Seek! Encounter!

Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.

Early in the morning Mary’s heart would not let her sleep. Her heart broken in the experience of witnessing her beloved Lord and Master’s cruel death called out to her – Go, be with Him. Still dark, she ventured out. Wending her way through the city in the early morning, avoiding the Roman soldiers, Temple guards, and other ne’er-do-wells she headed out to the tomb. On her way there she would look up and see the hill on which He was crucified, the crosses still standing in the dawn’s rising sun. Arriving in the garden near the hill she found the stone removed. Shocked she runs off to tell the apostles. St. Matthew tells us that she saw the angel descend to roll away the stone. He told her to run to the apostles. On the way to the apostles, she encounters Jesus.

We have been called into our own monasteries, our convents, our Sketes. We have been, in a way, in this time of confinement and separation, been called apart from the world and are being asked to encounter Jesus. In the silence of this time, let us anew seek what is above, where Christ is seated at God’s right hand. Let us think, ponder, reflect, and lift ourselves up with a focus on what is above. Lifting ourselves to Jesus, let us find hope and more than that – assurance in our encounter with Him.

In facing our current fears, we are closely aligned with how the apostles and Mary felt that morning. Their hearts were broken, and their bodies worn out from grief. And Jesus broke through! He said, I am going before you to Galilee where you will encounter me once again.

Early each morning let us too venture out, out of the things that confine our hope, that break our hearts, that keep our eyes pointed low and down. Let us go to be with our Lord and Master, to sit with Him in prayer. Let us look up to the hill where the cross stands and encounter in it the tree of salvation and freedom. Let us see the tomb empty, knowing that He has risen, knowing that we too are inheritors of that glorious resurrection.

St. Paul calls the people of Colossae and us to a key truth. If we have encountered Christ’s resurrection let us keep our eyes, hearts, thoughts, and spirits focused on Him. The joy of this day is ours forever and nothing can take it from us. It is ours!

Expect the
amazing.

And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Jesus appears again resurrected.  He encounters His disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. We have all the drama of the encounter with the unexpected. The disciples do not recognize Jesus. He sounds like a sideline commentator; hey you should fish over there. Peter, the nearly naked fisherman runs for cover once John recognizes Jesus.

So much of Jesus’ ministry is an encounter with the unexpected. The widow, bringing out her dead son, sees him risen. Martha and Mary, thinking Jesus too late, see their brother risen. The woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan woman who went from man-to-man, find the Lord full of both insight and compassionate forgiveness.

Last Sunday, we were asked to share Jesus, His resurrected life, His mercy, His central role in our life. If we did, did we experience an encounter with the unexpected? Did Jesus show up, surprisingly, and give new sight, new freedom, and forgiveness?

The disciples, the nascent Church, found Jesus with them. In spite of locked doors, unbelief, poor fishing, lack of insight, nakedness, and past. He returned and returns, feeding, instructing, forgiving.

Do we perceive or understand this resurrected Lord? Are we ready to really get what’s going on? If we truly saw, if this empty tomb, the glory of Easter morning hit us full on, life would be so different. Why?

Because we have a life of unexpected encounter in Jesus. We have been changed. Hit with this power, Revelation tells us: the elders fell down and worshiped. Knowing what we have this minute, knowing what we will receive, knowing the power of our baptism and our sealing with the Holy Spirit, we would be out those doors proclaiming like the first apostles: “We must obey God rather than men.” Jesus was killed and is raised. Jesus is exalted. Jesus offers you opportunity for repentance and forgiveness. I am His witness. We are His witnesses, here in Schenectady, and Scotia, and Glenville, Rotterdam, across New York, and everywhere we go. We would be constantly in awe. But we are afraid.

Peter was afraid, naked in his betrayal – until the unexpected. Jesus was there telling Him as He tells us: Let go. Be unafraid. Follow me. Feed and tend. Expect the amazing.

Getting done
what had to be done.

For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

What a weird thing to say. John, in writing this gospel, is recalling that moment at the tomb. As he is recalling, he interprets the scriptures to say that Jesus had to rise from the dead. A weird thing to say because this writing and interpretation of scripture is directive to God. It is telling God what He must do.

Would we ever presume to tell God what He must do? Oh, by the way God, You have to do this. Yet this is what we read about Jesus today. Jesus had to rise from the dead.

On the morning of the resurrection John, and Peter by inference, did not yet understand. Later they would all realize that Jesus had to do this. Jesus had to get done what He had to get done.

Jesus mission to us is an eternal arc. This narrative, this historical account, begins from eternity and goes to eternity. His work is completely directed to and for us.

