Let Us Not Be Pretenders

10-25-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Back in 1955, there was a song by the Platters called The Great Pretender. The opening lyrics are: “Oh yes, I’m the great pretender.” To be a pretender means we are not what we appear to be on the outside and we are trying to hide our real feelings, thoughts, or identity. That thought is in complete contrast to what I prayed in the breviary in morning prayer last Tuesday, the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.” (Hebrews 7:9) That verse was followed by a response prayer: “On your walls Jerusalem I have set my watchmen to guard you.” As a priest, one of my responsibilities is to be a watchman, helping those I serve to see anything that would weaken their faith or blind them to the goodness of God and His love for them. As Catholics, we are not pretenders. We are contenders, asserting our faith by our way of life. We are not out to impose our beliefs on others but are people who want our beliefs to be respected. After all, we have been around for 2,000 years and have seen many political systems come and go. That means living who we are without concern for what others think. We believe in Jesus who “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” That does not mean we are doomed to a monotonous, rote daily life, but people blessed with the gift of faith in Jesus who is truly the Way, Truth, and Life.

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A Lost Sense of Beauty

10-18-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the simple, refreshing experiences I have is taking a walk just before sunset around our school and church. At times I am awed by the beautiful tall trees with their leaves as I walk west by the school. How beautifully blue the sky is on a clear day. Creation is a gift from God. Even more, human life is a gift from God. We have been created in His image and He has entrusted the whole world to our care. What an awesome, humbling thought. With all that is going on in our world with the coronavirus and the upcoming election, it is all too easy to get angry, worried, confused, and irritable, to lose our sense of wonder.

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Giving God Our Undivided Attention

10-11-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

To whom or what do we give undivided attention? Our family and friends come to mind even when we are not with them. It is good to remember them because those very thoughts are a sign of our love for them. Our time and attention are also consumed at times by people or situations that upset us. Being at odds with people we love or deal with on a regular basis causes us to use time and mental energy in anger or disappointment. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Matthew 22:1-14), we have the parable of a king who invites guests to his son’s wedding. When the king sends his servants to bring the invited guests, they refuse to come. Some of them show their unwillingness to come by physically abusing some servants and even killing others. The king obviously does not take this well, so he responds by sending his troops who “destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” As harsh as the rejection of the invitation was, the spurned host was even harsher.

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10-04-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the ways to recognize the blessings we have is to look back at our childhood. In our early years through high school, we have all we need from our parents. They sacrifice, guide, teach, and most of all love us unconditionally. That scenario is portrayed in both the first reading (Isaiah 5:1-7) and the Gospel (Matthew 21:33-43) for Mass today. Both readings speak of a vineyard that has been cleared, planted, and fully prepared for growth and harvest and then entrusted to the care of tenants. That is a parallel to our nation today. We have so many advances, privileges, and freedoms that have been passed on to us. They are ours to use and preserve for those who will come after us. Only if we are grateful for what we have and cherish our blessings as gifts, not entitlements, will we keep the moral, social, and spiritual fabric of our nation intact? One of the most useful things we can do is to step back from all the controversy, anger, and chaos and see who we are and whose we are. To help do that, I am sharing these words from the editor of the Knights of Columbus magazine in the September 2020 edition:

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