This week’s memory verse: Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. — Proverbs 16:3

  • 7/15 – Jeremiah 29:11
  • 7/16 – Habakkuk 2:3
  • 7/17 – Psalm 138:8
  • 7/18 – Isaiah 55:11
  • 7/19 – Romans 8:28
  • 7/20 – 1 Peter 2:8-9
  • 7/21 – Romans 12:2

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, You have called me and destined me to accomplish Your work. Grant me strength and perseverance to accomplish all.

Manifest
destiny.

In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.

Last week we began by focusing on history – the lessons of history which are soon forgotten. If we look at the trajectory of the worldly, they live a ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ lifestyle, never breaking free from the destructive patterns of behavior brought about by sin and selfishness.

Today, we have more historical lessons. The history buffs among us, and those like me who fondly remember their history teachers and professors, recall the term ‘manifest destiny.’

Manifest destiny was a popular term in the early to mid nineteenth century. Its philosophy taught that the expansion of the United States throughout the continent was both justified and inevitable. It focused on three themes: (1) The American people and their institutions contained within themselves special virtues; (2) The mission of the United States was to redeem and remake the continent; and (3) It was our irresistible destiny to accomplish these things.
Seems almost faith based, doesn’t it. In fact it was a kind of faith – a worldly faith.

In our first reading, the priest of Bethel confronted the prophet Amos and tried to drive him away. Amos responded in true faith. Amos replies: I am just a man who followed my herds and gathered the fruit from the sycamores until the Eternal spoke to me, as I was minding my flock. He said: Go and speak My words to the people of Israel!

Amos was given a true manifest destiny. He had God’s virtue to share, it was his mission to remind and remake Israel, and it was his destiny to accomplish this. No priest nor anyone would stop him.

Paul reminds the Church at Ephesus, and us, that they and we have a manifest destiny – a true one in Jesus. We have been granted Jesus virtues, we are chosen to remake the world in God’s image, in accord with His kingdom design, and it is our mission and destiny to not just work at it, but to accomplish it. We should never allow anyone or anything to stop us.

We are reminded that Jesus sends us as He sent the twelve. He gives a true manifest destiny: not political, not earthly, not self-serving or selfish. Let nothing stop us from manifesting God’s destiny each day.

This week’s memory verse: And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” — Mark 16:15

  • 7/8 – Jeremiah 1:7-8
  • 7/9 – Acts 1:8
  • 7/10 – Matthew 5:16
  • 7/11 – Romans 10:17
  • 7/12 – Colossians 4:2-6
  • 7/13 – 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 7/14 – Romans 1:16

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, grant that I may witness to truth before selfishness, to You over all.

We are
among them.

Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

History is amazing study. The more we delve into history, the more we find humanity repeating it over and over.

Since Israel’s freedom from subjugation under the Pharaohs, the people began to lose faith and complain. They complained in various was over forty years of wandering. Joshua and the Judges came, they complained and began to follow gods of stone and wood. Trees and flowers held more fascination for them than the great miracles God was doing in their midst. By Ezekiel’s time, everything was god but God. He was at the end of three centuries of pagan life in the two kingdoms.

Ezekiel sums up the ways people had gone astray. Among these are a covetousness that lusted, longed, yearned, and desired each person’s own selfish ends. It is selfishness in its purest and most extreme form. Israel misread God’s love, grace, and goodness. They thought they could do whatever they wanted without consequence. Israel abused blessings on loan from God – they took the worship and gifts that were to go to Him and placed them at their own purposes. Selfish desire was more important than community, family, children, and life itself.

As we well know, greater responsibility is attached to those who own superior spiritual advantages. Israel ignored what they had, owned, possessed, held right in their hands. They wiped their memory clear of all that God had done and lived ‘for the moment.’ Today was all that mattered to them. As such, their sin demanded a more severe judgment.

