On the Journey

Weekly messages from Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The Ascension of the Lord

05-28-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into heaven, after his Crucifixion and Resurrection and after the many times he appeared to the disciples. This is the day Jesus leaves the disciples behind. One can feel the uncertainty of the disciples, they still did not understand what it all meant for them, they were struggling with what they should do next.

Today we are reminded that it is was not about the disciples' lives and their world. Jesus explained to them that what they had lived through with him, his life, death and resurrection was far greater than what they could understand. It was never just about the kingdom of Israel; it was and still is about all nations.

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

05-21-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today’s readings call for reflection on the basics of our faith: the revelation of God’s love made present in Jesus, and the Word made flesh. With Christ as our model, we are reminded to face sufferings with hope and always to be prepared to explain our hope. “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to provide an explanation to anyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” -1 Peter 3:15

Many people find it difficult to talk about hope with those who might have different beliefs or those who they simply do not know. So today, I wish to share a few excerpts from a message Pope Francis shared with people of all faiths during a TED Conference, in April 2017. The name of the conference was “The Future is You, ” and the Holy Father’s message was: Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone.

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

05-14-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today’s Gospel talks about the apostles’ reaction when Jesus told them that he would be going away for a while. Though they had been following Jesus, listening to his teachings and seeing his works for three years, they did not understand why he was leaving or where he was going.

As we listen to the apostle’s dialog with Jesus, notice the fear and confusion in their questions. Through history people have been fearful of uncertainty, and confused by occurrences they do not understand. Fear and confusion are something most of us experience in life, especially when faced with unexpected situations. As Christians, we ask God for help and pray to him in Jesus’ name.

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

05-07-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Congratulations to all the children who recently celebrated their First Eucharist. We pray for ourfirst communicants as they begin their journey of Christian life. May they know that they can trustin Jesus to guide them on their journey and answer their prayers.

Third Sunday of Easter

04-30-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

One can only imagine the uncertainty, fear, remorse, and perhaps guilt, the disciples must have felt after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Think about it, and try to relate to the two disciples traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Place yourselves in their shoes.

They were walking along, immersed in conversation trying to understand all that had happened in the last three days, and along comes a stranger who apparently had no idea of the recent events. So, they eagerly shared their story with the stranger.

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Second Sunday of Easter

04-23-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Jesus is alive! Jesus conquered sin and death and reopened the gates of heaven. His victory and our rebirth in baptism make it possible for us to share in everlasting life. Now we begin the Easter Season: the fifty days that follow from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. We celebrate this season as one feast day, sometimes called "the great Sunday".

Today's first reading sets the tone for the season. As we listen to the teachings of the apostles, we are reminded that even though we have not seen Christ, we believe and rejoice. During this season we are called to come together, each week, as a community to give thanks to God, to break bread, and to strengthen our faith. Let us pray for one another and open our hearts to this season of joy.

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Palm Sunday

04-09-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today's readings offer a wide view of what we will contemplate during Holy Week: the Eucharist, the passion and death of the Lord, and the prediction of His Resurrection. When you listen to the readings take notice of the many words and expressions that have become part of the Sunday liturgy. Most importantly, listen to how each event of the Passion of Christ reveals what the prophets and Christ himself had announced.

I hope the posters and props placed around the parish during the past five weeks, served to motivate you to experience your Lenten journey as an exciting trip to celebrate the grace of forgiveness, and the joy of the Resurrection.

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

04-02-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today is the Sunday of the Third Scrutiny for those in our community who are preparing to enter the Catholic faith. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program (RCIA), designates three Scrutiny Rites as a major component of the Lenten journey for the catechumen (the elect) and candidates.

What are the scrutinies?

The scrutinies are described as an opportunity to examine (scrutinize) how we are tempted, how we fail in what we do and in what we fail to do (sin), and to strengthen all that is strong and good in us. The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong and good. "These rites are celebrated to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life" (Scrutinies #141)

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

03-26-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Spring is here and soon the trees will recover their leaves and flowers will bloom. Many people say spring is the happiest time of the year. Perhaps this feeling has something to do with spending more time outdoors, admiring God's creation. Though there is surely a common desire for happiness in the hearts of men and women of all ages, there are people who seem to avoid happiness because they feel it is too hard or impossible to achieve.

"God has placed in the heart of every man and woman an irrepressible desire for happiness, for fulfillment".

Pope Francis
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Third Sunday of Lent

03-19-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Last Monday, March 13th, Pope Francis celebrated his 4th anniversary as Bishop of Rome and leader of the Global Catholic Church. The Holy Father's first four years have been driven by mercy, service and humility. Reading about the pope in the media one confirms that his message and actions have clearly captured the world's attention. An important theme during the first four years of his papacy has been "forgiveness".

I want to share some experts taken from an article published by Loyola Press: Pope Francis on the Parable of the Merciful Father. This reflection speaks to the people who might feel their sins are too great to ask God for forgiveness.

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Second Sunday of Lent

03-12-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

As we come to the second Sunday of the Lenten season, I hope you have noticed the direction signs, travel posters and the suitcases that we have placed around our parish building and worship space. The intention of placing these objects is to evoke some reflection and inspire people to approach their Lenten journey with the same kind of interest and passion they approach a vacation trip.

Most people take the time to plan an upcoming trip whether they are traveling overseas, across the country or just a few hours away from home. We spend time planning our trip and we make sure all things are in order so we can enjoy our trip without any problem.

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First Sunday of Lent

03-05-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Our Catholic Lenten Practices: Prayer – Giving - Sacrifice

Giving up something for Lent, eating fish on Fridays and fasting from meat, almsgiving and penance throughout the forty days of lent —are some of the practices for which Catholics are known. The Catholic Church calls each of us to renew our discipleship in Christ each year during Lent through our commitment to pray, give alms and sacrifice.

Prayer it's important to understand the meaning of prayer in our lives—as individuals, as families, and as a community. Prayer is especially important during the Lenten season, because it is a way of personal reflection, evaluation, and repentance. Lent calls us to a personal conversion and renewal so that we might not just celebrate Easter at the end of the forty days of the season but also feel the risen Christ alive in us and in the world.

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