Easter, the Solemnity of the Resurrection, all the joy and celebration we feel today, is about this. It is about celebrating what God wiled Himself, required Himself, to do for us.

God’s work is never incomplete, it is never pointless. Each aspect of His work has purpose and effect. Every moment of Jesus life was about and for you and me, each of us, no one excluded.

Is there any point where Jesus’ arc was just good enough? Should He have just sent word through the prophets and left good enough alone? Should He have stopped at the stable in Bethlehem, giving us only a glimpse of what might be possible? Perhaps after His preaching and miracles? After all, we would have had wise words to live by, a nice example to follow. Should He have stopped at the cross, gotten down to show His power? Could we say enough, all right, at His death and burial. Should that have been it? No! We, by Jesus’ eternal arc, have the fulness of God’s life in us. We have the examples of the prophets. We have Jesus’ incarnation and coming for us. We have His life – God among us showing us how to live God’s life. We have freedom from all sin and freedom from eternal death by the cross. Life forever in the resurrection because Jesus did what He hadto do.

What’s
next.

Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.

This week and next bring to an end the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. With these weeks we begin our expectation of the end times and Jesus’ return as our Lord and King. Today’s questions from the Sadducees get to the question of what happens after death and the essential truths of God’s kingdom.

The Roman historian of Jewish matters, Josephus, identified the Sadducees as being upper crust socially and economically. They had a great deal of political, social, and religious power. They believed that the soul was not immortal; that there was no afterlife, and that there were no rewards or penalties after death. They specifically rejected the resurrection of the dead.

It is ironic; the upper one percent denied any idea of hope or reward in the life to come. It sounds like something we might hear in this day and age. If you were the working poor, if you had nothing, you would receive nothing regardless of how faithful you might have been. Again, there is a distinct parallel to our present age. The rich Sadducees had no worries. They saw life as something they could enjoy to the fullest while the rest of the world suffered in despair.

Jesus came to set aside all such notions. He did not just attempt to set them aside. He destroyed this lack of hope with the authority and power of God.

If, like the Sadducees, our concern is about our power in this life and projecting that power into eternal life we fail to understand the purpose of the Kingdom of heaven. We fail to see essential hope that exists in God’s kingdom.

God’s kingdom is defined by life, not death. It transcends our senses and time. God’s kingdom – to which we are made heirs through Jesus – ends the base and immoral systems of domination and control that mar this life. God’s kingdom offers true rewards based on faith as well as our spiritual growth, loyalty of God’s way, and righteous living. God’s kingdom is limitless and eternal – our awaited home.

Hope does not regard today’s riches or defeats, power of lack thereof. As God’s children His rewards await us and we will enjoy them eternally. There will be many poor and lonely who will rule in God’s kingdom. The lordly and mighty men and women who ruled over institutions and nations and who, if they are lucky enough to even enter into the Kingdom of God, may get an apartment. This is what is next.

Join us for Holy Week and Easter in Schenectady

holy-week-easter-700

Please come and join us during Holy Week and Easter. Jesus looks forward to our company during Holy Week as we commemorate His passion and death for us. Having stood by Him through these trials we hold unto the promise that we will rise again with Him.

The schedule below notes all services for Passiontide, Holy Week, and Easter. Please remember that Holy Week is a week of fasting.

  • 4/13 – Palm Sunday: Blessing and Distribution of Palms. Service of Worship and Holy Communion, 9:30am
  • 4/15 – Holy Tuesday: Clergy Conference and Holy Mass of Chrism, St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Cathedral, Scranton
  • 4/17 – Maundy Thursday: Holy Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, 7pm
  • 4/18 – Good Friday: Good Friday Cross-walk at 10am. Church opens at noon for private devotions. Services at 1pm (Stations), 2pm (Lamentations), and 3pm (Opening of the Tomb), Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified at 7pm
  • 4/19 – Holy Saturday: Holy Saturday Liturgies – Blessing of new fire, holy water, renewal of baptismal promises, blessing of Easter baskets and food, 4pm
  • 4/20 – Solemnity of the Resurrection (Easter): Procession and Solemn High Holy Mass, 8am, Service at 10:30 Free Lunch on Sunday/Easter Breakfast 10:30am

Easter Wishes

My dearest family in Christ,

On behalf of my family, I extend to you every blessing for this Easter and throughout the Easter season. May the resurrected Christ continue to reign in your heart and in your life as you follow Him and adhere to a faith both ancient and new.

We have a wonderful Lord and Master, a Savior who understands our needs. He is filled with love for us. In turn we, His people, reflect His love in all we do. It is a great blessing to have been called into the Lord’s service. He called me into His field, to do His work. I have been so greatly blessed because the portion of His field, here in Schenectady, is filled with people who so desire to work within His body, the Holy Church, in fellowship, as the family of faith doing good for each other and for all we encounter. You have blessed me greatly and I love you with all the joy of the resurrected Christ.

