to go to the National Mission and Evangelism workshop and we should all participate in our Seniorate Lenten Retreat. 

The BASKET SOCIAL is back. Read further on our Discipleship focus on the Holy Eucharist, get your Polish Easter Baskets, and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for The Ukraine. All this and more in our March 2022 Newsletter.

Please join us throughout Lent for Holy Mass and Devotions. These are all opportunities, beyond Sundays, to focus time on prayer.

  • Ash Wednesday – Holy Mass and Distribution of Ashes at Noon and 7pm.
  • Lenten Sundays – Holy Mass at 10am and Noon every Sunday.
  • Daily Holy Mass, Monday through Friday at Noon.
  • Stations of the Cross every Friday at 3pm.
  • Bitter Lamentations / Gorzkie Żale every Sunday at 3pm.

Working to change.

The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.

Throughout Lent we have focused on the change and reform necessary in our lives. We delved into the Lenten disciplines of fasting, sacrifice (or giving), study, and prayer. There is one discipline left – proclamation.

If we have taken these disciplines seriously, we should each be seeing change in our lives, or at least more clearly hear the call to conversion, change and reform. By now we should be walking each day as more ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way. Sins like anger, resentment, and their like should be more foreign to us.

Of all the disciplines of Lent, proclamation may be the hardest to achieve.  We can take time to fast, sacrifice or give a little more, study, pray. Most of that we can do on our own, almost stealthy, unseen to the outside world, but proclamation – everyone sees that.

Proclamation is very important to me personally. Let me tell you about that.

I often wonder if people think I am a little off, maybe not quite aware of what’s going on. Perhaps I do not see reality? They see me often thanking and congratulating people for what they might consider insignificant or even something the people I am thanking should just do – you know it is their job…

There are reasons for that. Most of my early life was marked by ongoing encounters with two kinds of people, those who recognized kindness and those who could not find a good thing in a basket of gold. Two types of proclaimers modeled. Who would I be?

Our first reading from Isaiah 50 points to Jesus Whose whole life was proclamation. He came speaking the Good News. It was His constant message. He showed us the kingdom. He told people – and tells us – what we have to do, repent and believe in the gospel

Isaiah says in Chapter 52: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation.

The beauty of Jesus’ proclamation was that there was nothing in His entire being –  including every trial, wound, scourge, humiliation, thorn, nail, lack of breath, and curse heaped on Him that was not Him speaking out about our value before God. His death on the cross was proclamation of that value.

If we want to bear Christ’s name in honesty and integrity, we must be proclaimers of the kingdom. We must proclaim good news, peace, happiness,and salvation. We have to let people know, and in the end let people hear the change and reform Jesus caused in us. Could we rather nitpick, focus on the one mistake someone made, or criticize even the smallest gift shared? Sure. But then, what kind of proclaimer are we?

Working to change.

In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and He was heard because of his reverence.

So far in Lent we have focused on the change and reform necessary in our lives. We have been focusing on the various Lenten disciplines, the means and methods by which we achieve conversion, change and reform. These disciplines help us become more ardent and faithful livers of Jesus’s gospel way.

The subjects of fasting, sacrifice (or giving), and study have been covered thus far. Next week we continue with the consideration of proclamation. Today, we focus on prayer.

This year we study from the Gospel according to St. Mark. In the first chapter of that Gospel, we hear that Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Prayer was a regular part of Jesus’ life. In Mark 11 we hear of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.’ In the same chapter Jesus reminded His disciples of the power of faithful and right prayer: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Jesus’ time on earth was a time of “prayers and petitions.” These two words portray a life of constant and persistent supplication. Not only did Jesus pray constantly and persistently, He prayed fervently. “Fervent cries” could also be translated “loud crying” or even “powerful shouts.” It makes us think of Jesus in Gethsemane, where He was “very sorrowful even to death”: And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And He said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray…” And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed.

Yet all this still does not exhaust the agonizing depth of Jesus’ prayers, for He prayed “with tears.” Jesus sobbed as He prayed. He threw Himself completely into prayer.

Jesus knew every facet of human suffering. He groaned under the depth of it. Through all this agony, Jesus learned something: He learned what it was like to obey as a suffering human in a fallen world and for that faith He was heard.

We are called to the same constant discipline of prayer that Jesus lived. Our prayer must be faithful and right. Our prayer must not be limited. Our prayer, heartfelt even when it groans without words, must call out to God. With prayer, like Jesus, we learn and are given just what we need to endure and cross into glory.