On the Journey

Weekly messages from Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time

06-25-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Each year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us the importance of defending our religious freedom. From June 21st to July 4th Catholics are called to take part in the Fortnight for Freedom. Resources on How to Talk About Religious Freedom are available online at www.usccb.org where you can also find ways to get involved.

The U.S. Bishops encourage all citizens to keep in mind that "if religious liberty is not respected, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that the Church and other people of faith make every day, both here at home and overseas".

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The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

06-18-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today, we celebrate The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This is the second solemnity that marks our return to Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. As we listen to this Sunday's scriptures, we are reminded of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

"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 the flesh for the life of the world"... "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" - John 6:51-55

The risen Christ is present to his Church in many ways, but most importantly through the Holy Eucharist.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis Lewandowski

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

06-11-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today we celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons. This week we have also returned to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. However, this Sunday and the next, are solemnity Sundays --special days that call our attention central mysteries of our Catholic faith.

Today's Gospel calls our attention to the actions of God revealed in three persons: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to save us through his death and resurrection. In turn, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith in God and so that his love for us would also be strengthened.

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Pentecost Sunday

06-04-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, one of the Church’s greatest feast. This was the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon Mary and the disciples, as Jesus had promised them. The apostles were all still together in the same upstairs room they had retreated to after the Ascension of the Lord.

Pentecost marks the culmination of the difficult days gone before the triumph of life over death with Jesus’s resurrection, and of the transition of the disciples from people of uncertainty and fear to people of commitment and action. Listen carefully to the readings and the Gospel as these give an account of what took place on this day.

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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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