Życzenia radosnych Świąt Wielkanocnych pełnych wiary, nadziei i miłości, wypełnionych nadzieją budzącej się wiosny. Pogody w sercu i radości płynacej z faktu Zmartwychwstania Pańskiego, oraz smacznego świeconego w gronie najbliższych szczerze przesyla.

Deacon Jim, Renee, Stephanie, Adam, and Victoria

Passiontide, Holy Week, and Easter in Schenectady

The schedule below notes all services for Passiontide, Holy Week, and Easter at Holy Name of Jesus in Schenectady. Please also remember that Holy Week is a week of fasting.

  • Sunday, March 17th – Passion Sunday: Lenten Penitential Service, Holy Mass, Anointing of the Sick, 11am
  • Friday, March 22nd – Stations of the Cross, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, March 24th – Palm Sunday: Blessing and Distribution of Palms. Service of Worship and Holy Communion, 9:30am
  • Tuesday, March 26th – Holy Tuesday: Clergy Conference and Holy Mass of Chrism, St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Cathedral, Scranton
  • Thursday, March 28th – Maundy Thursday: Holy Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, 7pm
  • Friday, March 29th – Good Friday: Church opens at noon, Stations of the Cross at 1pm, Bitter Lamentations/Gorzkie Żale at 2pm, Opening of the Tomb at 3pm, Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified at 7pm.
  • Saturday, March 30th – Holy Saturday: Holy Saturday Liturgies – Blessing of new fire, holy water, baptism of Karina Leigh Weglinski, renewal of baptismal promises, blessing of food, 4pm
  • Sunday, March 31st – Solemnity of the Resurrection: Procession and Solemn High Holy Mass, 8am, Service of Worship and Holy Communion at 10:30am, Soup on Sunday and Easter Breakfast 10:30am

Our hearts and doors are open to all who wish to walk with Jesus through His trial, suffering, death, and burial so as to share in His resurrection.

Holy Week and Easter in Schenectady

A Friend needs you!

Someone’s in trouble and He needs you!

Imagine if a family member were to call and say, “I’m going through something, could you visit with me? It would really help. Please.” That’s exactly what happens during Holy Week. Jesus is facing the toughest week of His ministry on earth. He’s put it all out there, has told it like it is, and He’s being hunted down.

From the heights of adulation on Palm Sunday, to His last meal on Maundy Thursday, His agonizing death and burial on Good Friday, and His time in the tomb, He needs you to sit with Him, to reassure Him of your love and support. Most of His apostles have run off, the crowds are gone. You are the only family He has left. Our Lenten theme has centered on family. Jesus created us as Church, not to be an organization, but to be real family to Him and each other. We all need to step up in His time of need, so please come. He needs you this week.

Then, on Easter Sunday, come back. He wants you to celebrate with Him. Find the stone rolled away, the tomb empty, and your heart filled. Don’t just look for an Easter church… Find the gift of salvation, love, community, family, the Word of God, and freedom with your Christian family at Holy Name of Jesus!

Holy Week and Easter service schedule

Sunday, April 1st: Palm Sunday

  • Blessing and Distribution of Palms, Worship Service, 9:30am.

Thursday, April 5th: Maundy Thursday

  • Reception of Holy Oils and Chrism, Holy Mass, Procession and Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Stripping of the Altars, 7pm.
  • Private Devotion, 8:30 – 9pm.

Friday, April 6th: Good Friday

  • Church opens for private devotion, Noon.
  • Stations of the Cross, 1pm.
  • Bitter Lamentations, 2pm.
  • Opening of the Tomb, 3pm.
  • Liturgy of the Presanctified, 7pm.

Saturday, April 7th: Holy Saturday

  • Blessing of fire, holy water, renewal of baptismal promises, reading of the Exhortations, blessing of Easter foods/baskets, 4pm.

Sunday, April 8th: Solemnity of the Resurrection/Easter Sunday

  • Finding of the empty tomb, Resurrection procession, Holy Mass, 9:30am.
  • Easter Gathering/Święconka, 11am.

On behalf of Fr. Adam, the Parish Committee and with the deepest confidence in your love and support as members of the Christian family, I invite you to join us as we walk with and support our Lord through Holy Week and celebrate with Him at His resurrection.

— Deacon Jim

Of holy memory

Our Lord has saw fit to call two of our sisters home to Himself. Please offer your prayers for the repose of the souls of ś.p. Marlyn Martiniano and ś.p. Mary Ruchalski as well as for their loved ones.

