Holy Mother Church

05-14-2023From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Every day I begin praying the Divine Office in my breviary by taking the holy cards from my mother and father that I use as book markers and hold them to my heart, thanking God for them and asking them to pray for me. It fills me with joy and gratitude to think about and pray for them. They are a great source of hope for me as I begin my prayers every day.

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day and thank our mothers for all they have done for us. As I have mentioned many times before, at Christmas and on her birthday my mother would say, “Don’t buy me any gifts, just come to see me.” Being with those we love is a tremendous source of joy, hope, and gratitude, especially with those who have given us their hearts, minds, and souls. May we always know the blessing our mothers are to us.

One of the terms we use to describe the Church, is Holy Mother Church. The Church is far more than any building, it is the Body of Christ in our world. Since Easter Sunday we have been reading from the Acts of the Apostles at Mass about the first generation of the Church. The crucifixion of Jesus did not accomplish the intent of those who plotted against Him because His burial in a tomb was not the end of it. For five solid weeks now and for another fourteen days we will come together as Holy Mother Church and proclaim the joy our faith in our Risen Lord brings us. The apostles and all who had leadership and missionary roles in the first generation of the Church are the foundation of who we are today. We are the members of Holy Mother Church today. How blessed we are to have the same privilege and responsibility as the first generation of Holy Mother Church.

To be part of Holy Mother Church is first to be secure in our belief and trust in God’s love for us and God’s love through us. As my mother reminded us, we are the greatest gift to Holy Mother Church through our loving, grateful, constant, life-giving presence. Our challenge is to rise above all that distracts us from being all that Holy Mother Church enables us to see and to be in our daily lives. As much as we seek to grow in our faith, hope, and love in Jesus, as integral parts of Holy Mother Church, we seek to live up to Jesus’ trust in us. We are not another burden or problem to God, we are His sons and daughters. We must rise above the temptation to feel that at this present moment in time He is an inconvenience or someone who will just have to wait for our undivided attention, time and presence. We have His attention, time and presence any time we want. All we have to do is open our minds and hearts to Him and sincerely thank Him for all we have and the opportunities to share all we have and are with those who have been entrusted to our loving care.

I offer the words from the Gospel of today’s Mass (John 14:15-21) for your prayerful reflection.

Jesus said to his disciples:

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."

Fr. Wald