Pentecost Sunday–May 29, 1977–CNR
The whole movement of the liturgical year reaches its climax in the feast of Pentecost that we are celebrating today. Christmas we celebrate not as an end in itself, but as the beginning of God’s self-revelation and self-gift. The dimensions of that revelation are unfolded in the days of the year as we hear of the words and deeds of Jesus in which God again and again speaks to us and touches our hearts and bodies and communities and lifts them up healed. The word and deed of God combine in the death and resurrection of Christ, when a man’s self-gift in death is God’s own demonstration of his love and when God’s gift of life overpowers for us all that last great enemy, death itself. And all of this great good story is completed when the Spirit who had driven Jesus to his ministry and raised up his crucified body becomes the gift we–Christ’s brothers and sisters–now share with him. It is the moment for which Jesus lived and died and was raised, and it is the moment in which we ourselves are given a foretaste of the life for which God called us into being and blessed us with his own Son.
It is not easy to speak about this Holy Spirit of our God. (more…)
From October 1943 to September 1945, my father, Joseph B. Komonchak, edited a monthly newsletter for members of the West Nyack Fire Department and other citizens of the hamlet who were serving in the military to keep them informed about doings in the Fire Department and elsewhere in Nanuet and indeed in Rockland County, N.Y. In addition to sending such news out to the men and women in the service, my father also included letters received back from them. The issues of the newsletter , the “West Nyack Fire Siren,” provide a series of snapshots of local history during the Second World War and may be one of the few places where letters from the front can be found. I have copied and scanned the issues, which may be consulted below. (more…)
During the last year of the Korean War (1953-1954), my father, Joseph B. Komonchak, edited a newsletter for members of the Nanuet Fire Department and other citizens of the hamlet who were serving in the military to keep them informed about doings in the Fire Department and elsewhere in Nanuet and indeed in Rockland County, N.Y. I have copied and scanned the issues of the newsletter, which provide a series of snapshots of local history in the early 1950′s. Most of them are easily legible, but some issues were mimeographed on colored paper and are more difficult to read. (more…)
Seventh Sunday in Eastertide – May 16, 2010 – St. John’s, Goshen
The seventeenth chapter of St. John’s Gospel is entirely devoted to what is called the “high-priestly prayer of Christ.” Although presented as the great prayer that Jesus prayed at the Last Supper, it reads just as much as the prayer that he, the great priest of the heavenly liturgy, continues to pray for his disciples, that is, for us and for all others who gather in his name. It is a fitting reading for this Sunday which falls between Christ’s departure from this earth in his Ascension and the climax of the Easter Season in next Sunday’s Pentecost liturgy when he sends his Spirit to empower and inspire the disciples for their mission in the world.
The excerpt from this prayer that we have heard should be of immense comfort to us, and of challenge as well. (more…)
SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – MAY 24, 1998 – BLESSED SACRAMENT
The Fourth Gospel ends its account of the ministry of Jesus with a lengthy discourse that covers no fewer than four chapters. It begins with his washing of the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper and ends with the long prayer whose final verses we have heard this morning. Although it is often called his “farewell discourse,” it really is more about his continued presence with his disciples after his death and resurrection, particularly his presence through the Holy Spirit whom he will send to them, in the lovely words of Cardinal Newman, not to supply for his absence but to assure his presence. The Spirit is the living and powerful presence of the truth and grace of Christ.
With the words we have heard this morning, the prayer of Jesus turns to us. (more…)
Fifth Sunday in Eastertide – May 2, 2010 – St. John’s, Goshen
We continue our fifty-day celebration of Easter, the Church’s sustained meditation on the fruits, consequences, implications of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Church arose out of faith that God, who was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, had raised the crucified Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, made him Lord and Messiah, and granted forgiveness of sins in his name. The Church stands in that same faith today. It is why we gather here today, why we listen to the Scriptures that express the impact of that faith on the minds and hearts of the first generations of Christians.
Today’s readings poise us between a beginning and an end. (more…)
Here is an essay which discusses the last stages of the redaction of Gaudium et spes and the constrasting interpretations and evaluations of it that were offered right after the Council by three theologians who belonged to the “progressive” group at the Council. It was an effort both to show that the conciliar dynamics are not accurately analyzed as a battle between Cowboys and Indians and to explain in part the split that occurred among the conciliar majority after Vatican II.
JAK – Views of Gaudium et spes
Easter Sunday–April 10, 1977–CNR
The readings for Easter liturgies have an interesting structure. There is always, of course, an account of the discovery of the empty tomb or of a resurrection-appearance of the Lord. Then again there is either (as in the Easter Vigil) a prophet’s vision anticipating the glories displayed or given in the resurrection, or else an account from the Acts of the Apostles of the earliest preaching of the resurrection. Finally, there is a text from the NT in which it is made clear how Christians share in the life of the Risen Christ.
Something crucial to an understanding of our Christianity is here displayed. (more…)
Easter Vigil – March 28-29, 1964 – Santa Susanna, Rome
If you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you shall appear with him in glory (Col 3:1-4).
These words of St. Paul are the Epistle of this evening’s Mass.
“This night has made us greater than we know” (Newman). What we have become this night only God’s Spirit fully knows; but “this is the Spirit we have received from God” (1 Cor 2:12), and he will help us understand what God has done for us this night. (more…)
Palm Sunday – March 26, 1972 – CNR
The Church begins today our celebration of the week we call holy, holy for its re-presentation of the deeds that manifest the holy love of our God, his holiness at once the manifestation and the remedy of our sinfulness.
The liturgy of this Sunday does not present a contrast, as we move from the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem and our songs in praise of his kingship to the more sombre lessons of the Mass. Nor are we to concentrate on the fickleness of the crowds, crying “Hosanna” today and “Crucify him” a few days later. We are to see, rather, in today’s celebration the key to the Church’s recollection in Holy Week. For to see in today’s liturgy only a contrast between honor and shame or in this week’s celebrations only a sequence of defeat and victory is to miss the point. This week it is only victory that the Church celebrates, only honor it sees in her Savior.
“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Your king comes to you without display.’” (more…)