Being Proactive in our Faith

11-19-2020From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

There are certain times in our lives when we look back with gratitude and look forward with hope. Today is the Feast of Christ the King and is the final Sunday in this current Church year. Next Sunday we will begin a new Church year and our spiritual preparation for Christmas with the First Sunday of Advent. Looking back at this current Church year, we have seen things we never saw before. In March, the pandemic closed our churches for Mass, but we were able to use technology to Livestream our Masses every day. On Sundays, you were invited to come to the front of the church in your cars and be blessed by Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I have been writing a message every day since the middle of March to encourage, thank, and let you know you are a very important part of who we are as the family of St. Patrick. We come into our church building now and see every other pew blocked off. Each week we seem to have more and more people coming. It is good to see everyone aware of one another as we wear masks and keep our distance socially. As your pastor, I am delighted to be able to pray with you and to greet you after the Masses. Hopefully, these restrictions caused by the coronavirus will be taken away when a good vaccine is found soon.

The Gospel for today’s Mass (Matthew 25:31-46), presents a simple, clear picture of what awaits us when we meet God face to face when our lives in this world end. Our entrance into the fullness of God’s presence in heaven depends on the way we live our lives every single day. Do we feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and imprisoned? These opportunities are before us every single day. We feed one another with our presence, satisfy thirsts by our concern, brighten the lives of others by our sincere presence and words, and clothe those who are lonely and struggling with our presence. When we do these very simple, everyday tasks, we are living in the very image and likeness of God in which we are created.

This Gospel inspires us to be proactive. We can always put good deeds off and find an excuse to not do the good in the present moment. As God is always open, available, and present to us, so we begin our heavenly life in the here and now as we are open, available, and present to one another. We are living this Gospel when our words and actions are uncalculating. To be uncalculating means we do not regard the status of the person we are caring for or the potential to have the favor returned now or in the future. We are living this Gospel when we speak and act with goodness without calling attention to ourselves. The temptation to boast about the good we have done is overcome by gratitude for the opportunity to do good.

I close with the first part of today’s Gospel and invite you to prayerfully reflect on how you are seeking to live it in your life every day.

Jesus said to his disciples:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,

and all the angels with him,

he will sit upon his glorious throne,

and all the nations will be assembled before him.

And he will separate them one from another,

as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will place the sheep on his right

and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right,

'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.

Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the

foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,

a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me,

ill and you cared for me,

in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say,

'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,

or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,

or naked and clothe you?

When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply,

'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did

for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’”