Merry Christmas

12-25-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Merry Christmas! How good it is to have this season of joy, hope, and love. And the more we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas the more hope, peace, and joy we experience. There is a great difference between being on the outside looking in and being on the inside looking out. All during Advent we read about the hopes of the Jewish people and God’s promise for a Savior through the words of the prophets, especially the prophet Isaiah. Today, Christmas, we celebrate the fulfillment of this promise. God did not send someone else in His place to be our Savior, He came Himself in the person of Jesus. His entry into our world was not one of triumphalism, fanfare, and public acclaim, but one of humility, unconditional love, and unwavering mercy. God did not use those in power and authority in the secular world or in the Jewish religion, but the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. In these two very beautiful people we see absolute faith in God, their love for God, and their love for one another. The Blessed Virgin Mary surely had the hopes and dreams of every woman who has been engaged to be married. St. Joseph was surely a good man who had the same hopes and dreams as her. But in both of them we see how we become more than we ever think we can or aspire to be. The Blessed Virgin Mary carried God Himself in her womb for nine months, held Him in her arms as her child, and nursed him as His mother. St. Joseph had the blessing of God’s trust to be Mary’s husband and the man who had the unique privilege of raising Jesus as an infant and young child into adulthood.


An Unbelievable Disconnect

12-18-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

The birth of a child is always a wonder and most times an occasion of great joy. Grandparents as well as parents joyfully share their excitement and joy in their words and pictures. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Matthew 1:18-24) we have St. Matthew’s account of St. Joseph learning Mary was pregnant and deciding to divorce her since he was not the father. But through an angel in a dream, God revealed she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph humbly and joyfully believed and had the unique experience of raising the Son of God as his son.


Spending Time in Gratitude

12-11-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Rejoice! Today was formally called Gaudete Sunday. Guadete is a Latin word that means rejoice. The third candle, the pink one, will be lit today as a sign of our joy. In the twenty-first century we are not looking ahead to the coming of the Savior, but to His presence in our lives and our presence in His life. We do not wonder what He will do and how powerful He will be, but through the vision of faith we see how Jesus truly is our hope for life as individuals and fellow human beings in this world and our hope for eternal life in the joy of His presence with one another. In Philippians 4:4 St. Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” St. Paul was not on cloud nine - comfortable and accepted by everyone. In 2 Corinthians 11:25-26 he says, “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers.” How can we reconcile this encouragement to rejoice in the midst of so much that is destructive and damaging in our lives with one another with His words to “Rejoice in the Lord always?”


Many Gifts

12-04-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

There are those wonderful times when we feel like we are in the right place at the right time. However through the gifts we have and the gift we are we can make any place the right place at the right time. It all depends on our inner attitude. Two weeks ago we celebrated the feast of Christ the King and the Gospel reading was Luke 23:35-43 where we had the account of Jesus dying on the cross between two thieves. One thief looked for the miracle of being taken down from cross so he could continue with his life in this world while the other thief recognized that he was in the right place as he sought Jesus’ mercy with his last breaths on the cross: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” As much as it was totally unjust and evil that Jesus should hang on a cross and die, He rose above the unjust and evil and assured the “good thief.” - “This day you will be with me in paradise.” - This scene shows us that as hard as it is we can almost always make the place where we are the right place through our goodness, love, humility, and mercy. When that happens we are a gift to those whose lives we touch.