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September Reflections

During September, there are a number of important events which, as Polish National Catholics, must be a part of our religious life and prayer life as well.  They are the Solemnity of Brotherly Love, the anniversary of the consecration of Franciszek Hodur as Bishop and Spójnia Sunday.  Now while I would certainly not say that these events occupy the same level of importance to me as Prime Bishop, certainly each one does remind us of an important part of our religious life.  And they also fit together as a
religious reflection as well.

We have just passed through the celebration of the Solemnity of Brotherly Love.  This year, of course, we did something a bit different and prepared ourselves with a presentation to help each of us to get ready a few days before the actual solemnity.  How wonderful it is to know that on Wednesday evening, September 9th, so many Polish National Catholics gathered together, either with their parishes, or just at home online, and reflected on the importance of this Solemnity of Brotherly Love and spent a bit of time reflecting on our actions in the past and resolving to put these principles of Brotherly Love into action in new and exciting ways in the future.

We saw that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has called us to act like the Samaritan in the parable.  This means that we must put aside anything that deters us from acting to help someone in need, and rather we are to put all that we have and all that we are at the service of others.  The Samaritan was able to look past any ethnic differences and rather seek to give aid.  In helping another child of God, he put to use his time in stopping his journey long enough to help.  He put to use his knowledge in using his limited medical knowhow to pour wine and oil on the wounds of the injured man.  He put to use his wealth in paying for this man to be taken care of at an inn.  Then the parable goes even further.  There are also the two important aspects which are often forgotten in this parable.  The Samaritan was able to get others involved in helping when he brought the injured man to an inn and involved the innkeeper. His help and interest was also not limited to only that short interaction.  Scripture tells us that the Samaritan said that he would return to pay whatever extra was owed, therefore implying that he would check up on the
injured man in the future.

Although it was certainly my hope that as many as possible were able to join us on September 9, 2015, if you were not able, please know that the entire presentation is now available on YouTube.  Please just go to the Future Direction channel there and you can find the entire presentation as well as the preparatory videos presented by the bishops and also the presentations of the youth of the Church recorded at their different retreats this summer. Please remember that these videos are available to you at any time and they can be used in a variety of ways.

The lessons of the Wednesday presentation were then amplified when on September 13, 2015 all Polish National Catholics came together on Sunday for the celebration of the Solemnity of Brotherly Love.  We heard the parable again and together with the homilies in our own parishes began to see how we can put these lessons into action right within our own parishes, right where we are.

Now, of course, we are in the period after. We are then presented here with two choices.  We can just let the lessons go and not think about any of these things for another year.  Or rather we can now resolve to put this example into action.  The Future Direction subcommittee has put a challenge before each parish of the Church to complete events where we show ways in which we Feed, Clothe and Comfort others around us.  In this way we extend the Solemnity of Brotherly Love into the future.  This is the call of the Church at this time because it is the call of Jesus Christ, to love without condition.

Now we turn to the other two events for our reflection.  On September 29 we celebrate the 108th anniversary of the consecration of Fr. Franciszek Hodur as the first Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church.  Each of the present bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church can trace their apostolic succession through this event.  Because of this it is of great importance to us all.  Because of this we know that when we celebrate the Eucharist, truly Jesus Christ is present to us under the forms of bread and wine.  Because of this we know that Jesus Christ is present to us in the Eucharist to strengthen us to perform those acts of love and mercy that we spoke of above.  Jesus spurs us on to feed, clothe and comfort each other.

Lastly we know that within the Polish National Catholic Church we honor September as Spójnia month and the last Sunday as Spójnia Sunday.  The Polish National Union of America, Spójnia, is one way in which we can help to put our love and mercy into action.  In fact the P.N.U. is our fraternal organization and we know that ‘fraternal’ comes from the same root word as ‘brotherly.’  A fraternal organization, such as the P.N.U., is one place where we can show brotherly love to those in need.  Yes it is the place we go to get life insurance for ourselves and for our families, but the P.N.U., in cooperation with the ideals of the Church, puts the proceeds of their work into the support of actions of brotherly love, reaching out to those in need, helping students, working together with the parishes and the entire Church.

So in all of these reflections we see that the common denominator is Brotherly Love.  It is to this that we are called.  When we gather for Holy Mass in prayer, Jesus is present to us in the Eucharist.  This presence then strengthens us to live out our calling in showing Brotherly Love.  Although we know that the Solemnity of Brotherly Love is now behind us, don’t let it just fade into the past. Now and each of every tomorrow is an opportunity to truly “Be the Samaritan.”  Give of your time, knowledge, talent and treasure to help and lift up one another.  Be the one to feed, clothe and comfort.  Be the Samaritan, each and every day.

 

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