Reflection for the Solemnity of the Resurrection

20 April 2014 - By

Easter Look Screen

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.”

Scripture goes on to tell us:

Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others… but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them.

The disciples we incredulous at news of Jesus being risen, and much of the world is incredulous to this day.

If we look at Jesus with human reasoning alone we can make a very strong case that all of this is too incredible to believe.

We do not have the benefit of being among the women who entered the empty tomb, who had the advantage of an explanation from dazzling angels. We do not have the benefit of being in the company of Peter and John as they ran to find an empty tomb. We do not have the privilege of walking along the road to Emmaus with Jesus and having Him reveal Himself in the breaking of the bread. Yet we have the eyes of faith.

Here we are, looking at an empty tomb and hearing the words of the resurrection proclaimed and sung. Here we are, having rushed to church this morning to see the empty tomb. Here we are, to share in the breaking of the bread, and to recognize the reality of the Lord among us.

We aren’t incredulous. We are here, this morning for two important reasons. The first is that we have received the gift of faith. The second is that we continue live, see, and respond because of faith that He is truly risen.

We value the gift of faith – faith in a God that loves us enough that He would sacrifice His Son’s life so that we might have eternal life. Faith that this Christ was more than a prophet, more than a wise man, more than good teacher, but God Himself that came among us, died for us, and because of His obedience to the Father was raised again – showing us our glorious destiny.

Many cannot believe it. If they hear, ‘Christ is risen!’ they respond, ‘No way!’ They remain incredulous. Our faith is foolishness to them.

For us, a people living in faith, the ancient greeting of Easter, the greeting we proclaim to each other is Christ is risen! to which we all reply, He is truly risen!

Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Passiontide (Palm Sunday) 2014

13 April 2014 - By

palm-sunday_wide_t_nv

Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed; but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”

The Liturgy of the Palms is one of the most emotional liturgies for many clergy members and the faithful.

While we know that this day marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we also know how the week will progress. It will later be marked by the betrayal of friends, a harsh night before false witnesses and a fixed court, mockery, a cold night in prison, the degradation in the Court of Pilate, crucifixion, death, and burial. These realities stand in stark contrast to this moment of joyous entry.

During the Liturgy of the Palms we hear the loud knock of the cross upon the door of the church. The doors swing wide and we enter as Jesus entered.

The congregation gathers around the church’s center aisle carrying palm branches. The veiled cross goes before us – always before us.

When we reach the center of the church we stop and kneel singing: Let us adore the Savior who rode in royal triumph into Jerusalem.

Then we progress to the front of the church, on the step before the altar, laying the Holy Cross down upon a pillow. We recall Jesus’ words: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed. As those words are sung we scourge the crucifix, a solemn, salient, and very emotional recollection that His triumphal entry leads to the pillar and the cross. This is sung three times. Three times we are brought to that moment in Jesus sufferings where our sin, our abandonment of Him wounded Him so deeply.

We now enter Holy Week and we are called to live very deeply in this moment. We are called to walk with Jesus not just in His moment of triumphal entry, but also through the entirety of His Holy Week journey.

Peter stood up to boldly say (as usual): “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”

We boldly say the same, and often fail as Peter did. Our faith is too often shaken and we, like Peter and the others, fail. We deny Him in big and small ways.

The key question for the week ahead and for the rest of our lives is: Will we persevere in our walk with Jesus daily? This Holy Week let us commit to walking with Him. Let us enter in triumph with Him today. Let us walk with Him to the upper room on Thursday, along the way of the cross on Friday. Let us walk to the tomb and wait there watching. Finally, let us take His hand on Easter Sunday and walk with Him into the promise of everlasting life.

Reflection for the First Sunday of the Passiontide – 2014

5 April 2014 - By

14718

Sometimes I just
cry

When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”

Jesus wept’ at the death of His friend Lazarus. While the most cited passage in scripture of Jesus weeping, it wasn’t the only time He cried. Jesus wept over Jerusalem as He approached the city: “And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it.” Jesus wept in the garden as He prayed before His betrayal: And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zeb’edee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me.” When Jesus was dying on the cross He felt totally abandoned and alone. He cried out to His Father in deepest sadness: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

There are several interpretations concerning Jesus’ weeping.

