Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

Mary spoke seven times as recorded by scripture. While I am sure she spoke more than that, that is all that is recorded. In those seven moments (depending on the Bible translation), Mary spoke a grand total of 189 words. Of the 189 words, 180 were spoken before Jesus was born and through His childhood. Only 9 were spoken when He was an adult, and only as a precursor to His launching His ministry. We tend to place a lot of emphasis on words, and perhaps not enough on action. However, the action is where it is at. That’s where we want to be, taking part in what’s happening. The Magnificat – a fancy way of saying Mary’s Prayer – gives us an example of one who really wants to be part of the action. Mary is proclaiming how her very being, her soul and spirit, are intent on magnifying and rejoicing in the Lord. She is throwing her whole self into God’s way of living, God’s way of being, God’s way of changing everything. She saying – I just don’t want to be part of that, I am fully in, onboard. Throughout the rest of scripture, we occasionally meet Mary. She is there as her Son ministers, she is along the Way of the Cross, at the foot of the Cross, a witness to His burial, and with the disciples on Pentecost. She made herself all-in. She did this by her service, by her willingness to follow, by her letting her Son’s precious words and actions shine forth. As we enter the month of May, Mary’s month, recall that the Holy Church sets her example forth not as some long ago tale, as some stale devotion, or as words for the sake of words, but so we may live her engagement as a disciple. Mary did not sit back and let words come before her action of magnifying and rejoicing in the Lord. This May, as we mow, tend to new blooming gardens, and honor mom, let us redouble our action and engagement, placing our whole selves into Jesus work, like Mary.

Join us in May for the fullness of the Easter Season, great national and local events now and throughout the summer, special thanks, and lots of great fellowship right here in Schenectady.

Read more in our May 2019 Newsletter.

Even now
I trust.

Martha went to meet Him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

As we enter Passiontide we continue our focus on conviction and the kind of faith that shows we have not just accepted conviction but have been changed to people of deep faith.

Remember Jesus’ earlier encounter with Martha and Mary. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him teaching, filled with faith. Martha was busy in the kitchen and was annoyed – her sister wasn’t helping. Martha complained to Jesus and Jesus told her straight out that Mary had chosen the better part. Mary saw the opportunity of God’s presence while Martha was convicted for busing herself with less important things.

Now Martha’s brother is dead. He’s been placed in the tomb and the tomb is sealed. They had sent word to Jesus while he was still alive, but He didn’t show up. Now Jesus is approaching.
The woman who busied herself in the kitchen, who missed Jesus’ teachings, who chose the lesser part, comes running out …but Mary sat in the house. What happened?

What happened is that Martha got something deeper from that earlier encounter and conviction. She received a gift of faith so deep and powerful that not even death could diminish it. Not death, not disappointment, nothing!

In running out to Jesus and in speaking with Him Martha proclaims the depth of that faith gift. Listen carefully: “Lord, even now I know…”

Even now… Despite, nevertheless, notwithstanding. No matter what has happened, even now I know You are Lord.

The key is that Martha recognized there was nothing more powerful than God. Faith demanded that she lay aside all mistrust. While Mary listened to Jesus, what did she take away from that listening? Was her trust increased? How was her faith at her brother’s tomb?

Martha believed Jesus could have healed her brother – same as Mary. Yet her faith differed. She exercised a much more powerful ‘even now’ faith. She saw more deeply because she knew Jesus could see her heart. She trusted Jesus completely because He revealed what her true concern should be – not in the kitchen, but in faith. She accepted the gift and made faith active.

If we look closely, Martha did not think Jesus would raise her brother. She knew he was dead She even told Jesus – look, he’s dead, he’s rotting already. And that is the power of her even now faith. She is our example. Everything hasn’t worked out, yet even now I trust in You, Lord.

May is here and our thoughts turn to Mary and Mom. They are not mythological creatures or goddesses – but rather true witnesses to commitment and dedication. Let’s pray together and ask Mary’s intercession for our moms while reflecting on what their commitment and dedication say to us.

Our newsletter arrives as warmer days have finally arrived in New York’s Capital District. Get out there, tend to the garden and do not forget about God’s garden – help your spiritual life grow too. Our schedule is jam packed with great events – please join us. We have added a new monthly Holy Mass and Anointing for Healing. The first will be May 18th at 6:15pm. Read more and reflect on what it means to be PNCC, get updates on Church-wide events for this year of regeneration, and check out the summer schedule.

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

Mothers by Martin Creed

Solemnity of the Dormition

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Dormition. According to Holy Tradition Mary spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the Church, and lived in the house of the Apostle John in Jerusalem. The Archangel Gabriel had revealed to her that her repose would occur in three days. The apostles, scattered throughout the world were miraculously transported to be at her side when she died. Mary was buried in Gethsemane, according to her request. After three day, the Apostles visiting her grave found her body was gone, leaving a sweet fragrance. An apparition is said to have confirmed that Christ had taken her body to heaven after three days to be reunited with her soul.

The key is that we honor and love Mary for her faith example. Like her, we are to live after our Pentecost, after our regeneration, supporting and serving the community of faith, the Holy Church. Following her example of humility, faith, and service, we live as children of the Father and the body of Christ, never making ourselves more than or greater than her Son.

May Devotions and Mother’s Day

May is the Month for Devotions to our Blessed Mother Mary. We keep this tradition in our parish in honoring the Virgin Mother for her dedication and sacrifice of life to become the Theotokos, the Godbearer, for us.

These devotions will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 5th, 12th, 19th, and close with a service on Wednesday, May 26th. All services will be at 7pm.

It is hoped that these evenings in the month will be kept open so as to come and give thanks for Mary being our Blessed Mother, the example of purity of life, and to take time to celebrate her inspiration.

“Pray for us, O Holy Mother of
God, that we may be worthy of the
Promises of Christ!”

On Mothers’ Day we will begin our prayer with the “crowning of Mary” and dedicate our prayers to those mothers who are with us and those who have been called to eternal life. A light breakfast is scheduled to honor our moms on this Sunday.