The Pastor, Rev. James A. Konicki, and Congregation of Holy Name of Jesus, with Bishop Rev. Dr. Judy Murphy-Jack of Friends of Friends Universal Community Mission Church/Institute invite you to attend the Universal Praise in Classical Spiritual and Gospel Music, Skits, Liturgical Dancing and Poetry to be held at Holy Name Of Jesus, 1040 Pearl Street, Schenectady on Saturday, May 19th from 2pm to 5pm. Refreshments will be served. Please come to this worthy event and share with us this experience. All is welcome to support the program.

Turn up the

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

When I was young, it seemed everyone had a big old console stereo system. You may remember these, a really big and long wooden piece of furniture with built-in stereo speakers and all kinds of electronic equipment.

These systems had various doors and hinges that opened sections of the system. They typically had a built-in record player under a hinged top. The front doors would open to access the radio and volume controls. interestingly, these furnishings are making a comeback.

These systems were very elegant, and for me, a great temptation! (especially at home, but not only).

I would sit on the floor before this impressive set of electronics and dream of all sorts of adventures. I could control a spaceship, launch missiles and destroy the Russians, wherever the mind could take me, I could go.

The one thing my fiddling around always seemed to accomplish was the shock and surprise my parents and their guests would get when they turned the system on. Boom! the radio was turned all the way up, and people jumped. So would I when I heard my name called…

For these days, where we particularly reflect on the mystery of the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are called to do what I did with those stereo systems; turn up the volume.

This solemnity offers a unique opportunity to turn up the volume of our praise and worship, to acknowledge a love so great that its giver desired to stay with us forever. During this eight day period, we focus on celebrating and proclaiming more than a mere symbol or a nice memory – who would waste time doing that! We turn up the volume on the truth – the great giver of all love is with us here, now, and forever.

The great giver of love, Jesus Christ, is really present – body, blood, soul, and divinity in what appear to be simple bread and wine. He is in our hands. Sadly, only 40 to 91 percent of catholic churchgoers recognize Jesus. It should never be less than 100%. So, we need to turn up the volume. We need to sing out and proclaim His praises, revel in His presence. Let the world know.

Love isn’t something far off. Our great God allows us to eat His flesh and drink His blood and because of it we have eternal life. This simple fact must fill us, envelop us with such joy that we cannot help but turn up the dial on our praise. We need to live praise filled lives, overwhelmed by the fact that He is so close by, ready for a visit. Call the world to Him by loud thankful praise.

Reflection for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time and Heritage Sunday


What is it we

Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

Today our Holy Church calls us to recall and honor the heritage of our members and of all people. It is a celebration of who we are as people — the gifts God has given us. More importantly, the Church calls us to properly order what is most important in our lives.

Whether our ancestors came to this country as immigrants, as indentured servants or involuntarily as slaves – we are called to honor their heritage and innate human dignity. We are to remember the struggles they faced and the battles they fought to grasp the freedom, honor, and dignity they and we are all entitled to. Where we come from is important because it is a part of who we are. Each culture and heritage enriches our common life and we share in each other’s heritage as members of God’s family.

The early Church recognized the gifts the faithful brought to the Church. Most importantly, it recognized that in Jesus Christ we all have equal membership in the one family of faith regardless of background. Heritage is a gift to be shared in the one family of faith. Thus, St. Paul reminded the Church at Galatia: There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

While we honor each person’s heritage, we must remember that in Jesus we are equal members in His family and that we are called to properly order what we worship.

What does that mean? It means that while we honor heritage and the gifts of each nation we must not make heritage or nation an object of worship.

Jesus is reminding the Pharisees of this proper ordering. Our first and foremost obligation is to give to God what is God’s. When we let anything interfere with the proper ordering of our relationship with Him – politics, national affinity, or heritage – when we quibble over this or that being most important, we lose touch with that which must come first in our lives.

Jesus’ response to His questioners offers us a guide to properly ordering our worship. The Roman coin – Caesar’s – referred to him as a god. Jesus reminded them (and us) that we cannot give worship to both God and Caesar. We have to choose our focus of worship and properly order our priorities. We should chose only God as the sole focus of our devotion and worship. By placing Him first we clearly proclaim that He alone is our God.

Why we stand

Over the Easter season, our tradition calls for the congregation to stand during the Eucharistic prayer. A few of our parishioners had asked the question “why?” Let me try to answer:

We are not to be gloomy in Church; yet we are to be reverent. Our manner in Church and our attitude should reflect our respect and love for almighty God! Very briefly, the origin of this custom dates from the earliest centuries of the Church, and is believed to have existed in apostolic times. St Justin, who was martyred in the second century, commented about this custom: “When we kneel, we signify thereby that we have fallen to earth by our sins, and, therefore, during Easter / Paschal time, we stand in order to show that by the Resurrection of Christ and by penance we have risen from our unfortunate fall, and that being awakened from the death of the soul we must persevere in good resolutions.” Therefore by standing during Eastertide, we conform to the practice of the Fathers of the Church as early as the second century. At the beginning of the fourth century this practice became a general law for the whole Church. The first Ecumenical Council (Nicea 325) although it was primarily a dogmatic council, did, nevertheless, pass legislation on this matter. The 12th Canon of the Council (which is the only Canon relating to worship) mandates that on every Sunday between Easter and Pentecost, worship and prayer shall be performed standing!

Remember, also, that the rubrical postures for the congregation during a Eucharistic procession are as they are during the Easter morning procession (such as they shall be for every Eucharistic Procession). The congregation stands in reverence of the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and genuflects as the Presence passes close to the participant.

Standing has, and always will be, the most reverential posture for the believer.

A caveat shall always be, however, that God certainly understands if the worshipper is physically unable to comply with the rubrical directive. A heart that stands in reverence is truly what God desires.