Our ever growing, super fun, and free parish and community picnic is scheduled for Sunday, August 19th. There will be one Holy Mass that day at 10:30am and the picnic will immediately follow on the parish grounds. The tent, tables, and chairs have been ordered. We look forward to seeing everyone there along with your family and friends. The picnic is open to everyone. The parish will be providing hot dogs and hamburgers – and many are bringing a dish to share. Come join in!
The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to Him, loving the name of the LORD, and becoming His servants—all who keep the Sabbath free from profanation and hold to My covenant, them I will bring to My holy mountain and make joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar, for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Is a picnic the right topic for a sermon? Today we hold our annual parish and community picnic. This is a long-standing tradition. It used to be held at Schenectady’s Central Park. Parishioners and their families would gather in one of the park’s wonderful shelters, near the rose garden, for a day of great food, games, and fellowship. Then, we skipped a year.
Something changed in that brief lull. We found that we missed the picnic. We thought of alternatives. Should we go back to the park? Maybe at pastor Jim’s house? At the same time, we had started our free lunch on Sunday program. We thought, why not combine these events. Why not a picnic right here on the parish grounds – open to all, free – a community event.
Ordinary Time, as we have stated, is a time for reflection, growth, renewal, and opportunity.
Didn’t God readily give us the grace of this chance? That is one of the most wonderful and remarkable things about our God. He actually considers each of us, our family, our community, and He shows up with the grace of opportunity.
This opportunity echoes what we hear in Isaiah. My house, My altar is open to all, free – a community event. This was an amazing and incredible statement uttered by the prophet. The traditional Jewish religious practice of drawing lines that excluded the foreigner and the eunuch are clear in Scripture. Eunuchs were not permitted to enter into the assembly of the Lord and foreigners were an abomination. Suddenly, this is ended by the Lord’s new opportunity. His declaration was not about offering an “olive branch” to the “outsider.” This was not about some kind of associate or junior membership in God’s family. It meant full inclusion for all who are seeking. God’s people, once outcasts, are to be a home for all the world sees as outcasts.
Our opportunity today, and every day, is inclusion and welcome. Our witness in our community, and in our troubled nation, is that the Lord draws no barrier and makes no distinction. The eunuch shall be given better than that given to a son or daughter. The foreigner will be made joyful. What great opportunity we have.
People will come to us. The opportunity is our allowing them to find Christ and home in us. Easy, tidy, not always – God’s word and opportunity – always!
She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
We begin our summer with the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday, July 2nd followed quickly by the celebrations of the Visitation and Independence Day. The Visitation holds special significance for us. What would summer be without visits with family and friends, getting together for picnics, or the traditional family road trip to go visiting? The scene of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth is part of the larger story of salvation. The story line in Luke’s gospel is the story of God’s powerful desire to visit with us, to be present in our lives. Mary’s visit with Elizabeth would not have been possible without the angel Gabriel’s visit with Zachariah (Elizabeth’s husband) telling him that they would have a son. It would not have been possible without that same angel’s visit to Mary, telling her that God desired to place His Son in the world, to visit with us. All of salvation history is a telling of God’s visitation with us. He wants to be with us, even when we do not want to be with Him. He remains with us and calls us back even when we wander off. He continually calls us into deeper and deeper relationship with Him. He is the visitor that never leaves! As we contemplate our best visitor, let us also take up Mary’s example As we get out there to visit this summer, let’s talk about the One best visitor ever. Help others invite Him into their lives.
Join us this summer as we continue to visit with Jesus, as we are assured of His abiding presence with us. There are tons of summer activities – Kurs Youth Camp, Independence Day, the National United Choirs Convention and Music Workshop, the YMSofR Golf Tournament, our neighborhood and community picnic, and so much more. We will continue gathering bras – that’s right, bras!
You may view and download a copy of our July/August 2017 Newsletter right here.
Celebrate on July 4th at Spójnia Farm, 596 Honesdale Road, Waymart, PA. Holy Mass will be at 11 AM at the Bishop Hodur Retreat & Recreation Center followed by a Picnic from 12 Noon to 4 PM. Music and dancing from 1 PM- 4 PM. Lots of Polish Food as well as American picnic fare will be available. Music, food and fun, for all!
Please come and join us for Free Lunch on Sunday, this Sunday, July 28th, from 11:30am till 1:30pm. This event is always free and open to all. Enjoy family friendly summer foods, dessert, coffee/drinks, and more. Free Lunch on Sunday is held at Holy Name of Jesus in our parish hall located at 1040 Pearl St., Schenectady (CDTA Route 353 – Pearl Street stop).
Don’t forget to attend our summer outing this coming Sunday on the parish grounds following Holy Mass. Our fellowship will be the main course along with the other great dishes provided by our parish family. Let us feast on it all!
This Sunday, August 9th from 1pm to dusk at Central Park in Schenectady. We llok forward to seeing you there. May God grant us a day of fellowship and fun.