Eternal rest grant onto them O Lord, and may the perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Holy Week at Holy Name Parish

Holy Tuesday

At 10am, the Clergy Conference of the Central Diocese will meet for its spring meeting. Following the close of the meeting, our diocesan ordinary and all the diocesan clergy will celebrate the Holy Mass of Chrism at St. Stainslaus Bishop & Martyr Cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The holy oils that are used throughout the year in our parish are blessed and consecrated by the bishop during this liturgy.

Holy Wednesday

– Fast and Abstinence

Maundy Thursday

– Fast and Abstinence

At 7 pm, Institution of the Eucharist celebrated with Holy Mass, Communion, and the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Repository, and the stripping of the Main Altar. The Church will remain open following Mass for meditation.

O 1900 wiecz. Msza święta, Komunia; Procesja z Naj. Sakramentem do bocznego ołtarza Ciemnicy i obnażenie głownego ołtarza. Kościól będzie otwarty aby Iudzie mogli modlić i Adorować.

Traditionally, historically and liturgically, this night begins the Paschal Triduum (three days). It was on this night that our Lord Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist, which we all share whenever we come to Mass. Following the Mass on this night, the Blessed Sacrament will be taken to a place of Repose until Easter Sunday. The faithful should consider the liturgies of the next two days as a continuation of this night’s, hence, the Triduum.

This is an important liturgy for all of us who revere and worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for it was on this night that Jesus gave us the Sacrament of the Altar, of which some are preparing to receive for the first time. Students should endeavor to attend all of the Holy Week services.

Good Friday

– Fast and Abstinence

Noon – The Parish Church will be opened.
1 pm – Stations of the Cross
2 pm – Bitter Lamentations, parts 1-3
3 pm – Opening of the Grave
7 pm – Mass of the Pre-Sanctified

1200 po pod., Kościól będzie otwierać.
1300 po pod., Droga Krzyżowa
1400 po pod., Gorzkie Żale, czesci 1-3
1500 po pod., Otwarcie grobu Pańskiego;
1900 we wiecz., Obrządek Piatkowej Mszy i Adorować Krzyża;

STRICT FAST – ONLY ONE FULL MEAL IS EATEN!
TYLKO JEDEN PELNY POSIŁEK MOŻNA SPOŻYĆ!

The second day of the Triduum, the day our Lord died, begins with the time our Lord was nailed to the cross, re-tells the story, and ends with the symbolic opening of the tomb. The “pre-sanctified” liturgy is so described for no consecrations of bread and wine can take place on this day. A host consecrated the night before is used at this liturgy. The third will be placed in the Monstrance and carried in procession Easter Sunday morning. The evening service will be recited, and contains an ancient Lenten devotion, once more re-telling the events of the day.

Holy Saturday

– Fast and Abstinence

4 pm, Liturgy of Holy Saturday. Blessing of New Fire, also Paschal Candle and Baptismal Water. Easter foods will be blessed concluding the liturgy; and in homes by appointment.

1600 po pod, Liturgia Wielkiej Soboty; poświecenie ognia, świecy Paschalnej, wody chrzcielnej z świeconej.
Święcenie pokarmów Wielkanocnych będzie w kościele; aby ksiądz przybył do domu, to prosze zatelefonować do domu księdza.

The third and last day of the Paschal Triduum contains many historic blessings. The Church, at one time during each year, blesses all of the items she uses during the year; hence, the fire, baptismal water, holy water, and the Paschal Candle are all prepared during this liturgy. The traditional blessing of Easter food will be offered to any and all who desire. The traditional foods for the Eastern Europeans are meats, eggs, bread, and any other foods that will be eaten on the day of Resurrection. However, whatever foods any of our families will be sharing on Easter day can also be blessed for our use in this special ceremony. Please try to keep the tradition handed to us, or begin an old new family tradition in your homes this Eastertide. You may bring your basket to church on Holy Saturday or please call Father Stan to make a visit to your home for this blessing. The Parish Church will be dressed for the Easter holyday following the close of this liturgy.

Resurrection Sunday/Niedziela Wielkanoc

8 am – Resurrection Procession and Resurrection Mass of Easter Day.
0800 w rano, uroczysta Suma Wielkanocna.

10:30 am – Solemn Mass of Easter Day
1030 w rano – Msza Niedziela Wielkanocna

(Following each liturgy, there shall be a festive repast. Please plan to join the celebration!!!)

Two Mass times are offered this Easter. The 8am will have the Resurrection Procession and Mass of Resurrection celebrated. The 10:30am Mass will be a solemn celebration for Easter Sunday. Please make sure you attend and celebrate the Lord’s victory together with your family.