Is God Our Priority?

12-31-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Christmas is a time to give and receive gifts. Sometimes we know exactly what someone wants and they are delighted when they open the gift. Then there are those people we buy gifts for where we wonder if they will like what we are giving them. We hope they will. Children are innocent and let us know exactly what they want and they give simple gifts that delight us. We are delighted because the gift they give is from them. It does not matter what the gift is, what matters is that they care so much for us that they went out of their way to give us a gift. Ultimately that is true about every gift. It does not matter so much what the gift is as much as who the gift is from. Every time we wear, use, or look at a gift from people who are part of our of lives, we are filled with joy and gratitude, not because of the gift but because of the love we have for each other. Gifts point beyond themselves to love from another human being.

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God's Gift of Himself

12-24-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Things are not always the way they appear to be or we think them to be. Reflecting on the events that enable us to celebrate Christmas opens our minds and hearts to see things from an enlightened and faith-filled point of view, from God’s point of view. In Isaiah 55:8-9 we read:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

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Brightening the Lives of Others

12-17-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Who are you? This is the question the priests and Levites asked John the Baptist in today’s Gospel reading. They saw John the Baptist calling people to change their lives by repenting of their sins. What made his message and call so appealing? Sin takes away peace from our hearts. It also puts tension in our relationships with one another.

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The Greatest Gifts

12-10-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

This past Sunday, I went into the seventh grade classes in our Religious Education Program and spoke to the children about gifts. I told them about a small pin I made and gave to my mother when I was a child in second grade. It was far from a piece of art, but as all of you who are mothers make so clear, it is not the gift that brings joy, but the love from the one who gave it. Then I spoke to the young people about the gifts they will give for Christmas, reminding them that their gifts are only a sign, a sign of the love that is behind them. The main point, of course, is that the giver of the gift is THE gift. Our goodness, love, sacrifices and thoughtfulness are what make any gift “priceless.”

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Be Watchful! Be Alert!

12-03-2017From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the amazing things about looking at ourselves through the eyes of faith is that we see how much hope we have and how much energy and purpose there is in our lives. There is a verse from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes that sounds pessimistic, but can be seen also in a very positive light: “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun!” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

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