Jesus faced a similar resistance in His hometown. People focused on what they thought were being said, and who was saying it (their perspective) instead of what was actually being said and what it represented. Their selfish ends were once again in front. They misread God’s love in their midst. They did not consider consequences.

Ezekiel and Jesus confronted hard hearts that would not move and selfishness. Those traits in our world today are a thousand times greater than former times. So now, today, we must stand forth. They must know that we are among them by the truth we tell.

This week’s memory verse: I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:14

  • 7/1 – Revelation 3:11
  • 7/2 – Revelation 3:21
  • 7/3 – 2 Timothy 4:7-8
  • 7/4 – 1 Timothy 6:12
  • 7/5 – Colossians 2:18
  • 7/6 – Philippians 3:12
  • 7/7 – Romans 10:9

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, I praise and thank You for counting me a winner. Help me to put aside and reject all that pulls me to lose.

We can’t
lose.

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

Isn’t losing, missing the mark, coming up short, or being a moment too late frustrating?

If we have ever experienced anything like that we know just a bit of what Jairus, the synagogue official, must have felt as he rushed through the crowds with Jesus on the way home. His daughter lay dying. They were trying to run, but the crowds prevented them. The woman stopped Jesus, and they were distracted for those precious few moments. Jairus certainly was worried: I’m going to be too late, I can’t save her, and I’m going to lose.

With all this on his heart and mind, suddenly Jairus’ servants confronted them. They were blunt: “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” He should quit.

That is the essence of the Christian life, isn’t it? We are running toward our heavenly goal. We do all the things necessary to get there. We go to Jesus. We attend church, receive the sacraments, pray, and read scripture, but still feel from time-to-time like we are not going to make it. We often feel pressed upon, like how Jesus, His disciples, and Jairus felt as the crowds surrounded and pressed in on them. The world and its allures distract us and pull us away from our mission. They delay us, and ultimately try to make us feel like we are going to lose. We should just quit now.

What pulls us away – the typical excuses – I’m tired, I can’t make it, I don’t have time or energy, I’d rather do this, that, or the other thing. Jesus has me covered – I don’t need to do too much.

For people called to win, to be victors in Christ, we cannot take for granted or blow-off the effort we need to put out. We should be listening very carefully to the rest of today’s lesson. Wisdom tells us: But by the envy of the devil, death (losing) entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience losing.

We don’t belong to losing we belong to Jesus. Jesus told Jairus and those with Him to keep moving forward to win. “Do not be afraid; just have faith” Push back, stay on course, press on with Jesus and we can’t lose.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

The world is in our face, and the struggles of many are on our conscience. In this constant onslaught, we are called by many voices into judgment on matters of human dignity. Many voices call us to make judgments – and in many respects to value one thing over and against another, one person over another, one policy over another. Because this is the perpetual situation in the world, the words of Jesus must be first and foremost in our minds and hearts. His teaching and way must be our guide. I have heard many of these voices: A man shouting in a store: “No one cares about kids killing each other in Chicago, why should we care about these kids.” Posts on Facebook that call out all the ways children suffer in our nation – those killed in the womb, those separated from parents by imprisonment or divorce, and other factors. The writer implies that our concerns for ‘each’ child is not good enough. In all of these the speaker or writer is calling us to chose, to judge. What many seem to miss is our call as Christians to respect the dignity of each and every human being. No sin, no misstep in God’s eyes, decreases a person’s dignity. No color, background, ethnic identity, financial standing, orientation, national origin, or self-identity makes a human being less in God’s eyes. Nothing ever must lessen the respect and honor we owe to all. True, Jesus calls all to reformation, to change and reconciliation. He often said: Go, and sin no more. People responded and did exactly that – they were changed. What we must remember is that Jesus never allowed the sin of anyone to bar the door. He called all to change because all have equal dignity in His eyes. Our call is to live our aspirations – to be the absolute best by living in full accord with God’s call. Let us never aspire to exclude, but to include. Let us aspire to open hearts and open doors, to reform and love as Jesus says we must. To respect and protect the dignity of each person.