Jesus’ tears demonstrate that He was indeed a true man, with real bodily functions (tears, sweat, blood). His emotions and reactions were very human. In His humanity Jesus wept for His friend Lazarus.

Jesus tears also demonstrate the sorrow, sympathy, and compassion He felt for all mankind. Jesus’ tears show the rage he felt against the tyranny of death over mankind.

Jesus’ tears at the graveside showed His sympathy and empathy for all who sorrowed over Lazarus’s death. He was one with them in their sorrow.

Jesus may have cried as well at the fact that those around Him, including Martha, Mary, His apostles and disciples, and the Jewish mourners remained blind to the reality of Jesus as the Messiah. He cried in spirit because even those who were closest to him failed to recognize Him as “the resurrection and the life.

We cry for many of the same reasons. We feel hopeless, abandoned, and sorrowful. We feel compassion and empathy for friends, family, co-workers, and others who are sad. We cry in rage over injustice. We feel hurt when we are not recognized. We cry mostly in regret over our failings and sin; the way we fall short of our commitment to the Gospel.

To cry is to pray. When we pray we cry out to God in both our need and our joy. Today we walk through our failings and face our sins with regret and sadness at having hurt God and others. We weep. Jesus sits with us and weeps with us in sympathy. He holds out His hand with the gift of forgiveness – to relieve our sadness so that our tears of regret are transformed to tears of joy at our renewal.

Basket Social in Schenectady This Weekend

2 April 2014 - By

My parish’s ever popular Basket Social will be held this Sunday, April 6th at the VFW Hall at 1309 Fifth Avenue in Schenectady. Doors open at noon. Besides our usual wide array of baskets, there will be door prizes and great Polish food and homemade desserts from our traditional Polish kitchen. Come by and enjoy an afternoon of fun, good food, and plenty of chances to win one or more amazing baskets.

BasketSocial2014

Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Lent 2014

1
29 March 2014 - By

May my sight never falter

“We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from [...]Read More

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent – 2014

23 March 2014 - By

I hope, and will not be disappointed.

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God [...]Read More

Preserving language – beauty and distinctiveness

1
20 March 2014 - By

The nuances in Polish language make it particularly beautiful, poetic, and musical. In addition, it allows for plays in language that are useful in conveying meaning and humor. It has helped Poland and Poles everywhere in standing up to countries and dictators. From the Associated Press via Yahoo News: Poland campaigns to preserve its complex spelling

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish language experts launched a campaign Thursday to preserve the challenging system of its [...]Read More

Grant/Residency Opportunity, Call for Proposals for artists, architects, social activists

20 March 2014 - By

Developing Sustainable Practices within Affordable Housing Communities Living Resources, a program of a California-based nonprofit organization, has teamed up with Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), a unit of the College of the Arts at California State University, Fullerton, in enlisting community-driven “Creatives” (artists, architects, social activists) to respond to a “Call” for proposals. Specifically, the Creatives selected will be awarded a one-year opportunity to engage the residents in one of two affordable housing communities [...]Read More

Fellowships/Grants to Poles for Advanced Study, Research, and/or Teaching

20 March 2014 - By

The Kosciuszko Foundation annually awards a number of Fellowships/Grants to Poles for advanced study, Research, and/or Teaching at universities and other institutions of higher learning in the United States. Please note that Foundation grants do not provide for tuition costs. As such, applicants who are accepted by universities for Ph.D. programs should apply for a Kosciuszko Foundation award only in cases where their tuition has been waived totally or at least substantially. From the [...]Read More

New York Folklore Events

20 March 2014 - By

Society for The Association for the Study of Play (TASP) for their 2014 Annual Conference: "Connecting the Past, Present, and Future" New York Folklore Society to Partner with the Society for The Association for the Study of Play (TASP) for their 2014 Annual Conference: "Connecting the Past, Present, and Future," April 23-26, 2014 at The Strong, Rochester, NY TASP is a multidisciplinary organization that promotes the study of play, support and cooperate with [...]Read More

Categories

Archives

…and the rest

License

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Meta

Bear