Peace Be With You

04-24-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

There is a great difference between having peace of mind and getting a piece of someone’s mind. We use the expression, “I am going to give that person a piece of my mind,” when we are angry, frustrated, or disgusted. While we might succeed in blowing off steam there is no guarantee our ranting and raving will bring a peaceful resolution. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (John 20:19-31) we see the Risen Jesus appearing once again to His disciples. These are the ones other than St. John who either denied Him or abandoned Him when He was arrested and crucified. As He miraculously came into their presence His words of greeting were, “Peace be with you.” This passage continues: “When He had said this He showed them His hand and His side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.” How much clearer could His love for them be in spite of their fearful abandonment of Him. Their fears, weaknesses, and confusion did not lessen or weaken Jesus’ love for them. He did not give them a piece of His mind, but the love in His heart. In fact the Gospel continues with an expression not only of love, but of faith and hope in them to continue His work among us: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” . . . “And when He had said this He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’” Jesus’ heartfelt love for them opened their hearts to speak and act in His name.


The Risen Christ is Our Hope

04-17-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

With all that is going on in our nation and in our world, we are sorely in need of good news to lift us up. Today we celebrate the greatest good news that any human being could ever hope for: Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and invites us to share His life with us so we can find hope, peace, and direction in our lives today and forever. What is so easy to gloss over is how powerful Jesus’ love is. He was crucified because the religious leaders of his time incited the people to demand His execution. As that whole scene played out we see how He was let down by His closest friends and confidants. Among the apostles Judas betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver, Peter denied he knew Him three times, and nine of the ten other apostles ran away in fear. Only St. John stayed with Him and stood at the foot of the cross with Mary His mother as He died. How could such a tragic, horrible, and dismal scene ever bring hope.


Opening Our Hearts to God's Merciful Love

04-10-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, where many people gathered to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem by making a walkway of palm branches. This is the beginning of our Holy Week where we celebrate and focus on all God has done for us in Jesus. As much as Jesus was welcomed as a Savior on Palm Sunday, five days later He walked the streets of Jerusalem carrying the cross on which He died. Looking back from the vantage point of knowing about the Resurrection, Ascension, and Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, there are two powerful questions to ponder. First of all how could we ever do such a thing to our God? Secondly, how could God ever be so loving and forgiving? Today’s Gospel at Mass is the Passion of Jesus from the Gospel of St. Luke (Luke 22:14-23:56). In the first part we see Jesus speaking to His disciples at the Last Supper. At this point they are totally clueless about what will happen in just a matter of a few hours. In these words Jesus makes it known who and what He is about as He says, “For who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? Is it not the one seated at table? I am among you as the one who serves.”


Unconditional Love and Mercy

04-02-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Where were you? Didn’t you get my message? We hear these words as we read the Gospel (John 11:1-45) at the 5:00 PM Mass this Saturday and the 10:30 Mass on Sunday. Those thoughts and comments were directed at Jesus by the sisters of Lazarus who was sick and died. They sent a message to Jesus while he was suffering, but Jesus did not go immediately. He did not get there until Lazarus had actually died. When both sisters greeted him separately they said to Jesus, “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” When things are beyond our control and we feel powerless, our natural reaction is to look beyond ourselves. We look for Jesus in trying and desperate times. Our challenge is to see Him in the day in and day out experiences of our lives every day. That does not mean we pray for hours and hours. It means that we take the time through daily prayer and the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Sick to be in His presence and welcome Him into our presence.