Living the Truth with Love

11-26-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

So Pilate said to Jesus, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.” (John 19:10-11) This exchange took place as Jesus was brought to Pilate by His enemies to have Him crucified. How ironic that an earthly ruler thinks he has power over Jesus. Yes, Pilate assented to Jesus’ crucifixion. But as we celebrate the feast of Christ the King today, we know Jesus is the source of true power, power that gives life to us in this world and eternal life when we die and go into the fullness of His presence.

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Using Our Talents

11-19-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

We all have responsibilities in our lives. A sign of maturity and integrity is our willingness to assume and fulfill our responsibilities. As we come to the end of another Church Year, the readings once again focus our attention on our accountability before God. Today’s Gospel presents the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30. We all have different talents and abilities and, at the same time, we all have the same basic talents, abilities, and gifts. The most basic of all gifts is the gift of life itself. The more we use our common talents and abilities the richer and fuller our lives become. The talents that are innate for each one of us are the ability to love, to forgive, and act humbly.

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The Oil that Fuels our Daily Lives

11-12-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the wonders of the Internet is the GPS. There is an app called WAZE that not only gives directions but even in the midst of travel makes changes. I experienced this a while ago when I exited the New Jersey Turnpike and because of construction ten lanes were being funneled into two lanes. After ten minutes the voice on WAZE said, “You are sitting there too long. Make a right at the next block, then a left at the light. Go two blocks, make a left and you will be fine.” When I followed the directions I was amazed at how clear the traffic was and I arrived at my destination with time to spare.

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Love Lifts Us Higher

11-05-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

As I was thinking about writing this column, a song from 1967 by Jackie Wilson came to me: Your love keeps lifting me higher and higher! It is a lively song about the joy of a man over the love of his girlfriend from another era in our history when things were more optimistic. This past week I went into eighth-grade classes in both our parish school and parish religious education program. In one of the classes, the teacher handed me a question one of the students had written: Why does God allow innocent people to be killed? How sad that our young people are growing up in a world where violence and killing are issues they struggle with. Of course, God does not “allow” innocent people to be killed. When He created us in His very own image He gave us the gift of free will. We can choose to do good or choose to do evil. That is what makes love what it is - the choice to give ourselves to another person in many different ways. It is also what makes sin what it is - a conscious choice to harm others or ourselves. Love lifts up those who we give ourselves to and at the same time lifts us up also. Our goodness fills us with joy and inspires us to love more and more. The best thing about love when we love as God loves us is that the more we love, the more love we have to give. We are never exhausted. On the other hand, sin turns us in on ourselves and leads us to separate ourselves from one another. At this point, with all the bad news reports we read and listen to, we can become negative, condemnatory, and angry. That is the world we live in and the world our young people are growing up in.

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