Our July/August newsletter offers congratulations on several very special events in our parish, highlights our great summer activities, celebrates our Country’s independence, remembers our dearly departed brother śp. Richard, and gets to preparations for Back to Church Sunday – September 16th. The newsletter offers tips and advice for homebound faithful so they can stay sacramentally involved and connected. Let us know if we can help.

We also sadly reflect on the decline of the Roman Catholic Church in Schenectady and the challenges facing that Church. The National Catholic Church program is the best and strongest response and protection for its members. Parish property, finances, and the future of each parish are fully in the hands of its members, not distant bishops and ‘popes.’ We are thankful for that legacy. If you know someone who seeks the fulness of Catholic life and all the sacraments each Sunday, invite them to Holy Name. If you are looking for a place to express the Catholic faith as believed and celebrated by the undivided Church of the first millennium, join us here in Mont Pleasant. You Belong Here!


Check out all this and more in our July/August 2018 Newsletter.

This week’s memory verse: For You have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat — Isaiah 25:4

  • 6/24 – Psalm 34:19
  • 6/25 – 2 Chronicles 15:7
  • 6/26 – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
  • 6/27 – 1 Peter 5:10
  • 6/28 – Philippians 4:12-13
  • 6/29 – 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • 6/30 – James 1:2-4

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, grant that I may see Your hand over me, bringing me to victory in every storm.

The storm has
no power.

A violent windstorm came up. The waves were breaking into the boat so that it was quickly filling up. But he was sleeping on a cushion in the back of the boat. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?” Then he got up, ordered the wind to stop, and said to the sea, “Be still, absolutely still!” The wind stopped blowing, and the sea became very calm.

What glory we have in the Lord, what marvelous love and power reign over us. Storms never win.

Today we celebrate two very special occasions. Our young brother Traviss is receiving his First Holy Communion. Our brother and sister, Larry and Donna, are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage. The Lord is His infinite goodness and wisdom has given us supporting scriptures and a Gospel reading that so speaks to these two events.

These events mark the way God lives with us. They witness to what God will do for Traviss – going forward, had done and will do for Larry and Donna – past and future, and is doing for us each moment of our lives. The power of God is displayed here today. His power protects us as it did Job in his struggles; as it did on the night of the storm. Storms never win. Jesus’ faithful people, living in Him, do.

Traviss – you will face challenges and will have drama in your life. We all have – and you know what? We win, because of our faith in Jesus, because of His awesome power and love for us. Remain faithful, just like Job did in the middle of all his troubles. As you start in your deeper relationship with Jesus, as you become more and more like Him, stand and be brave, because Jesus has you. That’s what God said to Job – you don’t get it man. I created everything and have total power. Don’t be afraid or question, just trust. The storm won’t win.

Larry and Donna – you’ve stood strong against the storm in your love for each other and your trust in the Lord. Fifty years ago you invited Jesus to stand at your side. You learned from Jesus’ question to His disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?” You said – Jesus won’t be asking that of us. You are proof that with God love wins. The storm never wins.

Jesus chilled out in the boat because He knew the storm wouldn’t win. We have examples before us of the glory and victory that is ours. Each of us, no matter the storm, is in God’s loving care. Standing faithful – joined to Jesus the storm never wins.

Attention students home from college or on summer break from high school students – Jobs Available.

Park Attendants – There are eight (8) openings for seasonal Park Attendants in the City of Schenectady. The hourly salary is $10.70. Click here for an application and full details.

Applicants must become City of Schenectady residents and maintain residency throughout employment. All interested parties should submit completed City of Schenectady Applications or resumes to:

Tiffany White
Personnel & Benefits Administrator
City Hall, Room 105
Schenectady NY 12305

Resumes can also be E-mailed

Completed applications/resumes need to be received in the Personnel & Benefits Administrator’s Office (City Hall, Room 105) by 4 PM on July 5, 2018.